Tuesday, June 2, 2015

An Unveiling

I have so much to tell you: Claire had her birthday party on Saturday and it was great! My mom was here last week and we went shopping and bought all the cute things! My car is still in the tow lot and hasn't been appraised! I keep finding new bruises in surprising places (inner thighs, wtf), but am really very fine! I have a new barre class schedule and had my biggest class ever at 6 a.m. this morning and my second biggest class ever at 7:30 p.m. tonight and I am going to be SO SORE tomorrow!

But all of that will have to wait because today is the day James unveiled his new baby: Fike Swim Products. And its inaugural patent-pending product, The Brick.

I am so proud of him. He puts an enormous amount of love and time and energy into the swim school, not to mention all the love and time and energy that goes into being my beloved other half and our childrens' adoring and very involved father, so it was with very little free time (pretty much that which falls between 11:15 and midnight) that he's spent the last 10 months inventing a new swim training product. Actually, the inventing part was pretty easy. It was the endless calls with manufacturers, fine-tuning the prototypes, product testing, patent filing work, back and forth with the graphic designer, building a website, finding a warehouse, setting up shipping, creating a system to integrate and track inventory, creating marketing materials and business records, and so much more. It is astonishing how many steps are involved in bringing a product from your mind to someone else's doorstep and he's done it on his own. I have just watched from the sidelines, offering commentary when it's helpful, and demanding that he close the laptop and come to bed when it wasn't.

The Brick is a weighted kickboard designed to hover just below the surface of the water and make you work to keep it afloat. So unlike a regular super-buoyant kickboard that you can drape your body across to rest during kick sets (not that I ever did that), The Brick forces you to use your arms and engage your core to hold it up while you work your legs. James came up with the idea after literally putting a brick on his kickboard during practice one day and realizing how much more total-body-effective it made his usual kick sets. And because of it's weight and nearly neutral buoyancy, you can use The Brick in underwater fly kick sets, to maintain proper body position in breaststroke kick sets, and for added fun in extra training through vertical kicking, dry land, ab work, and more. I know this sounds like a spiel, and I guess it is, but I believe in it. I probably would have hated The brick as a swimmer, but that really only speaks to how effective it is at making you train harder, smarter, and better.

So if you're a swim laps for competition training, triathlon training, cross-training, or just for fun, or know someone who does, check out his website, buy a Brick, and/or forward the information along to any who might be interested! If you have any questions you can contact James directly through the email on the website (fikeswimproducts@gmail.com; while I wish a bank of customer support specialists were waiting for you on the other end, it's just him, joyfully emailing with you about his favorite sport and lifelong dream while I wonder when we'll ever catch up on GoT). There are team and bulk discounts available, so reach out to him if you are interested in knowing about those as well.

Mostly though I just wanted to share with you something he's so excited about and I'm so proud of.

And he looks really good in this picture, so there's that too.

Two nights ago I noticed him sketching on a legal pad and looked over his shoulder to see a multiple drawings of a new swim bag that would hold The Brick separate from your other swim stuff in a backpack-style-swim bag to better support its weight in traveling to and from practice, and I realized that (1) dammit, that's another good idea and I'm going to have to support it; and (2) this is never going to end. We will never go to bed early and we will never finish Game of Thrones.

I could not be more proud of him.


  1. De-lurking... you have JP's name in there a couple of times... plus the compara name (males you very easy to find). Just in case you hadn't noticed. I guess with the company name it would be easyJet anyway, but still... (L from Buenos Aires.... on my husband's tablet so I can't sign in)

  2. Great work JP! Keep us posted on his continued success as well as your accident recovery, car work, etc. I marvel at how you can teach 2 barre classes with your injuries but I understand how working out can be addictive and a necessary 'distraction.'

    1. LL...it's me again...can't wait to see him on Shark Tank! ;) Wouldn't that be a hoot! We NEED to be informed well in advance so that we can watch or set DVRs!

  3. Congrats!

    So. I was a synchronized swimmer through college and I can't tell you how many times I tried to jury-rig something just like this. I even strapped weights into kick boards! I'm sending the company link to all the synchro teams I know. This is just the kind of thing they need for their general workouts and training. Well done!

  4. How awesome! My husband is a swim instructor for a community college and for kids at the Y, so I've already told him about it... and that he needs to get the college to pay for a whole set! I sincerely hope it works out. Best wishes.

  5. I've been reading your blog since Landon was a TINY baby but this is the first time commenting for me. My sons are both competitive swimmers and I've loved following JP's journey with his swim (and products) company (in addition to all of your adventures). I'll be mentioning this product to the coaches - especially if it creates arms like that :-)

  6. He's an evil genius! Underwater fly kick sets... my high school self competed mostly in butterfly events and while I can immediately recognize the training value of the brick--have to be honest--the thought immediately make me think of throwing up. Congrats to JP. This also made me think of a cross-selling opportunity with someone JP may or may not already know. Will email you.

  7. That is brilliant! I just bought 2, one for my/my husband and one for my mom. Great idea.