When it comes to swimming, my 10 year old daughter kicks my ass. She's faster, she can swim longer, she knows all four strokes. And she can flip turn. She's, like, the complete package.
She is officially on her December break, which runs from the end of JOs to the first Monday in January. But she never did her swim-a-thon to raise money for the Oakland Learn to Swim Program so she had to get those yards in somehow.
On Christmas Eve off to Campolindo we go for open swim, hop in the water and I find out that she does about 8 laps to my 5 or sometimes 6. What she doesn't know how to do is to keep her mind focused while doing long long sets. This is something that she never has to worry about at swim practice because they work almost exclusively on strokes and technique, rarely ever venturing into a set longer than 100-200 yards at a time. But, for a swimathon, you just have to swim and swim and swim.
So I got to to teach her something. During a short wall break, I asked her what color the band aid was about two-thirds of the way down the lane. She had no idea. So I told her my secret, as I swim, I look for something like that, some small thing at the bottom of the pool that I try to learn as much about as possible in the brief moment when I can see it each lap. Usually, it's a hair elastic or a band-aid or an unusual leaf. One time it was a living salamander.
In this pool, it was a blue band-aid with some sort of holiday motif living 10 feet under the surface. It took us about thirty laps to agree that it was a polar bear fishing but it made those thirty laps go a lot faster and less painful.
Now if she could just teach me to swim butterfly.