What’s on a Swimmer’s and Diver’s Thanksgiving Menu?

thanksgiving-menu

What’s on a Swimmer’s and Diver’s Thanksgiving Menu?

By Gigi Picard Swimming World College Intern

What is Thanksgiving all about? Most years, it is considered simply “Turkey Day,” when you get to choose between light and dark meat at the dinner table and little kids paste colored turkey hands all over the furniture. It usually means family and football, and maybe gathering for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade over morning coffee.

For a swimmer or diver, Thanksgiving Day might mean a welcome respite from the pool, and a chance to indulge a little in those gooey treats that coaches usually frown upon – you know, good for the soul, bad for the streamline.

But this year, Thanksgiving has taken on a whole new status, providing new reasons to make us all stop and reconsider: What does this day really mean to me? With some practices on hold, and college championship swimming and diving meets being canceled across the United States, swimmers and divers must reflect on what they are thankful for.

Thinking ahead to the upcoming holiday, I’ve started my own “thankful” list, which I thought I’d share with you.

#1 Priority: Health

I am grateful for my health this year. While I may have lost some fitness and traded a swim cap for a mask, I avoided coronavirus by being safe. The stress of virtual learning may have taken over an athlete, including me, but maybe being surrounded by good food and binge watching classic holiday movies will keep swimmers and divers in high spirits. Luckily, I am very happy to get to practice self-care with my team and have my furry goldendoodle to chase around the house with a nearly torn apart squeaking taco.

 The Home Pool

 One thing that I am thankful for and will never take for granted again: the pool. There’s nothing swimmers and divers long for more than a return to their chilling and decently chlorinated pool, swimming tirelessly up and down the lanes, getting strapped back into harnesses and jumping endlessly on the trampoline. A pool is a home away from home for swimmers and divers, and everyone should be thankful for the opportunities given to them. I am truly grateful for all of the pool traditions and memes we would put on deck to celebrate Halloween and other traditional holidays. 

Family and friends 

Now more than ever, it’s super important for swimmers and divers to stay connected with their support system whether it’s from six feet away or through a screen. Swimmers and divers can host a virtual Friendsgiving and binge Netflix shows on Teleparty together with their families. This is also a great way to avoid any awkward rather very uncomfortable Thanksgiving conversations. Family and friends supported swimmers and divers in the stands, now it’s time for swimmers and divers to return the favor in the kitchen too…

 Second Family: The Team 

 Without a doubt, a swimmer’s and diver’s second family is their teammates and coaches. It’s unbearable to mainly see them behind a screen. But, all teammates and coaches should be thankful for still being able to come together virtually to do Zoom workouts and team activities like battling one another in Among Us. Also, swim and dive teams should start making the annual team holiday playlist, coordinating Mariah Carrey’s “All I Want For Christmas” playing on repeat for the entire two hour or so workouts. 

Food, Food, and More Food 

I am very thankful for food, especially my pecan sweet potato casserole. This is the first time I will be eating a full Thanksgiving meal with my parents and sister in three years. At home, swimmers and divers have the opportunity to show off their new Instagram and Facebook posted cooking skills by making swimming and diving shaped cookies and healthy platters. Swimmers and divers will probably have a feast full of roasted turkey, stuffing, a side of mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and green beans too. Basically, swimmers and divers can now scarf down as many pies as they want now that they don’t have to necessarily worry about the brutal, yard-intense winter training and the “suggestion” that the athletes should avoid dessert. Gobble gobble!

My College 

Personally, I am grateful for my college, Mount Holyoke College. Coronavirus has been tough for many colleges across the country including mine. The professors are doing their best to give students as much of a proper and “normal” education as possible. Meanwhile, the administrators are looking out for the health and safety of students and faculty. The athletic department is pushing for athletes and coaches to reunite on campus. Believe me when I say that there’s nothing more the school wants than to bring a majority of students back on campus and in lecture halls as soon as possible. 

So, that’s it for me. What about you? I challenge swimmers and divers across the country to write down at least five things they are thankful for in a journal or on a note card for this special Thanksgiving. As the holiday approaches, Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Stay safe and remember what you’re thankful for!

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