In a surprise to no one, rain is in the forecast

We are in the thick of swim season here.  One of the things about swim is that you are required to “volunteer” 8 points per family, where each point is a little over an hour of volunteer time.  Alternatively, you can pay out the points for around $300.  Last year, we paid out most of it because with Saoirse still 1, we needed the time more than the money and since meets were “virtual” (gag) they didn’t really need as many volunteers anyway.  However, in addition to the cost, I definitely felt guilty about not pitching in and helping things run.  Without volunteers, there would be no swim season.  This year, we hope to get all our points.

My first volunteer session was Tuesday, and wow, it was a doozie.  This was the first swim meet our club had held since 2019, so it had been a while.  I volunteered as a stager.  That is, along with one other woman, it was my job to get the kids lined up for their races.  I did this for 2, maybe 2.5 hours.  It was truly unbelievable.  For the entirety of the two hours, I was yelling (to be heard) at kids, trying to get their names, figure out where they should go, ordering teens and tiny tots around, frantically trying to remember which kids I had lined up for which event where, trying to get socializing hangers-on to get lost.  It. Was. Crazy.  Needless to say, the system could use some work, but I had the second half of the meet, and there wasn’t time to even think about a new system.  (I sent the coaches a list of suggestions afterwards – no response.)  The woman I worked with had a heart rate alarm on her watch that went off if her heart rate got too high, intended for exercise, and it kept going off because the experience was so intense.

I’ll be volunteering as a timer next time.

Before my volunteer shift started, I was actually getting a little teary seeing my kids finally get to have a swim meet after a two year Covid hiatus.  It makes me so angry when I think how much they lost for basically no reason.  There’s nothing different about last summer versus this summer in terms of Covid risk.  If anything, last summer was actually much better (since swim season is May through mid July – it was over before Delta really hit and adults were freshly vaccinated).  I was also just really happy to see the kids having fun – participating in races, screaming for their friends, hanging out and socializing on the bleachers, etc.   But once the “staging” started there was no more time for dreamy emotion – just adrenaline.

Some sun would have been nice:

Both girls are doing great this year.  I was super proud of Bri for managing to finish a 25 yard butterfly without looking like she was going to drown.  She didn’t look like Michael Phelps, or even L either, but no DQ.  Her breaststroke is getting better, too; about halfway through, she remembered to glide:

Isla’s favorite strokes are butterfly and breaststroke.  Here, they only have the 9-10 year olds swim a 25 butterfly.

Every week they have an A and a B meet.  Slower swimmers go to the B meet.  Normally, we choose the B meet, but L had a conflict this week, so B went to the B meet and L to the A meet.  Yes, two swim meets in one week.  Frankly, I am exhausted because of this.  However, the B meet did give me a chance to visit Mercer Beach Club, which I’d never seen before.  Basically it’s “where the other half swim.”  Nice spot!

I’d really like to cycle or swim today (Friday) and this weekend, but here’s our weather forecast:

Why?  Just why?



9 thoughts on “In a surprise to no one, rain is in the forecast

  1. Karen

    We did swim team for the first time this year with Nolan. It is very short and very intense here. I am also supposed to volunteer at 2 meets, but will only make 1 because they don’t offer many shifts, you have to work the whole meet which is on Tuesday from 4-10pm. I worked as deck manager for the first half of the meet which was from 4-8… Because of a 30 minute thunder delay. My fitbit gave me 138 minutes of exercise and I was basically standing in one small area.

    I don’t understand why they don’t do swim meets by age level here. It makes no sense.

  2. admin Post author

    That is a long meet. I think that is what they used to be like in Virginia when I was growing up. Here, having two meets a week, A and B, shortens it to more like 4 hours instead of 6. But then there are two meets, which is a huge burden on the clubs hosting them. We basically have to do four shifts, but each shift is half a meet and 2.5 to 3 hours instead of 6 like you did. I think that’s better. You can always sign up for two consecutive shifts if you’re up for it, but 6 hours is a really long haul.

