Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 290mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1250 — map & image data — nearby photos
exhausted 10-year-old Anthony after his first water-polo match last month
Anthony is a strong swimmer.
Still, as seen in “Little Fish”, as recent as two years ago that level of skill was only enough to get him to “level 8” at the swimming school where he's taken lessons for years; new students who have never been in the water start at “13”, going up to expert swimmers at “1”.
He's really progressed quickly of late; now he's a the “special” level beyond “1”. This rapid advance is likely because for the last year, he's been in a water-polo club at a different school.
It was an exciting joy to see him at his first real water-polo match last month; we were so proud of him. In real water polo, you're not allowed to stand on the bottom of the pool, so you're treading water the whole time, but the pool at his school is too shallow for that kind of real practice, so I'm sure the first real match was a shock in many ways, including needing to tread water for so long while exerting yourself athletically. (I didn't know much about water polo prior to all this, but it's an exceedingly aggressive contact sport, closer to my image of rugby than soccer.)
The mild challenge on my part was getting good photos through the steamy glass that separated the viewing area from the pool, but the shot above, of an exhausted Anthony walking past after the match, just hits me right in the heart. My little boy is growing up. This photo seems to be the next step from “Tipping Point” three years ago.
And of course, it calls to mind “Hunk” from when he was three.