When endurance obstacle course runs just aren’t exciting enough any longer, someone went and decided it was time to take this sort of business indoors. In the spirit of events such as the “Tough Mudder” endurance events, the folks over at USA Swimming have come up with an event that already looks like a knockout.
They call it “Swimjitsu”, and don’t be surprised if it’s something that sticks around for a long time.
What does that have to do with the folks down here in the South Sound? Well, it’s coming exclusively to the Fife Aquatic Center on Saturday, June 17, with four waves that run between 9 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. If the early sign-ups for the festivities are any indication, it’s going to be one heck of a day. As one of just 11 locations for Swimjitsu in North America, Fife is the only location for the event in the state of Washington. The nearest locale elsewhere is all the way down the coast in Camarillo, Calif.
Folks signing up for Swimjitsu will navigate through, around and over a set of obstacles such as balancing across beams, swimming through trenches and racing to beat the clock. There will be a leaderboard for the fastest of the bunch who can master the “three sacred traits of Swimjitsu, which are speed, agility and wisdom.
When it’s all over, the top finishers will be awarded the title of “Grand Master Swimja.” It’s fun for all ages and skills, even for those just starting out on their swimming journey.
According to the USA Swimming Swimjitsu.com website (which has some very funny stuff on there), Swimjitsu “is the ancient craft of Swimja.” Apparently, per legend, it was founded in the “villages near Mount Swimja” and only “the swiftest, wisest, and most dexterous among the people conquered the age-old Swimjitsu courses. It goes on with more, but the reader should definitely check it out for themselves.
All funny stuff aside, USA Swimming has put together Swimjitsu to teach kids swim skills and to get them more interested in the sport and activity. Most people know that swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises for the human body, but it’s also something that many individuals shy away from if they haven’t been in the water in a while. Swimjitsu could be just the sort of springboard for a healthy summer.
“We have another aspect to the event that is our water safety day,” said Fife “In the past, we’ve done just a whole day set aside for water safety education. This year, we’re combining it with this event. We’ll have water safety stations set up for kids and parents… such as know the effects of hypothermia, and what to be aware of in and around the water. Education on how if somebody is drowning, it’s not like it’s portrayed in the movies. They’re not going to be screaming and splashing around. Drowning is silent. People just slip under water and are gone. Important education, but it’s really just a day about having fun. Getting out there, competing a little bit, challenging that person next to you and getting to have some fun in the water.”
According to Jendrick, the interest in the event has been quite a surprise.
There’s a lot of kids that are really excited about it,” said Jendrick. “We have over 200 kids registered so far. I shouldn’t just say kids, because there’s a number of adults that are registered also.”
There will be four waves of two-hour sessions for participants to attempt unlimited runs on the course. Each timed shift requires a registration. Participants can register for one of the five waves:
• Wave 1: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
• Wave 2: 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
• Wave 3: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• Wave 4: 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Advance registration is $25 per two-hour block per person. Register online: www.swimjitsu.com/fife-wa.
To find more information on SwimJitsu, including to register to participate, visit www.SwimJitsu.com. To join the fun online, visit the SwimJitsu Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.