Yes that’s right. Sweatshirts for swim team. When you’re a kid and tell people you’re on the swim team, all the Khoury league kids groan and tell you how lucky you are to “play in the pool” all day. Clearly they have never been in a freezing cold pool in early June just as the sun comes up. Going to be a high of 80 degrees today, huh? Well not yet. 
 
Then there’s the coach’s way of motivating you. Also known as: Waiting outside the lockeroom with a hose ready to spray the moment you peak your head out. Albeit it’s not exactly “waterboarding” but the sneak attack is nothing short of a planned military operation.
 
So after all the antics, you finally do it. Jump in and feel the ice cold water invade your every pore until you scream silently under the water. Like Dory said, “Just keep swimming.” Yes, that’s right, just swim until you have yourself believing “This isn’t so bad.” Clearly the first signs of hypothermia are beginning to set in. It isn’t until you’re asked to practice your starts off the block, that you realize that not only is it cold out, but windy too! Teeth chattering, goose bumping, body rattling wind chills. 
 
Your mom stands by – witness to the torture – dressed in a velour jumpsuit and chugging hot coffee. She and the other parents discussing “how resilient kids are” and how “the cold doesn’t seem to bother you when you’re young.” Lies . . . all lies. 
 
Then there’s a glimmer of respite in your swim bag. A thick, fluffy, custom printed hoodie with bold letters across the chest stating you are indeed a member of the Blue Vale Swim Team. What seemed like a stupid idea in spring (i.e. Why would I need a sweatshirt in June?) is now the only solace on this bleak summer morning. 
 
Finally dry in this warm hug of a custom sweatshirt, you walk to your car proudly representing all swimmers.
 
 
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