Sunday, May 26, 2013

Goggles For Young Swimmers... Yes or No?

Every year, without fail, when my young swimmers return to my pool for lessons, many of them come with a fresh pair of goggles in hand.  Most likely a bribe to get into the water, the goggles are strapped over their head as  the student comes to sit at the water's edge.  And without fail, the child pulls those goggles over their eyes first thing - when I teach them to blow bubbles.  In a perfect world, the child would look like this:

But in actuality, the child usually ends up like this:

So, YES or NO to goggles?  I do have my opinion.  

For most children five and under, I don't believe goggles are necessary.  They invariably leak, are the wrong size, are too tight or too loose, and are an uncomfortable nuisance.  Many times a child will become reliant on goggles before they start to swim -- even if the goggles are filled with water or foggy and unusable.  I've had kids that jump into the water and come screaming to the top "I don't have my goggles on!  I can't swim!"  It's all very dramatic.

If I child is in a 30-minute swim lesson, do the child and their teacher a favor and have them do the lesson without goggles.  Make the goggles a fun reward for swimming AFTER the lesson.  Or something to take to another pool like a floaty toy or raft.  

There ARE conditions when goggles can be helpful in the learning process.  Occasionally a child will NOT put their face under water after multiple days of lessons.  At this point, I'd try a pair of junior-size goggles by Speedo or TYR.  When this becomes necessary, don't buy the cheapies from Costco or Walmart.  Go to a sports store and try some on.  Ask to take them out of the package and make sure the cups fit around the eyes and the straps are comfortable around the head.  Gently push the eye cups into the socket without the strap around to see if they suction comfortably into the eye socket.  Check to see where water might leak into the sides or bottom of the eye.  Try on multiple pairs.  And buy the pair that best fits on your child.  Don't buy the three-pack and expect one standard size for each of your children.  

Goggles like this may be more expensive...around $18-$20 per pair.  But they usually work much better for the child, preventing frustration and making swimming lesson a better experience for EVERYONE.  Remember, goggles did not become the norm for recreational swimmers until the 1970s.  Mark Spitz never wore goggles during his Olympic career.  Your child doesn't NEED to use goggles until they can put them on and off and drain a leaky pair ON THEIR OWN!  

And that,  is my opinion.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Team Verhaaren  

A few of us have been working on a special tribute to Rob, and have designed a cycling kit to wear to LOTOJA this year.  We have  included his name and his race number in the design and are using top-of-the-line fabric, shammy and laser cut finishes in the jersey and bib shorts. (We don't want sub par shorts for 206 miles!!)  The jersey is a grey background with the World Cycling Stripes down the front left and back.  The bottom of the stripes end with a RV13, signifying our ride for Rob.  We are excited about the finished product and are hoping everyone will wear this kit when we ride in September. do you get one?  The kits will be available at the website below (or above) for ONE WEEK.  The online store will close on Friday, May 24th at 5pm to allow time for production.  The site is open to anyone -- so buy for your family and friends.  The size chart is on the site and if you need to trying anything on before you buy it, a fit kit will be at my house all week.  I am at 2222 N. Val Vista Drive #15, Mesa.  Just call to confirm a time to come by!

Please forward this on to anyone who might like to buy a kit or who knows Rob.  We want to represent at LOTOJA, but also want to include anyone who knew Rob, so they can be a part of our support for him.  

Thanks again.  We hope you like our design!  

Lorie, Dave and Mike  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tough Redefined

Tough.  That's the word that comes to mind when I think about the 25 ultra swimmers who swam dam to dam over four days in the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge of Arizona.  The event gathered some of the most elite swimmers in the world who take it upon themselves to conquer the BIG distances of swimming -- think English Channel, Straight of Gilbralter, Catalina Channel and the likes.

I was part of the volunteer kayak team that accompanied these swimmers and guided them to their destination.  That meant, my guy, Darren Miller, started at 10a.m. and swim nearly 14.5 miles over the next six and a half hours. It was rough for me and I was in a KAYAK!

I'm not sure what possesses a swimmer to want to jump into a cold lake or ocean and swim for that many hours.  But I know they are hard core.  Glad I got to be part of this amazing day. 
You guys define the word TOUGH in my book.  Thanks for showing me that a simple 2.4 mile Ironman swim is just a warm up to people like you!

Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True