They say that patience is a virtue. Apparently, "they" have never been to a swim meet.
Imagine sitting around for hours, then finally getting to your son's or daughter's event -- Event No. 65. You cheer wildly, then he and the other swimmers finish the race and get out of the pool.
Your night is complete.
Now, some youngsters compete in several events throughout the night, so parents might not be waiting all that time just for one . Still, the night is quite a test of a parent's patience.
I'm sure the parents would tell you it's all worth it, as long as the children have a good time. And they do, putting down towels to sit on while playing games during the long wait between races.
Swim meets aren't the only activity that require this kind of patience. In fact, there are numerous such events -- track and field meets, wrestling matches, gymnastics meets and cheerleading competitions.
This is in contrast to spectators at football games, basketball games and the like, as there is consistent action for those playing in the game.
Baseball and softball bridge the gap between the two. They're not the most action-packed sports (even if softball players often offset that fact by singing songs from the dugout), and spectators have to wait eight spots in the batting order for their favorite slugger to come back up to plate.
But when that player is in the field, there is at least some action, and the player is visible.
But with wait-and-see sports, the event can be tiresome.
It takes upwards of 70 parent volunteers to put on a typical swim meet, so many of the parents are wrapped up in the events. But for those who aren't, it's got to be tough.
So, I have a suggestion.
What about having the weekly book club out by the pool side?
Or, the home neighborhood could put on a movie night on a big screen, with swimmers and parents leaving for their event, then coming back to catch the end?
Maybe the person announcing the individual events can also serve as host of a trivia game, giving out prizes for correct answers.
Maybe it only seems boring to me because I don't have children. Maybe all that waiting doesn't matter as long as the children are having a good time.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.