Every once in a while you have to feel like an outlaw -- just do something on the jagged edges of civilization. Being a middle aged responsible father of an age group swimmer, I have found the perfect outlet: the off-season meet. Chopstick’s session ended last week with the kids getting a 4 week break before starting up again in January. But the meets don’t end so she won’t either. She’s going to a renegade meet!
Meets are a bit different when the coach isn’t around. She can’t get helpful tips from him, no last minute instruction, or post-race analysis. But the biggest difference is in warm-ups; she’s not allowed to dive off the blocks without a coach to say “ready go.” I am apparently not qualified to say that so I have to grab a coach and ask him/her to yell it. We’ve only gone “renegade” once before and it wasn’t hard to get a coach but still, I’m pretty sure I can yell “ready go.”
Despite these difficulties, there are three good reasons to do a renegade meet. Number one, her very good friend on another team does it and they have a blast at these things. Two, she enjoys meets, she really does. And, most importantly, three, she gets cranky as h3ll when she takes too much time off from swimming.
I’m going to expand on number three because that’s where my motivation lies. Cranky kids make me cranky and that makes them the target of my crankiness. Nobody wants this. I understand what’s happening; she’s used to swimming 3 to 5 days per week, her body is accustomed to that. Without those swimming days, that energy has to be released somehow. And that somehow is crankiness. It usually takes about two weeks to manifest so, in my mind, 2 weeks is about the length of time she should stop swimming. Seems pretty simple.
So, Chopstick is doing her coach-sponsored workouts for two weeks and then we rebel and swim. Fight the power.