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Family valued 8.3.05

Swimming | Beyond competition | Family happenings


It's already been a long, hot summer, and we've still got the hottest month left. You can avoid the heat by holing up in movie theaters, but remember, we'll all be stuck indoors for seven months pretty soon. Our favorite way to survive the heat and still enjoy the summer is to swim outdoors.

First thing you do is put on sunscreen. Take it seriously, and get your kids in the habit. Sun burns stink, and skin cancer really stinks.

So, you're lathered up and your beach bag is packed. Where do you go? Be extra nice to friends with pools; they come in handy. But where else is there?

The city has several outdoor pools open to the public. The community centers at 200 Avenue D (428-7934), 271 Flint Street (428-7001), 700 North Street (428-7149), and 530 Webster Avenue (428-7828) are all free but open only until August 18. The pool at Genesee Valley Park is huge and beautiful, but costs $2 for adults and fifty cents for kids (428-7888). There are also free "spraygrounds" at 500 Carter Street, 1045 Atlantic Avenue, and the corner for Fourth and Peck Streets.

If you're willing to pay (a lot), the water park at Seabreeze is a gas. The recent expansion of the younger kids' area makes it more attractive for families. Canandaigua's Roseland may be slightly better as a water park, and slightly cheaper, but when you factor in the trip, it's a wash. There's a great sprayground at the top of Seneca Lake in Geneva, though, and that's free.

Ontario Beach is free, of course, and not bad as long as the algae isn't particularly disgusting (call 274-6887 for a report). We have Westside relatives, so we prefer Hamlin Beach, which is enormous, less crowded, and often cleaner. Probably our favorite outdoor swim area, though, is YMCA Camp Arrowhead in Pittsford (383-4590). It's open to YMCA families evenings and weekends, is free to members, and has modest waterslides, a sprayground, and a fun, bustling atmosphere.

--- Adam Wilcox

Beyond competition

When you have become selfless, you are secure in whatever you do. --- Rumi

It was brutal. My daughter's U-12 soccer team played a tournament championship against an angry opponent. They lost the game when five players went down to injury in a 10-minute flurry of elbows, knees, and cheap shots. Finally, the team dropped at its coaches' feet, frustrated and defeated. After letting the girls vent, one coach said, "It's all in how you define success. You didn't lower your game. You didn't retaliate. These things are more important than scoreboards."

Pearls of profound wisdom often appear when we are least willing to grasp them. In a moment of grace, a rough Sunday afternoon soccer match turned into a sacred life lesson for those with ears to hear.

We love sport, but sport is not life. Sport is played out within finite boundaries in a brief segment of time. Life wanders the ancient and eternal. Sport has one simple goal. Life is ever changing and ambiguous. Sport requires us to clearly define and defeat an opponent to gain greater standing. Life requires us to clearly define differences and seek resolution to gain greater peace.

Fellow children young and old, we must resist the urge to reduce political discourse, academic endeavor, religious dialogue, cultural interaction, and personal relationships to sport. Live deeper. These things are more important than scoreboards.

Those who are controlled by the lower self must serve it; those who control the lower self serve others. --- Sufi teaching

--- Rev. Corey Keyes

Family happenings

The Monroe County Girls' Sports Festival Sat, Aug 6. ESL Sports Centre, Monroe Community College, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Register. $15. www.monroecountysports.org, 262-3832

Teddy Bear Clinic Sat-Sun, Aug 6-7. Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St Paul St, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $7, $4 kids, $5 co-pay per plush animal, 336-7200, www.senecaparkzoo.org

See more family listings in the Mind, Body, Spirit section of the community calendar.