Tag Archives: swim team

Let’s Jump Right In

When I was 15, my best friend talked me into joining the swim team. “You need to do something,” she said, “to prove you have school spirit.” 

The truth was, I didn’t have much school spirit, nor did joining the swim team provide even a teaspoon more. I liked school, probably more than most, but the school spirit thing eluded me. It seemed to be nothing more than a lemming-like belief that our school was better than anyone else’s school, which was just plain hard to accept. It was a good school, sure, but I’d been in other schools and they all seemed much the same. There were kids and teachers and lockers, and reportedly the same lunchroom popularity contests resulting in priority seating for cheerleaders and jocks. I never ate in the lunchroom because I just couldn’t bear to witness it.

(The one time I went into the lunchroom, there was the obnoxious fun table, and then the tables containing everyone else.  Most heads were bowed silently over peanut butter sandwiches and Pringles, praying not to be noticed. I never went back.)

So I did eventually join the swim team, and I learned the following things: how to get up at 5:00 a.m. (didn’t care for it), how to leap purposefully off of a starting block (really fun with careful aim), how to breathe efficiently (less is more) and how to force yourself into ridiculously cold water when you’d rather just go back to bed. The answer to that one is: Stop thinking – just jump right in.

I thought about how I would write this very first blog post, and then I thought about it some more. And then a little more.  Then it struck me that the continual thinking was much like teenaged me, the sulking sleepy procrastinator…sitting on the side of the pool, waiting for a reason to force myself to move.

(I’d love to be able to say that the reason I eventually jumped in each morning was an innate drive to perform and succeed, but actually it was Coach Hal’s harrassing threats.)

In summary, welcome to SassenFrassen, written by a woman who has no school spirit, who hates lunchrooms and frigid early morning swims, and who performs only in response to harrassment and threats. *waves* This is going to be fun!