I Miss Those Days

Tonight we had the chance to watch our grand-niece’s swim meet, and it must have been the smell of the chlorine that triggered so many wonderful memories of the sport I love.

Swimming was a big part of my life for 12 years, having been a competitive swimmer from about 9 years old until I graduated from college. While there were some mornings when it was tough to get out of bed at 6:00 and jump into a cold pool, I don’t recall missing more than a handful of practices during high school and college. We also had afternoon practices every day of the week and hit the school gym three times per week. We were willing to devote so much time to swimming because we loved the sport.

Swimming gave me the chance to learn about sportsmanship and goal setting. It also gave me the opportunity to do a bit of traveling.

It also gave me the opportunity to make some great friends. Most of my friends in high school and college were my fellow swimmers, and I’ve stayed in touch with many of them, 40 years later.

I’ve often wished I had had a chance to coach swimming, but it never seemed to work out. My only contact with the sport over the years since college has been going to meets where I know someone competing or coaching, and watching the Olympics on TV every four years.

Watching the meet tonight made me realize how much I miss all of it.

I hope my grand-niece and the other swimmers have the same opportunity to find something they love, and the opportunity to develop close friendships, doing what they love.

86 thoughts on “I Miss Those Days

    1. it did take a up a lot of time. I tried to get back into swimming a couple of years ago, and I went for a couple of weeks but it was kind of depressing how slow I had gotten, so I gave it up. Maybe I’ll give it another shot…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I feel bad for kids who are missing out on their sports. We just heard reports yesterday, however, that youth sports that have started up again are one of the new sources for COVID-19…

      Like

  1. It looks like to me that some of the supervisors are wearing masks. Did any swimmers wear masks? Swimming is such an excellent cardio exercise. I still hate to run, but I like to swim for a good workout. I sleep well the nights after I swim.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The things you touch on fondly in remembering those days of your youth, highlight exactly why our school sports programs are so vital. Not only to the physical education of our youth, but to all the other skills and life lessons competition teaches. Maybe the is a coaching spot in your retirement years! Great post! I could smell the chlorine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, Brad. I do feel bad for kids that aremissing out on sports because so many good things come out of it. Some of the local sports leagues, like baseball, have started up again, but I just heard a report on the news yesterday that youth sports are one of the new sources of COVID-19…

      And chlorine is such a recognizable smell it immediately triggers certain memories…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Despite the best efforts of my Dad and school I never overcame my fear of the water and never learned to swim – despite being born and brought up on the coast! I’m glad it brings back so many good memories for you – my sporting efforts were confined to dry land!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s funny how things work out sometimes. I guess as long as you know how to use a life jacket, you’ll be fine 🙂
      And Ithink a lot of people have memories tied up in sports somehow, whether through participation or as a spectator.
      One of my favorite memories was watching Cal Ripken break the consecutive game streak of Lou Gehrig (baseball)…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was what I had to do: 24 of us on a school trip along the canals and I was the only one in a life jacket!

        I have loads of sporting memories, but none of them involve baseball. Sorry!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Everybody should have had a vest, just like everyone should have a mask.

        I was not sure if those two names would mean anything to you, that’s why I added the baseball reference at the end. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. They probably would now, but Health and Safety wasn’t as advanced in 1968!

        I’ve never really ‘got’ baseball, to be honest. I’ve tried watching it – we get some MLB games here – but the commentators and all those stats are indecipherable. To us, it’s a game called rounders, mostly played by schoolgirls 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s probably as complicated for you guys as Baseball is to us. I grew up playing cricket and still love the game.

        I’m not great with netball either. One of my daughters played it and it seemed like disjointed basketball to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Out of curiosity I just Googled world baseball rankings. We’re no.31, which roughly parallels your cricket ranking. Horses for courses, I guess. What really surprised me is that the US isn’t no.1…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You were second. I don’t know much about the sport but expected you to be miles out in front. I guess that’s the power of the mass media creating an impression.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I was surprised, though.

        There are three forms of cricket. For Test matches (the full five day game) we rank 4th behind, Australia, New Zealand and then India. For one day internationals we’re top, and for the very short form game – T20 – we’re 2nd behind Australia. It changes over time, though, so in a year those rankings could be very different.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I did not realize it was such a big game in Australia and New Zealand. I know India and Australia used to be part of the British Empire; was New Zealand too? I guess cricket was popular in the British Empire!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. It’s huge there, especially in Australia, with whom we’ve had a rivalry since around 1880.

