Courtesy of Loretta Signori, a swim parent living in Italy (SOGEIS swim team). Featured image: Michael Andrew
1. “In the pool, life is cool, swimmers rule”
Swimming pools are oblong, blue and wet. They have strings of plastic sausages floating on top of them, knackered people swimming in them, raving lunatics pacing up and down beside them and people with no life sitting in front of them. Welcome to the wild, wild world of swimming.
2. “Seven days of no swimming makes one weak”
There is something primeval about swimming as a sport. At the end of the day it’s just a question of who can get to the other end of the pool first, but in order to go faster, athletes must correct the positioning of every part of their body and swim backwards and forwards every day, an awful lot. They train harder than Iron Man, have six-packs more toned than Taylor Lautner and buttocks neater than Gisele Bundchen.
3. “Swimmers: we do more flips in an hour than a cheerleader does in a lifetime”
The average swimmer does 280 flip turns a day, 1680 a week, 87360 a year (swimmers are particularly good at mathematics), more flips than a stuntman, tiddlywink or pancake. This explains why swimmers often look giddy: their brain doesn’t know what axis its on. Of course it may also be because their craniums are being crushed by rubber, or their kidneys are being poisoned by too many isotonic drinks.
4. “Eau de Chlorine – swimmers’ perfume”
Swimmers are so clean they squeak. They are more disinfected than a teething ring.
They eat bubbles for breakfast and tea. If you see these bubbles reappearing from their front end, they are probably singing a David Guetta song underwater, if bubbles appear from their rear end, they are probably implementing turbo power and remember, when swimmers goggles mist up, their brains are also getting foggy behind their eyeballs.
5. “Evil mutant swim coach”
Most swimming instructors also swam when they were young, were tormented by their coaches and consequently don’t want to break the cycle. They have inhaled so much chlorine in their lifetime that they are more stoned than a Woodstock wellie. Although not yet scientifically proven, the sound waves emitted by a swim coach travel audibly through water. They like to shout using animal metaphors such as: “Stop bobbing up and down, you are not a rabbit” or, “A donkey could swim faster than you with a carrot up its arse”. Although totally altruistic – laying down their lives for their athletes well-being and results – they are also notoriously sadistic, inflicting muscle ache that would make the Spanish Inquisition blush: poles, tubes, elastic bands, paddles and foam floaters; anything that straightens, binds, pushes or pulls.
6. “We swim because we are too sexy for a sport that requires clothes”
Also consider the fact that swimmers have to stuff their bodies into black spandex more often than someone with a rubber fetish. For girls this job has to be undertaken in pairs and is no mean feat with no cushions of fat to manoeuvre around.
7. “Don’t make me slap you with my flip flop”
Swimming instructors break into a rash when they see a parent approaching, their tongues swell up in their mouths, making it impossible to speak coherently and they develop violent tinnitus at the mention of the words “tired” or “slipping school grades”.
8. “I have no life, my kids swim”
These poor swimming parents have visited the swimming pools of some the most beautiful cities in their country. They wake up at 5:30 on a Sunday morning and drive three hours to a race meeting, there they will sit inertly for 10 hours, developing haemorrhoids on slabs of concrete, only jumping to life and screaming wildly, for the few minutes their children swim at lightning speed to the other end of the pool. Their enthusiastic: “Kick! Faster! You can do it! Go! Go! GO!” is heard by their children as: “glub, glib, wisha-washa, blib, blub, blub”.
9. “H2O: two parts Heart and one part Obsession”
You can’t help but admire all those who spend a large part of their lives in, or around, a swimming pool. They have a total passion for water and a dedication to their sport. Members of a swimming team have a strong sense of pride, direction, duty and endurance.
Through trophies and tears, these kids sure know how to splash with panache.
Thanks to Loretta Signori for providing this story originally published by Beyond Prose.