Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"You just give yourself a minute, honey. It'll come back to you."

The other day, my friend Debbie-who-owns-the-Giants-and-has-Kobe's-cell-number-on-speed-dial (I swear every time Natalie or I mention Debbie, she becomes even more exaggerated than the time before) sent me this article about a water aerobics instructor. The instructor goes on to tell a story about the time her friend recommended she not be truthful about her job when meeting important diplomats. This struck me as funny. You see, while I have never been a water aerobics instructor (are you kidding me? I went once with mom and that shiz was hard. No way in hell could I be an instructor if I couldn't even maintain a pool run), I have been a swimmer my whole life. I don't consider myself competitive except in the pool. I even had that swimmer's ego that I owned the world (this occured shortly after placing 60th...out of 60... at Junior Nationals when I swam year round. I was clearly the bomb.com) and my high school team coach threatened to remove me as a team captain because i was so arrogant. That of course happened after I had somehow managed to get several people thrown off the team for drinking beer while throwing my best friend under the bus. Just be glad you weren't friends with me.

At any rate, I went on to college (success!) and realized there was no swim team for me to join. Don't get me wrong - I had long since given up dreams of being an Olympic swimmer. I knew I was not Dara Torres before she knew she even knew she was Dara Torres. I knew I wasn't going to be this awesome college swimmer who swam my girls' school to state championships against the boys' schools. If there is one thing I am, it is realistic. But then I discovered that my alma mater had a synchronized swim team. SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING. Yes, you heard. I of course signed up to take Aqua Angels 101 for a grade. I'm pretty sure I was making a C in the class when I got convinced by Meredith Burdock to try out for the team. Uhh clearly no one had been paying that much attention to my ballet leg. Meredith and I both somehow managed to make the team and get paired up together (which didn't confuse our coach at all. It didn't take her long to figure out all she had to do was yell "meredith" and she'd either figure out who wasn't practicing, who wasn't counting correctly, who was turning the entirely wrong way under water, who was distracting others, or who was trying to skip practice to go eat mac and cheese. The coach also referred to me as meredith baxter which was odd but became even more concerning as of late when i learned that meredith baxter was an actress who recently came out of the closet. but that's neither here nor there i suppose).

So a synchronized swimmer did I become. I have logged rolled and oystered. I can beat eggs for hours on end and I can scull like it's going out of style. It's pretty much fair to say I've got moves you ain't ever seen. I've done ballet leg to Michael Jackson, I've shaken myself like a polaroid picture (you try that in the water), I've formed a Christmas Tree with 14 other girls and I've trained with a coach from the Canadian National Synchronized Swim Team (and if anyone knows how to be in sync it's the Canadians. Have you ever seen them at the Olympics? Holy crap). And let's not forget how awful of a song Mr. Robato is when you're upside down doing a floating head stead for 15 seconds.

Quick, some synchronized swimming trivia:
1. how long can a synchronized swimmer hold her breath? (clue: it's totally different than sitting on the bottom of the floor having a tea party under water).
2. When one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the others have to? (Clue: this isn't that funny of a joke. And the answer is no. But it would be fitting and would make sense I suppose.)
3. Do all synchronized swimmers have bionic ears? (clue: no. they simply have speakers under the water).

Don't think even for a minute (why would you though) that I tucked this experience away never to be used again. For my first job out of school, I put "synchronized swimming" on my resume. From then on I was referred to as "meredith from meredith the synchronized swimmer" when they were discussing how awesome I was and how mandatory it was that I be hired (these conversations really did happen. They told me). At my job in FL, someone from our department suggested we all dress up as synchronized swimmers for the annual halloween party. So we ordered supplies, we choreographed a routine and heck yes we won overall the costume contest and each got 2 extra days off. And as the whole world watched the Bachelor Pad contestants perform their synchronized swimming routines last night, I just laughed. Because you can bet your bottom dollar I own that swim cap they wore. While I feel as though The Bachelor should be ashamed of himself for not accepting at least one of my applications, I do have to say thanks for showing that this really is a legit sport. And just in case you still don't believe in the too legit to quitness of synchronized swimming, I have obviously supplied you with some pics throughout.

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