Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homestead Hurricanes and Swim Team

We were pool rats.

For years our entire summer revolved around swim team schedules. Between swim meets twice a week, practice, setting up for banquets and more...we basically lived our summer at Homestead Pool.

We were the Hurricanes, the "Mighty Homestead Hurricanes" and we were proud! I can remember waking up in the morning, putting on my swimsuit and packing a whole day's worth of snacks, entertainment, towel, goggles, swim cap...the works. Andrew and I would have swim practice first, followed by Emma an hour or so later in the morning. By the time our practices were wrapping up the pool would be opening and we would find our friends and set up camp for the day. We spent hours playing in the water, taking breaks occasionally to build a fort out of pool chairs or lounge, read and "sunbathe" like the "big kids". We would dive off the boards, pester the lifeguards to play with us, and beg mom to let us get a treat from the snack bar.

One summer my mom was the Swim Mom for the team and we lived at the pool even longer. She would help with meet entries, clerk of the course and stuffing ribbons in the swim team files. We would be helpers and run around doing all kinds of errands for my mom and the coaches, thinking we were so cool!

Swim meets were always a blast as well, we would get to pick out something special to have in between races, a snack to re-fuel. I remember getting pretzels with peanut butter inside them one year, and thinking it was the most amazing snack ever! Also, to prepare for the meet, we would paint hurricane flags on our fingernails and toenails. So, you could say we were wayyy ahead of the black nail polish trend :) We would set up our towels next to our little swim team friends, bring decks of cards and play "go fish" and "nertz" for hours in between events. When we weren't swimming, playing or resting we would be the team cheerleaders. A favorite was always "Homestead Hurricanes couldn't be prouder...if you can't hear us, we'll yell a little louder..." and "give a yell, give a yell give a real substantial yell and when we yell we yell like hell and this is what we yell..." (I will admit, at the ripe age of 10 the previous cheer was a favorite because of the addition of the curse word "hell", golly, I was such a rebel)! Swim meets always ended in a trip to Sheridans frozen custard with the gang, a Homestead tradition which we all gladly took part in!

Champs were even more fun, just an extended day of hanging out with those summer friends. Trying to stay under the tent in the shade on those scorching hot July afternoons. One year we all got those little spray bottles with fans attached and used those to keep fun!

It would be impossible for me to think of summer without swim team, it was just such a part of my life from the ages of 5-17...Somewhere in the basement I still have hundreds of swim team ribbons stuffed in a gallon ziplock baggie--a tangible reminder of the hundreds of races I swam over those 12 summers.

Love and Prayers,

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