Last weekend we each completed The Swimathon. For the last two years we have done it as Team Goggleblog with parents Wendy and Chris swimming the lion’s share and son Archie doing the rest to make 5Km between the three of us. When he was 7 Archie swam a respectable 28 lengths of the indoor pool at the Oasis in Covent Garden and when he was 8 it was 84 lengths at Finchley Lido Leisure Centre (also indoors despite the confusing Lido moniker).
But this year he was determined to do it all himself – all 200 lengths of a standard 25m pool (in this year’s case Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre where Frank Skinner swam his length for Sport Relief). Partly because he wanted to do his bit for a cancer charity because of a friend’s sister being diagnosed with Leukaemia, as well as Stilyan Petrov, the captain of Aston Villa, his favourite football team. But he also wanted to do it as a personal challenge. Though we were concerned and a little bit nervous about the distance at first, we knew he was a good swimmer so we encouraged him.
We needn’t have worried. In the end Archie swam it faster than both of his parents and actually sped up towards the end to make quite sure he smashed his Dad’s time by a full six minutes. Currently he is placed third fastest 9 year old in the country (amazingly two 9 year old girls completed the challenge is under 1hr 30 minutes).
While that left him feeling champion of the world, it did leave me feeling proud, but just a little depressed. I know there is a time in everyone life when their child beats them in a sporting event, whether that’s running a mile or swimming 5Km. It’s just that I hadn’t expected it to come so soon!
Anyway, no matter, with Archie now training at Barnet Copthall Swiming Club five times a week and with me getting a swim in whenever I get chance between work, walking the dog and the usual household chorees (so about three times a week) the gap between us is only going to widen. I just have to resign myself to that fact. As Archie said to me the other day: “Dad, you stick to writing about sport. I’ll just do it.”
If you would like to sponsor Archie visit www.archieprice.com. So far he has raised £600, but we really want to get him up to £1000 for his achievement.