We Are The Champions

Not sure if (or how often) I mentioned it before, but I come from a family of champion swimmers. Don't want to brag, but squirreled away somewhere (probably in my parents' garage or attic) are literally dozens of trophies and medals and ribbons that my sisters and I earned for somehow magically managing to not epically embarrass ourselves in the pool.

Well: correction. My sisters were decent swimmers. My awards are for, like, making it from one end of the pool to the other without my arms falling off, or without bleeding, or something.

I mean, my swimming career was not really the stuff of inspirational motion pictures, like "Rocky" or "Invincible" or "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." I would say I was decent but I'd be lying, and even I know it. I swam competitively on and off from the time I was around 6 years old, mostly in the summer but sometimes in the winter, until I was in 10th grade, and while the trophy case in the basement was totally full, only one of those suckers was mine -- and that one was for a relay, so I can't even claim that much credit, even though I was the best available backstroker possible for the "Deadly Medley" at the time because someone had mono for most of the summer or something.

(My junior year in high school, to "stay involved," I became the Manager of the high school swim team, and also the announcer, which I was very very good at, and that is what made me want to become a sportscaster, which is how I ended up at Syracuse, where I changed majors like three times and eventually got my B.S. in Writing for Television, Radio, and Film, all because I was too neurotic and self-conscious to stay in the Broadcast Journalism program with those idiot frat-rats and now Mike Tirico has the MNF job that is rightfully mine. YOU BASTARDS. I hope every guy who was ever mean to me in college is HAPPY NOW, because I would have been DAMN GOOD at the MNF job.)

(Yes, I am aware that I have issues.)

But I think I've lost the plot here -- the point is, there are a lot of good swimmers in my family. My mom and her siblings were good, my sisters were good, my cousins were good, some of my cousins still are very good, Uncle Quack went to college on a swimming scholarship. It's in our blood, this mer-people thing, this total and complete comfort that we have in the water. It's, like, communicable or something.

There are MANY THINGS that I am teaching my kid that I am not necessarily (outwardly) proud of, but this one? I own this one. I love that she is just like everyone else in the family -- including other adopted members, who went on to be swimming coaches. My swimming coach. The one who helped me win that one-and-only "Deadly Medley" trophy.

Yeah, we're pretty awesome.


  1. hooray for swimming! and adopted cousins :-) can't wait until joey is this fearless in the pool!!

  2. I love it! The video is perfect! She will be ready for 8 & Under Thunder in no time! (Really, where did we come up with these names?) It must be so rewarding to see her confidence grow every week. One of B's doctors recommends we get him into a pool, too. Thanks for the nod... much needed :) And I have to admit that I had to live through you guys because I never won that 1st place trophy myself.

  3. where did the name come from? no idea, but it WAS the '80s, and as you know, MISTAKES WERE MADE.

    and maybe you never won swimming trophies, but we still thought you were cool because YOU GOT US MATCHING T-SHIRTS. also: gymnastics!