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Monday, June 30, 2008

You Gotta Swim, Child!

Shortly after the Milo Novice Competition, as I was doing some chores at home and was having some light talk with my daughter, I asked how her swim training was. Her face lit up as it always does when she talks about something that catches her fancy. "You know mom, one coach approached me today and told me that I can already transfer to another school because I can already be a scholar just from being a swimmer." "So, what did you say" I replied. "well," she said with a little smile forming at the corner of her lips, "First I told her that I probably can't because my focus is my studies. But she kept saying I can do those together - be a varsity swimmer and be a good student too. I gave a couple more reasons why I shouldn't be a varsity swimmer yet but she kept giving me rationalizations. Finally, I told her, I am already an academic scholar. To which she replied "ah ok"."

That was really funny. You should have seen how she had sort of chuckled as she was narrating her little tale.

The point is that she still kept swimming despite her hectic schedule? You know why? Because swimming helps her in oh so many ways. In terms of her health, Ikee is now no longer a sickly child as she was before. Since she started to train regularly, she has only been sick twice for the whole school year. Whereas before, she'd be sick about 5 times at the minimum. Plus it has helped her with her scoliosis. As for her studies, she's now sharper and gets even better grades. As for her social life, she is more friendly and is better able to communicate with others. She used to be so shy that you'd have to force her to talk and make friends or sometimes to even approach someone she already knows. She now has more friends of her age than ever. She has learned so many lessons in life and at the top of the list is time management. Although she still is the last one to come of the shower after swimming, but at least now it doesn't take her a minimum of 1 hour to come out. That's been cut in half. The only real reason she comes out last is because she has to wear her brace. Thus, my whole family agrees she needs to swim every weekend.

Yesterday, I was at the ULTRA and saw one of her teammates at the Pasig Flying Dolphins Swim Team who does not come to training regularly anymore. It turned out that he's so busy with school that he can't seem to find time to train. I did tell her that he needs to go because it will help him in his studies. Maybe Coach Efren strongly agreed to what I said that he blurted out "that's what I keep telling them! Your grades shouldn't be poor just because you're training."

Why should it be? Swimming makes the blood circulate better. Thus the necessary nutrients are sent to the brain and to all the other part of the body more efficiently. Not only does the blood bring nutrients, it brings oxygen to the brain. It is able to get rid of toxins and wastes from brain cells as effectively too. Therefore, when all things are in good shape, the brain is able to do its work and a lot more with less effort. The end result? The person gets more alert and consequently, gets better comprehension. Comprehension leads to retention - that is you are able to retain what you understand. In fact, when preparing for a difficult examination, it is advised to get some form of exercise to be alert. And what's the best form of exercise? That's swimming!

Swimming in a team teaches discipline, efficiency, resilience and cohesion among the members of the team. Those things are not taught in school. They are learned outside of the four corners of a classroom. I should know. I'm a teacher too.

Of course there's a little sacrifice when Ikee swims. We have to skip going to places we like more often than not because her priority is to swim on weekends. She gets tired after training so we still can't leave in the afternoons. Only at night when she has gotten enough rest. But, we can live with that. Besides, it makes us save some money in the process. I guess that's why my husband likes it so much too? Aye, darling?

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