Back to School, back to school

Remember those Office Max commercials where the dad is dancing around Office Max to “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” buying school supplies for his children? That is how I feel right now. It’s the first College football Saturday of the season. Or, it was the first weekend when I started this article.  It’s getting cooler, my birthday is coming up, it’s cider mill season,  and hockey season is right around the corner. Oh yeah, and it’s time to go back to school, and get back in the pool.

I love the start of swim season in the Fall. I think after championship season, it is the biggest test of a swimmer’s character. Now is the time we get to see what happened over the Summer. Of course, every coach wishes that as many of their swimmers as possible come back to school in shape. After spending a long summer of dedication, and many, many mornings of getting after it both in the pool and weight room, they return ready to go. Oh how we wish for that. However, that’s not always the case. Usually, it’s more of a “I got in and did warm up, maybe a sprint from the block, and really only lifted the glamor muscles” situation. While not the most productive use of off season time, it is amusing and better than nothing.

Then there is the third approach to summer training. The “I haven’t looked at a pool since championships, or lifted a single weight, but I did gain 20 lbs. on the McNugget diet.” Usually this results in an uptick in coach’s blood pressure, and an exasperated sigh. Obviously not ideal. However, you always get a satisfying “I told you so” moment when said McNugget swimmer is sinking, puking, or dangling helplessly from a pull up bar. Doesn’t do anything for the blood pressure, but it’s a teeny tiny consolation. And there’s always those other Fall distractions to take my mind off out of shape swimmers.

So here’s hoping your chosen football team successfully navigates the BCS to a bowl game with some meaning, that you get to enjoy some cider and donuts and that you’re in the sort of shape that doesn’t leave you crying in the fetal position at the end of practice. If not, well … I told you so.

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