No Harm Done

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Match of the Century (Or at Least This Summer)

Years ago, back when the world was still in black and white, my dad swam for his high school team in Southern California. He was good. Very good. (This is according to Grandma Eadi- his mother- who is not biased in any way.) I think he preferred the shorter, "sprintier" races, and I know his coach signed him up for the long distance swims when he needed a little attitude adjustment. Dad also played water polo and was one of his school's top scorers.

But for all his acquatic success during his high school glory days, has hasn't spent much time in the pool over the past 45 years. (Oh my GOSH, Dad! Has it really been FORTY-FIVE YEARS!?!?) Dad works hard to stay in great shape, and has always been very athletic, but I never got the impression that swimming was something he did for exercise anymore. That is, until last year.

My dad started casually asking about Braden's swim times last fall, and I didn't think anything of it, really. How was I to know that my dad was not merely expressing grandfatherly interest - he was training.

Braden has been swimming for nearly 3 years. He's got great endurance, but speed is not his strength. When Brogan joined the swim team, he and Dad e-mailed back and forth about swimming, and drills, etc. This spring, Dad began hinting that he wanted to race Braden when we came to Boise to visit. Braden loved that idea, and the trash talking between the two began.

So it was with great anticipation that we headed to the Boise YMCA to witness Braden and Grandpa Frank race. Braden thought he would win. After all, he could dive and flip turn, Grandpa could not, and he had youth on his side. Braden was worried about Grandpa hurting himself.

They warmed up by racing each other in a 25 free. Both swam hard, and were shocked to have tied at the finish! The race was so close, no one could tell who touched first.

The second race was a 50 Free. I made sure to get it on film.

Who won? You be the judge.

I tease.

It wasn't really that close. No photo finish was needed. But it's great to have the proof on hand.

Dad nearly lost his watch, but he won the race! Not only did he win, he set a personal best* of 42 seconds! ( *Personal best when comparing his practice swim times in the 21st century.)

Plus, dad found 51 cents at the bottom of the pool, so it was a great afternoon for him all around!

(The racers recovering after the big finish.)


At 11:55 PM , Blogger Noël said...

what a great story!
let's hear it for grandpa!


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