I Went to the Store and I Bought…

Posted on December 18, 2011


“I went to the store and I bought an apple.” 

Have you played this memory game?  Maybe it’s an old game to most of you, but to the swimmers that travelled to Gainesville in our team truck on December 1, they had never heard of it.  I couldn’t believe it, so I taught it quickly to them.  Keep in mind these are athletes from ages 13-17 and may or may not want to do something like this.

The game is designed to be a memory game where you say “I went to the store and I bought a….” and you go around the car and the kids have to say all the items in alphabetical order before them and then create a new item for whatever letter we’re on.  No problem, right?  Well, Let me tell you, swimmers play for keeps, no matter the competition. It’s cut throat, no mess ups were aloud and a short time limit to think about it was not long, maybe 1 minute.  As time drew to a close, everyone would sing the Oompa Loompa song  from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to absolutely further confuse the player.

We had 8 people in the truck and started the clockwise motion around the vehicle. Almost everyone made it through the first few rounds, but then people started to forget and fall off. Then another, then another. Finally it was down to the 14-year-old Koko and myself.  It was tough! We actually made it through the first 26 rounds (yes, we went through the entire alphabet!) and even started the alphabet over before we called it a tie.

So just the other day, I asked Koko if she remembered the entire list (keep in mind this is 16 days later without discussing it at all!) I received this text:

I went to the store and I bought, asparagus, bananas, cat poop (don’t ask me–why!?), donkey, elephant, ferrari (can you buy one of these at the grocery store?), giraffe (not in this country), hat, igloo, jaguar, kangaroo (again, maybe Australia), lemons, mangos, nutella (good stuff!), orangutan (??), pie, quilt, rest stop (I still don’t get this),  sucker, tazmanian devil (it must be a pet store/grocery), umbrella, violin (only on Sundays), worcestershire sauce, x-ray (maybe at WalMart), yorkshire terrier, zoomba videos (for my wife)–now to numbers, 1 appalachian mountain (I still don’t get their thinking), 2 original flavored ramen noodles, 3 monarch butterflies.

I can’t believe she just hammered them out like that 16 days later!  Are you kidding me?

So a couple good learning lessons here. Good game, great memorization skill, makes the boring car ride a little easier to bear, and fun times trying to confuse players by everyone singing at the top of their lungs!!!!  We also played 20 questions, but that is a whole other story, let me tell you!

So how is this applicable to swimming? Try team-building!  Oh, and that other little thing called competition… yes!

Posted in: Tips