So we had a our second annual Christmas Swimfest 2012. Last year I wanted to give back to the swim community so I invented this idea of a Swimfest with relays and games. The purpose was to have fun, get a good work out and introduce people to our swim family in a non-threatening way. Since then we have done 2 others, one at Valentines and another in the Summer. The Christmas Swimfests have been the most popular and the easiest to plan. This year was no exception.
In truth, I almost didn’t do it because I felt overwhelmed with my move and everything but there was enough interest and I’d done it enough times I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did. We met at Gene Fullmer Pool in West Jordan (the pools in Utah are THE BEST! Bar None!). and ended up with 10 people which was perfect for even teams of 5.
We had igloo caps this year, which I thought were quite cute. Thank you Swimoutlet for getting them to us just in the nick of time.
Some of the other events we did are: (Jim took more photos which I will add when I get them)
t-shirt relay with long sleeve t-shirts that made it a lot harder)
Santa vs Elves
treading water with jingle bells
Doing a lap and then eating a chocolate santa and then next person gets to go.
There is something else I’m forgetting. The time went by far too fast!
Other one’s I had planned:
Push a plastic toy with your nose.
Plastic candy cane as a baton.
Rudolph antlers breaststroke race
Anyway, I love races and competition and being with my friends. When I was a little girl I always wanted to make a game or race out of what we were doing, so I guess this all goes right up my ally. I had a great time and I’m grateful that Heavenly Father inspired me to go forward with a happy thing on a sad weekend. He really does know what we need.
I’d love to encourage other masters groups out there to do their own swimfests and come up with their own relay ideas and pass them on. Swimming (or life in general) doesn’t always need to be so serious. We can have fun, let lose, and be happy. It’s Christmas after all!
Previously on this blog I posted about Swimfests! This is an idea I cam up with last December to have a swim party with real swimming in it. It is a casual event, just a fun time to relay and race and be a little goofy. Today I helped put on our third Swimfest. We get matching caps and I usually prepare a little goodie bag (part of the fun of it for me).
For the summer goodie bag I found a tie-die cap on clearance and then went to zazzle.com for some cool swim stickers. I then added some blue candy and swedish fish to make it all tie in. I thought they were super cute and was inordinately proud of them. 🙂
Then my friend Kate put together a set (3 sets actually) and the 5 of us had a good work out for the first half hour. Thanks Kate!
Next, the fun began…
We did lots of relays including standard, t-shirt swap relay (harder than you’d think to take off a t-shirt and transfer in the water. I was wearing a tankini and practically took off my suit taking off my shirt! It was funny!).
Then we had the infamous cracker relay (you have to stop after a 50 and eat a salty cracker and then whistle and show your tongue. It really is harder than you’d think.
Next we did a rickshaw relay where you have one person on a pool noodle treading water and another pushing their feet. Then we did almost a track and field type relay but with dunk sticks instead of batons.
It was a super fun morning and a great time to swim and hang out with my friends. Now I just look forward to the next one. 🙂
After our hour + swimming we went to a local diner for a hearty lunch. My Dad was in the area and joined us and even better paid for lunch. Thanks Dad!
Now I’ve just got to start thinking about the next Swimfest. I love party planning and I love swimming!
In Utah we are so lucky to have a great group of US Masters Swimmers. I know it sounds corny but they really are a family, that has never been anything but supportive, kind and most importantly FUN!
I’ve got great friends including my swim friends. In December I wanted to do something to thank my swim friends for all their support, so I came up with the idea of a Christmas Swimfest. This was just a fun get-together where we could swim, play games, get to know one another and have fun. It was a great success. So much so that I decided to do it again:
A Valentines Swimfest!
It was without a doubt the best valentines I’ve ever had! We had a good turn out and all the trimmings of a great Swimfest (yes, I’ve invented a whole new term- one life goal checked off my list!) including matching swim caps (King and Queen of Hearts caps got for .99 each- thank you swimoutlet.com), workout planned by Josh and then fun relays!
I have always loved playing games and even more- orchestrating games. Naturally I love relays! We did 4 different relays. Each relay had 2 teams.
First, we did a t-shirt relay (red shirt for the holiday, of course!). In this relay you have 2 over-sized t-shirts and after 25m’s you must give the t-shirt to the next swimmer. It was harder than you’d think. You have to tread water and take the shirt off and put the shirt on. One group got out of the water. That was a smart!
Second, was a kickboard relay where each swimmer kicks 50 meters and passes his or her board to the next person and they must add it to their own, so with 4 on each team, the final swimmer has 4 kickboards.
Third, we did a saltine relay. For this relay each person swims a 50 meters, gets out of the pool, eats a saltine cracker and then whistles. Once they’ve done this the next swimmer can go. It was really hard! The chlorine makes your mouth dry and then the saltine cracker makes it worse. It was fun! I had to basically hoot my whistle.
Fourth, was a ‘race car’ relay. The idea is you have to dive under water and run a matchbox car along the line at the bottom of the pool. Once you are out of air you go to the top and the next member of your team (who has been following you) must take a turn until you complete a lap. First team done wins.
After the relays we cleaned up and went to a diner that was close, Left Fork Grill. It was a great find! A terrific bargain and good food. A place I would never have gone to without my friend Josh’s suggestion (he had never been there but saw that it was close). How fun to have a greasy spoon type place close by. Delicious! I broke a few rules and had buttermilk pancakes, eggs and sausage…yum!
I had such a good time! It was exactly what I needed- just fun with friends. Plus, we had 2 new swimmers come which is always great. Welcoming others into our little swimming family is my way of paying it forward because I felt so welcome back in August at my first clinic. I really feel the Swimfests is an inspired notion because it is an easy way to introduce people to swimming without the intensity of a meet or open water swim. Not everyone is as gutsy as me (Can I say that without sounding cocky?) and coming to a party is low pressure. One girl, Esther, came this time who has only had 3 lessons and she was awesome!
You know the saying ‘no man is an island’? Well, if he is I will swim out to him! I need friends. I need support. I don’t want you to think I have great success with all my parties. I have had get-togethers where no one, zero people, came. As discouraging as that can be (and I shed a tear or two!) you just have to push through it and keep trying.
Companionship is worth the price. Having a little fun is worth the price of a few failures. Believe me, this week, it was so worth the price. Don’t give up! If you don’t click with one group, try another, keep going. Like anything in life, it takes effort and sacrifice to make friends (and no, the ‘ah ha’, ‘meant to be’ friend has only happened to me once- thanks Emily!) but if you are open and honest and work at it, somewhere you will find kindred spirits- even if it just one great friend. I promise!
I am now looking forward to the next Swimfest- they have St. Patrick’s Day caps after all! (It makes sucky holidays so much more fun!). We had a great idea to do an Easter Egg hunt in April! You’d have to think of a way to weigh down the eggs but how fun! I love a project!
I had a great time making goodie bags for the swim. Something fun to focus on after a hard couple of weeks. I even made my own valentine, which was designed by my super talented friend Joan. Go to her website!
It was just a great time and I have a big smile on my face today! Thanks friends for the great swim!