How many teenagers do you know who would get up at 4:30 a.m. on a school morning to jump into cold water?
The swim team does it willingly.
For 3 months straight,
Including over Christmas break.
Not only that, how many of those teens would do double practices over the break, along with signing and abiding by a no-junk food clause for the entire season? Along with smelling like chlorine for a few months, because even though you shower right after, there is still a lingering smell from the pool, not a bad smell, but a lingering one.
This sport of their choice also means more laundry, more food, more I-can't -stay-up-and-watch -that-movie-because-I-have-swim practice-in-the-morning.
It means self-discipline, self-control, self-motivation.
But it also comes with teammates in the same position; friends who know exactly what you are going though; comradery that comes from mutual experience;
It comes with coaches who push you, believe you can do more; and motivate you to keep at it.
For my daughter it means getting herself downstairs on time every early morning to get a ride from Dad to the pool. She looks longingly at our ice cream on those nights when we have dessert (although we try and do it on the nights she isn't home).
She is a night-owl who loves swimming; which means, she has to adjust her schedule to meet her commitment.
So many life lessons wrapped up in one season during the school year.