Teamwork

The photo is of a synchronized swim trio.

Only one swimmer is really visible. She is being lifted by the other two. They are not allowed to touch to bottom at all. It is all done lifting their own or each other’s bodies out of the water by swimming.

Sychronized swimming is a shrinking sport in the United States, because it is such hard work. My daughter started at age seven and had to swim three laps. She made it one length and then had to hold on to the lane divider to rest during the rest of the laps. She went under three separate times during that first practice. I nearly jumped the divider all three times, but she came up each time.

“How was it?” I asked when she got out.

“I nearly drowned three times.” she said, stomping past me in a rage.

She says that she hated it for the first year and that I made her keep going. If I did, I would feel guilty, except that she loved it so much after that. Seven years of synchronized swimming, until our very small town team folded, and then swim team. She is now a junior. What she wants most in college is to continue to swim on a team.

Back to the photo. To be lifted straight out of the water that far, you must be in the right position, you must have very good core strength, and your two partners must be in the right position underwater and lift correctly. You must practice and practice and practice and practice.

And you do this in time to music.

We need to work as a team in the world to deal with infection, to deal with ebola, to work together. My daughter loved synchronized swimming because it is so challenging and because it is above all, teamwork.