It’s that time of year again! You may be thinking Conference Championship season or secretly hoping that March Madness might have somehow found a way to come early, but you would be mistaken. It is, in fact, Hallmark’s favorite non-holiday, Valentine’s Day. On account, should you decide to celebrate and partake in the gift giving but you aren’t sure what to get the swimmer in your life, fret not! Here are eight quick gift ideas to make your special day a bit more chlorinated.
Chlorine Removing Shampoo
When I grew up swimming in California, the bleach blonde chlorine effect had a bit of charm to it but those days are long past. Maybe it was the end of the “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” era or maybe it was the growing understanding of hair damage. That is probably a conversation for a different day. That being said, a bottle of chlorine removing shampoo and conditioner will treat your special swimmer (we will call him/her Alex due to its useful gender neutrality) to a more radiant and luscious head of hair. There are multiple brands out there, so find the scent that you think Alex will enjoy and give the gift that will keep on giving.
Waterproof Phone Case
If Alex is anything like me, he/she goes through a lot of phones. From watching it sink to the bottom of the pool to dropping it down a flight of stairs while out for a morning run, phones have a special knack for getting themselves broken. In today’s rapid-fire, all internet world, a broken phone is big deal and can disrupt the flow of a week. With swimming championships coming up in many leagues, the last thing welcome is a distraction. This Valentine ’s Day get Alex a phone case that will save the hassle and the potential tears. With a waterproof case, a sinking phone will only raise concerns of who is getting in to retrieve it rather than how on earth you can wait to get your replacement.
A New Suit
Swimming happens in pools and, for the sake of health and safety, pools are chlorinated. It is a great thing that keeps yucky-ness at bay, but it also gives swimsuits a shelf life. If you are swimmer, you have been around that person in your lane who has pushed the limit on how far that shelf reaches. Get Alex a new suit and help him/her not be that person. Think of Alex’s favorite color and grab something that really brings the eyes out. If Alex happens to be a very colorful person, go with an exciting pattern. Nothing strikes up a great pre-practice conversation like an attention grabbing suit. Alex’s excitement might even help ease the blow of finding out about a lactic set around the corner.
Restaurant Gift Card
Few things are certain in life. Death, taxes, and a swimmer’s appetite can always be counted on for reliability. Alex surely loves to eat somewhere special. Get him/her a gift card to that place and the next hard practice/great meet/qualification news, go out and enjoy comfort food. Not only will Alex know that you have been paying attention to his/her favorite things, but there is a good chance you will get the invite to eat as well. Everyone loves a good meal.
You may be wondering what exactly chamois is. As it turns out, is a small goat-like mammal that dwells in Southern Europe. Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that you acquire Alex a small mammal. The leather from this animal is used to make a super absorbent and particularly soft mini-towel. These small towels, more commonly known by a number of brand names (none of which I will use here), are fantastic to have on deck. They take up relatively little room and they offer a quick way to dry off once out of the warm-up pool or after a good warm down (Alex always warms down).
Waterproof Mp3 Player
You may be thinking that two waterproof items on this list is just lazy. Why not just say waterproof chocolate and be done with it? You would be wrong because soggy chocolate is never good. Music while working out is a huge motivator. This applies a bit more to the retired and masters swim sets as having a personal music player in the pool would be distracting in an organized practice. Underwater Mp3 players are fantastic for days when you don’t have a particular set in the mind but want to get into the pool Alex will love rocking out to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” while putting in some aerobic 200 repeats. There are a number of brands, but from personal experience, a player that will hook to goggles is easier to manage and less likely to get loose.
A Swim Biography
When Alex isn’t physically in the pool, its likely some part of his/her mind still is. Swimmers tend to be of the cerebral and intelligent variety. It might just be something special about our sport and the ability to find a drive to swim the same 25 yards or 50 meters repeatedly for long periods of time. Get Alex something to feed the mind and touch the heart. As legendary football Coach Lou Holtz once said, “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” A good biography is sure to be an inspiration to Alex as the winter drives on. There are a number of great reads out there but perhaps you can pick up a copy of legendary swimmer Jeff Farrell’s “My Olympic Story – Rome 1960” or even pre-order Anthony Ervin’s “Chasing The Water Dragon: A Tale of Talent, Turbulence and Transformation” as anticipation is always inviting.
A Shave-Down Care Package
As mentioned repeatedly, it is championship season and with a championship meet comes the shave down. This can be a stressful time if Alex happens to be a he or a relief/minor inconvenience is Alex is a she. A care package filled with goodies to help along the way can be a beacon is a sea of lather and warm water. The care package concept also opens up a world of creativity. Maybe you go post-shave with a new pair of silk pajama pants, lotion, and warm hat. Maybe you go process-driven and pick up those special razors that nick Alex just a little less often and the shaving cream that best moisturizes his/her skin. Either way, the shave down has become a rite of passage in the swimming world and gift that both honors and understands that might hit the spot.
In wrap up, no matter what you decide to give, the thought will always count. Your Alex will love anything you offer and this list is purely subjective in order and approach. If Valentine’s Day is your thing and you do get something for your swimmer, congratulations on being that thoughtful and generous person.