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Excerpt from “Swimming Upstream,” published Aug. 9, in The Unfeated:
“When we moved to the North Carolina Triangle region in 2004, we enrolled both our daughters in the swimming program at the local YMCA — the national organization is one of the largest facilitators of swim safety and competitive swimming. My oldest daughter was just sharpening her skills when a coach spotted her and asked if we’d ever thought about competitive swimming. Really? No. We’d no idea about proper equipment. Or the significance of warm-up, when swimmers swim nonstop for like a half-hour before meets. Or even the hieroglyphics that other parents write on their swimmer’s forearm (with the required Sharpie) to keep track of the event number, heat number and lane assignment. Playing right into cliché, we watched Pride — the 2007 film starring Terrence Howard about swim coach Jim Ellis — the night before Misha’s first official meet, hoping to get some clues. There were not a whole bunch of other parents offering advice.”