Just like his older siblings, Joss wanted to be on the swim team. He has taken swimming lessons in the same pool during summer and winter and he has gone to splash around during practice, but it just wasn't the same. Over Christmas, Rob took all four kids down to the rec center and they swam laps in the competition pool. The UVRays head coach happened to be there swimming too, and she talked to Rob as they watched Joss paddle 25 yards down the lane through sheer doggedness. She was impressed that he wanted to do what the others did, and told Rob that is what swimming is all about -- having a sport or exercise that the whole family can do together.
In April Rob brought Joss down to the pool and he swam for one of the coaches, who, winking, said he'd do just fine if he wore his fins. So he's started attending swim team three times a week for 45 minutes. He is completely worn out (and cold! they keep the competition pool cooler) by the end of practice. He was excited for exactly two practices -- until he had his fins, goggles, jammers and towel. Then he began to complain about going as much as his brothers -- but I guess that's one of the major perks about being on swim team: complaining about it.
Here he is trying out the backstroke. This is one of his very first attempts.
His coach is wonderful at teaching the kids technique, and since he dove in knowing four other kids in the lane, they were all helpful and attentive to the little tadpole in the back of the line. I still usually go and sit down at the deep end of the pool, because I'm not too sure that he can make it. And often he's so far behind the other kids that the rest of them are at the shallow end getting their next set from the coach.
More recently, he's begun to find his groove. As soon as his coach turns her back, he makes a U-turn and tries to make up time that way. When he's in the deep end, he does somersaults and dives down to the bottom, porpoising around. His swimming may or may not be improving, but no one can deny that he enjoys being in the water!
And here Joss tries one of the exercises they do to improve form -- keeping the cup on your forehead helps their necks or something. Or maybe it's just thoroughly entertaining for spectators like me . . .