For those of you who don't know Mike's and my parents (Colin's Grandparents), they are absolutely wonderful, awesome, supportive, generous active people who are TRULY experiencing athletics vicariously through their grandsons. Mike's parents do their best to see the boys compete when the competitions are close or "at home." They time when asked, and they follow the boys' progress and success in the water nearly religiously while always cheering them on from afar when they are unable to be present on the pool deck.
My parents have been at BOTH of Colin's trips to the Junior Olympics: February, 2009, in Gainesville, Florida; and July, 2009, in Fort Myers, Florida. They have flown into where ever the competition is being held for a total of maybe an hour's worth (not even that much) of competition time. Make no mistake, they have watched several of Colin's teammates grow-up, and they enjoy watching those "kids" nearly as much as they do Colin and Aidan. Nonetheless, they travel to small southern towns like Dothan, Alabama, to watch the boys swim; to feed them endlessly; and to meet new people and make new friends and camp along the way. They suffer through hard bleachers ("bench butt"), standing around for hours, chlorine gas at indoor pools (Dothan and Gainesville), blazing sun, cold, rain, storms, and what I swear were the hottest 4 days in Fort Myers history! They sweat buckets alongside all the other parents; they follow the heat sheet; and they cheer for all ATAC swimmers at all times. They truly are among the best out-of-town ATAC support team.
Below are my parents "sweating it out" under the tent waiting for one of Colin's events at the Summer 2009 Long Course Florida Swimming Junior Olympics held just this past weekend in Fort Myers. Did I mention that it must have been the hottest four days in Fort Myers' history?