Last night, my 14 year old son presented me with a mound of release forms to sign. Today was the annual Slush Cup celebration at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska and he wanted to be a part of it. I swear it was yesterday I was carrying him on my shoulders at this same event so he could watch the skiers race down the hill in full costume. Time flies. He is now almost 6′ tall and an accomplished skier. But he wasn’t asking to do the ski portion of the event. Skiing down a hill in full regalia, ending your run with a jump that you really want to nail, because the landing is a 110′ long pool of ice water. Every now and then, some lucky devil makes it all the way across. But most are plucked from near cardiac arrest by a gracious member of the ski patrol who is waiting in the drink in full dry suit to help out. Why wouldn’t my perfectly logical son want to enter this event? Simple, the entry fee was $50 and I wasn’t paying.
Joey opted for the free event–the Idiot Swim. This is a tame, casual swim across one length of the pool. The flyer lets entrants know up front about the awesome prize awaiting them at the other end. A dry towel. I signed the forms.
Joey and 16 other folks who lack internal thermostats, swam gracefully across the pool. This story would have (and probably should have) ended here, except the announcer challenged the swimmers for one more dip. Joey accepted. Then he hesitated. So the announcer offered him $2 to swim the length and back one more time. He does it. Crazy kid. The crowd goes wild and when he gets out, he proceeds to run around the crowd–barefoot, wet and still in his shorts–happily accepting tips. The grand total? $200! Crazy kid.
I’m sure there is a lesson to be told here, but for now, let’s just celebrate being young.