Swimming The Undercurrent

Our family is, and always has been, very involved with swimming. Because my younger brothers were so fast (I wasn't), much of my childhood was spent schlepping around the midwest for weekend swim meets. Hello Holidome! Centered out of St. Louis, we were all over Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and even down to Memphis…. an armada of station wagons with electronic football gadgets and towels over our heads… in pursuit of more regional records for my bros' all-star relay team to destroy. One of those 4 went on to be a swimming star at Stanford.

My clan has found this team of kindred spirit in Oakland, California -- the Oakland Undercurrent. We are an up-and-coming team in Zone II and are often coined underdog. Are we? Our coaching staff mostly comes from the Cal swim team (inarguably the best swim team in the world) and they are total. swimming. geeks. Awesome! One of our coaches is even making his Olympic comeback @ London 2012. More on Coach Tony later.

Switching to Oakland from Alameda was one of the hardest decisions we've ever made as a family. We were very tight with the Alameda swim team and I was very active in getting the pools re-opened in 2010 (chronicled on aquatics fan) but ultimately we were too frustrated with missing weeks of pool time. We've been Undercurrent for over a year now.

So now here we are…. 2, sometimes 3 swim meets per month around Northern California and potentially further. We are going to the Sierras this summer and our more advanced kids have competed in Florida, Memphis, Arizona and beyond. I don't mean to live vicariously through my kids' racing, but I think it would be **the ultimate** to go down to a meet in Mission Viejo as a team and really make a showing. The kindred spirit is with me, I am certain.

I'm fortunate to know what it's like to really be part of a great team. I love being involved with the Undercurrent.

30+ years and 200 miles from the ol' stomping ground, swim meets haven't changed much. They suck up your entire weekend and snack bar / hospitality is nothing but a Carb Fest. In our region, all of our meets are held outdoors rain-or-shine so pop-up canopies are a gear requirement. Kids still have a great time. Uno and Electronic Football have been replaced by iPads and Gameboys. Meets are put on entirely by volunteers -- a cast of 100's. We are held hostage at some far-flung high school or college campus with a nice pool and nowhere to spend money. More on this later, too, because Alameda's Swimming Pool Saga has a new chapter.

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