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Synchro Lesson Learned from a Rookie Mom

July 11, 2021

The Little One has always marched to the beat of a different drum. Over the years, we tried several sports for a way to keep her active and moving. We tried, gymnastics, hip hop, swimming and water polo none of them quite captured her attention. Then we tried synchronized swimming (now officially called Artistic Swimming). This one stuck.

For those of you who think synchro is simply pointing your toes and flipping upside down, it really is so much more. The Team USA website describes it this way, “Artistic Swimming requires a unique combination of overall body strength and agility, grace and beauty, split-second timing, musical interpretation, stamina and dramatic flair.”

Bottom line, it’s a tough sport! But the Little One loves it.

As you can imagine, there are very few teams for this relatively obscure sport. Thankfully, there is one that practices about 20 minutes from home. We originally signed her up in summer of 2019. After about 6 weeks of learning and loving this new sport, she fell at school and broke her elbow, so her season was done.

Then Covid hit, so things were a bit whacky. Finally in July of 2020, the team got the go-ahead to resume practicing in the pool and we tried again. For the last 12 months, the Little One spends 9 hours a week at the pool and countless hours in the living room stretching and land drilling her routines. Last night the season wrapped up with their extravagant Water Show. It was great fun.

If you have a kiddo interested in synchro, here are a few lessons I’ve learned over the last 12 months:

Nose Clips –
Yes, this small little torture device is essential to synchronized swimming. Your swimmer will eventually get used to them. But be warned the first few weeks, their nose will be sore, and they will probably scratch themselves either with their fingernails or the metal of the nose clip itself drawing blood and leaving a lovely scratch right in the middle of their face. Imagine taking a paperclip and wearing it on your nose for hours at a time.  No thank you.

Swimsuits, Swim Caps, Nose Clips –
You shop and get all geared up, so you think. I am just telling you now. Go shop again. You will need more swimsuits. You will need more swim caps. And you will need more nose clips. They rip, tear and somehow find legs and walk away. Just buy more.

Your Wallet –
Just open it up and let the team take what they need. You will have monthly dues, of course. There will be fundraisers, of course. Then when a competition comes along you will have fancy swimsuits and caps. Much like dance, each routine has a different suit. We got “lucky” with Covid, we only had one competition this season. Granted it was a 5-hour drive and required two nights stay in a hotel. So yeah, just budget what you think it will cost and then double it. (To be fair, this is the same as just about any kids sport these days! This is NOT specific to synchro. It is expensive for kids to participate in just about anything!)

The Make-Up
Anyone who has seen a synchro competition knows that the girls look impeccable. Their makeup defies all sensibilities. It stays perfectly intact in the water. No smudges. No smears. No running mascara. We are still learning this one and trying to find the right lipstick that stays in place. {Ignore the exhausted, “I am too tired to really smile” expression. Almost fours hours later, after four routines in the water, notice the lipstick and eye shadow.}

The Hair –
This is the big one, the hair. It’s perfect. Not a single strand is out of place. The tightly wrapped buns become one with the athletes’ head. There is zero movement. How is this accomplished? Well, it all comes down to Knox. Yes, that non-descript orange box of unflavored gelatin found in the baking aisle at your grocery store. We “Knoxed” for the first-time last night. I wish that I could say I was a natural. But I am not. Imagine intentionally combing raunchy smelling, goopy boogers in your kid’s hair by choice. It is a gross process. It’s time consuming. It’s messy. And did I mention the smell? I know we all have probably eaten something with Knox in it and it has tasted delicious. But man, oh man, on its own, that stuff stinks! As the evening wore on, the Little One would randomly exclaim, “UGH! I just got a whiff of myself!”

I could do a whole blog about the hair, but I will not right now. I need to do it a few more times before I even attempt to teach someone else how to do it. I will tell you this, there are several YouTube how-to videos available. I am quite sure that I watched them all. One thing I will tell you is in the videos at the end of the process many of them tell you that they put the Knox on the bun itself. DO NOT DO THIS! It will become a huge gloopy mess. It is impossible to make it smooth. You will be on the verge of tears and suffer from mom-guilt for screwing up the whole process.

Now that we’ve completed a year, we won’t be rookies next time. Let’s hope the Knox and I have a better second date than our first one was.

STOP HERE!
DO NOT DO THIS!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 11, 2021 1:24 pm

    Respect all round and very well done!

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