    You also have a really intense job, and I don’t think it’s wrong for people with more relaxing jobs and without very young children (like we had last year) to take on more of the burden of volunteering. ETA: I felt guilty for not volunteering more last year partly because I wasn’t working.

    Sounds like “deck manager” was a bit like stager, what I did. I think timer is where it’s at.

  3. becca

    I was on the swim team as a kid and loved it. We had two meets a week (Tuesday and Thursdays) and practiced every morning all summer from 9-12, which my mom basically dropped us off at like summer camp (we would then spend the rest of the day at the swim club just, well, swimming.). My parents had plenty of free time but most decidedly did *not* volunteer (for anything, at all, it was a solid household philosophy of saying “no”), though I recall my mother and the other mothers spending a lot of time hanging out at one of the picnic table at our swim club doing… what I now realize is as an adult… having a lot of cocktails mixed in a thermos.

    But I cannot fathom doing it in Seattle’s climate. I can still remember how miserable it was on rainy swim team days.

  4. admin Post author

    Last night was perfectly pleasant – mid 60s, partly sunny. But now it’s cold again. Normally most meets are fine and one or two are cold. I had kind of a rough time because I had an aura, which just sucks when you’re stuck at a swim meet.

  5. admin Post author

    But also – I can’t believe they were drinking cocktails out of a thermos! That is crazy and hilarious! I can’t imagine.

  6. Karen

    If I could just drop my kids off in the morning and then come back it would be great, but its not that way here – at least not at this age. And we are at one of the closest public pools with a swim team and its 25 minutes away. All the others are at exclusive clubs or neighborhood pools that we either cannot afford or do not qualify for.

  7. admin Post author

    Karen – it may be worth checking out the “exclusive clubs.” The best place to start is the swim league webpage as they probably list all the participating pools. There are 30 on the East side of Seattle, and I went through all of them trying to find the most affordable convenient option for us. Probably 25 were non-starters but we love the pool we ended up at. It costs us about $1000 for summer swim membership plus a few hundred more for swim team, but we get a lot of use out of it between swim team, me occasionally swimming laps, pool party for Bri for her birthday, etc. I was really, really hesitant to sign up at first because we’d never joined a pool, it’s expensive, and let’s face it, the weather here sucks a lot of the time. But I’m glad I did. And it might be a better deal in GA where it’s actually warm.

  8. Sarah

    Isla’s butterfly looks great! And Bri’s breaststroke! The coaches keep putting both Emma and Charlotte in butterfly and while Emma has the mechanics down, Charlotte generally just thrashes her way down the pool. Ah well, she’ll pick it up eventually. 🙂

    Our swim team also has a firm volunteer requirement. Firm as in — they will drop your kid from a meet if you are not fulfilling your volunteering commitment!! Also, it’s per kid which means we have double the commitment. It feels slightly excessive, but generally I’m ok with it, and appreciate that it is a way to both 1) ensure parent engagement and 2) make sure you have enough adults to actually run the meets. Our volunteer coordinators seem to be pretty on-the-ball, which also helps a lot. There are 2 equal shifts per meet for timers, ready area, scorers. Then there are other ways to get your volunteer points, like concessions, setup, takedown, etc.

    For the first meet, I volunteered in the ready area and it was pretty smooth. (We may be in a smaller league than you!) Last weekend I volunteered as a timer and that was legitimately fun — I enjoyed it.

    Our meets are on Saturdays. They start at 8 (though we have to be there by 6:45-7) and run until 12-12:30. The time passes surprisingly quickly — with both kids, and the order the events go in, one of them is always about to swim. Honestly the only bad part of the meets is the heat. It’s supposed to be 100 this Saturday — brutal.

  9. admin Post author

    Maybe it makes sense to have Saturday morning meets in TX. I guess it’s probably cooler than evenings would be. Crazy. I’m so busy being freezing I don’t even think about it being too hot to have swim meets in some places!

    I have no problem volunteering this year, but it would have been really hard last year, and even harder the year before.

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