Zenon has joined the Paphos Nautical Club and started rowing (sculling? kayaking?) on Asprokremnos Dam.
He came home from school a few weeks ago and announced that he's like to try, so I arranged a swim test for him with the team instructor. He plopped into the Yerouskippou pool one chilly evening shortly afterwards, swam one hundred and fifty metres without a murmur, and duly pushed us to take him to sign up.
It's early days yet, but he seems to love it: Paphos has an active water sports club and there are a few members of his age, several older teens – including the Cyprus champion – and some adults including one of Best Beloved's cousins. We go twice a week for now, Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings, and he comes home glowing, as much from the sense of achievement separate and totally different from what anyone else in the house does as from the physical work-out (rigourous stretching before and after plus six or seven kilometers of rowing). He also loves the different perspective that being on the water gives.
For the moment he's learning the basics in the four-man shell. By the summer he should be in the double or the single ones, and if he wants by then, he can go every day. I don't know the first thing about rowing, but am supporting him all the way: he desperately needs something to feel good about that is his alone, and I'm thrilled that it's something that happens outside in the fresh air that will be good for his mind, body, and soul rather than something academic or technological that keeps him indoors.
Leo is desperate to join in, too but we are holding him back at the moment. He gets a turn on the rowing machine when we drop off or collect Zenon, and the team coach, former Soviet Olympic rower Mr Vladimir is keen to sign him up, too. Although even he admits that Leo's a little on the small side for now.