Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
It didn’t happen overnight, but there was one day I realized we’d made the leap to become a full on “swim family.” It was years ago when I stopped racing between Scouts, tennis, karate, piano, ballet and to the pool. By cutting out a lot of those activities, our lives became streamlined. My kids were the driving force to say they wanted to focus on swimming.
I remember with embarrassment when the president of our swim team called and asked if we could volunteer more hours at a home meet. “Sorry, but we have a life,” we said. Little did we know what our life would become. A year or two later, I joined the swim team’s board and my husband was meet manager. Our kids went from seasonal part-timers to dedicated year-round swimmers.
Here are my 11 top signs that you’re officially a swim family:
You have a car large enough to haul your kids, their friends and pop up tents to meets.
You do more than three loads of towels per week and own a ridiculous number of swim towels.
Your family vacations are planned around championship meets.
You look forward to out of town meets to catch up with your friends, who honestly, you only know from meets.
You’re on a first name basis and friends with swim officials and administrators.
You and your kids’ drawers are overflowing with an abundance of swim t-shirts, not only from their team, but from various meets.
You’ve joined Masters and are working on stroke count, balance and rotation.
You know who Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers and Nathan Adrian are. (Seriously, ask a non swim family—they might be able to recall the names Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin.)
You know neighboring cities from their pools.
You have apps on your phone called Deck Pass and Meet Mobile.
You read SwimSwam.com daily and subscribe to SwimSwam magazine.
What signs say you’re officially a swim parent?
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.