        There are 12 test playing countries, including the two newest: Ireland and Afghanistan. All were part of the Empire at one point, to a greater or lesser degree, but the game in its shorter forms is played in over 80 countries, many of which we haven’t invaded. Yet…

        Liked by 1 person

      10. They’re very much the new kids on the block, but becoming more competitive. We’re playing them in a 3 match series of one day games at present. We lead 2-0 after 2 games, but in both they’ve given us problems. It can only be good for the game to get more countries playing.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I agree that more countries competing will raise the quality of the game. There is a local college five minutes from us that we have seen students playing cricket on Sunday afternoons. I’ve heard they take tea breaks. Is that a part of the game, or just a rumor?

        Liked by 1 person

      12. It’s part of the game. A multi-day game like a test match has two breaks – 40 mins for lunch and 20 mins for tea, with three 2hr playing sessions. Club cricket and one day pro games just have a break between the innings. A complete reversal of American Football, where little snippets of play totalling an hour break up the 4hr total 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      13. It’s going a bit that way here, too – we often get commercials when a wicket falls in a cricket match. It can only be a matter of time before football and rugby become games of quarters, not halves, to keep the tv people happy. Money talks, sadly…

        Liked by 1 person

      14. There are plenty of pro swimmers about, as with any sport. Until the lockdown there were huge numbers of amateurs here playing games like football, rugby and cricket – hopefully that will start up again soon. Crew? Rowing? The same applies, I think, though it isn’t as advanced in pro terms as other sports.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. I think you’re right, it’s probably only the elite levels that enjoy the riches. There’s a lesson in there: if you want to get rich in sports, play a ball game!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. aw, isn’t it amazing how things can take you right back in time? it sounds like swimming was such a big part of your life for so many wonderful reasons. matbe you will have to the chance to be involved once again at some point, and inspire others to love the sport for the same reasons you did, you never know –

    Like

  5. I was never a competitive swimmer, but I did spend a few summers as a lifeguard and then several years as a swift water rescue tech while with the fire dept. The chlorine smell always reminds me of those life guarding years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. to me, lifeguarding is the ultimate summer job for high school and college kids…

      swift water tech sounds exciting; hopefully you did not have to put your trining into action too often…

      Like

  6. Swimming is probably one of the best forms of exercise. It is great that swimming provided great life lessons and gave you so much enjoyment. Was swimming the impetus for your life long dedication to fitness? I credit tennis practice in college for improving my academics. Afternoon practices burned off so much energy, studying in the evening seemed reasonable compared to more energetic activities. I’m glad your grand niece’s swim meet brought back wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it is swimming that triggered my interest in fitness. II always felt I did better in school during swim season because you had to be much more disciplined to get everything done. Do you still get to play much tennis?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had that same feeling. I went back to teh pool about five years ago to try and get back to swimming, and it was so depressing how much I had declined that I just couldn’t take it. I stopped after a couple of weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My 17yo niece is in competitive swimming. That was her sport of choice. She is trying out for nationals, and maybe one day may try out for the Olympic team, as well. 🙂

    My own kids, they prefer their water frozen (hockey and ringette). lol

    Having said that, my 12yo loves swimming and is looking forward to life-guarding at some point in the future. She has joined clubs and competed quite a bit during summer vacation, but is too busy at rinks the rest of the year to combine rep swimming with her ice sports.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish your niece the best! I saw you mention ringette the other day, and I wasn’t sure what it was. I looked it up today, and I had trouble understanding the difference between hockey and ringette.

      Like

      1. There is very little difference in the actual game. The puck is a ring, and the stick has no blade. She has to push the ring with her stick.

        Main difference is there are 2 blue lines you cannot cross with the ring, it has to be passed. In hockey, you can carry the puck across the entire ice surface, in ringette you have to pass to another player.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OK, your explanation is much clearer than what I was reading elsewhere. I did read that it is much more of a team game than hockey, and I guess that’s becuase there is more passing involved. Is it also by gender? Do boys play hockey and girls play ringette?

        Like

      3. There are boys on the younger ringette teams but in my experience it’s mostly attractive to girls.

        The passing keeps every kid active in ringette whereas in hockey you sometimes have these “superstar wannabes” who never pass the puck… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the water, but purely as a recreation. The smell of chlorine reminds me of watching endless swimming lessons with our three and for a very short time our young daughter got involved in competitions but didn’t actually like the competitive side! But we all love the sea and I think aquarobics is my favourite pastime for the pool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny that the smell of chlorine seems to trigger a lot of memories for people. And I agree there is something special about being near water – as your blog name attests to!

      Like

  9. You have some wonderful memories, and you are blessed to still be in touch with many of your former teammates. Jim, your swimming times will always be far ahead of my efforts. I was too busy on the hardwood in the wintertime.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.