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The end of an era (#1019)

Topics/tags: Autobiographical, short

Today, Middle completed his last dive as a D3 athlete at Grinnell. It was a 405C, which means inward dive, two-and-a-half somersault, tuck position, or something like that. Learning how to interpret dive abbreviations was one of the thrills of having a son decide to dive [1]. I’m pretty sure that that makes today the last time I sit in the sauna that is the Osgood Natatorium [2], watching one of my offspring compete.

I appreciate how divers and swimmers can be simultaneously competitive and cooperative. Divers, in particular, impress me with their mutual support. I like that they do a cheer together at the start of their portion ofo the meet. I like that they all seem to cheer each other after a dive. I like that this morning I watched a coach and a diver encourage someone from another school during practice. Supportive.

It’s been a fun run [3]. It’s also been a long run. The Nat, as people call it, also serves as the practice and competition space for the Grinnell and BGM [4] High School Swim Team [6]. So I’ve been watching my kids compete here since 2009 or so. All three sons swam in high school. One swam and competed in water polo in college. One dove [7]. Its a lot of years of competitions.

Now it’s over. I’ll still come back, from time to time. I’ve come to love watching diving, even if it’s not one of my students [8]. And I’ll always want to support my student swimmers [9], even if I won’t be here quite as often.

At least there’s alumni weekend.

Postscript: Aren’t you glad to have a break from musings about my experience of The Craft of Creative Nonfiction?

[1] I suppose I could have learned them when my advisees dove, but that didn’t happen.

[2] Steaming hot in the stands, cold on the deck. Definitely a bad design. As far as I can tell, they are trying to blow heat from above. Given that heat rises, the strategy makes no sense.

[3] A fun swim?

[4] Brooklyn, Guernsey, Malcom [5]

[5] Dear spell checker: The town’s name has only one l.

[6] Yes, the two schools share a team. BGM doesn’t have enough people (or a pool) for a team. We generally have only one or two BGM swimmers on the team. I’m impressed that they make the drive for the 6am practices.

[7] And swam a bit.

[8] I still do prefer watching Grinnell students swim.

Version 1.0 of 2020-02-15.