WHOA lansi

francophile, oenophile, logophile, turophile

Tag: Swimming

Rio 2016

London Olympic Pool

These Olympics. Wow,  these Olympics have been incredible. The women’s teams have put on an impressive showing so far, & I’m especially proud of the Canadian women’s swim team.

I know Swimming Canada promised to turn the program around more than a decade ago, but I still wasn’t completely prepared for them to follow through on that promise. The women’s team has stepped up this year. They’re here to show the world what they’re made of & I couldn’t be happier about it.

I’ve always loved the water, so it wasn’t a stretch when I decided I wanted to try my hand at racing. Over the next 8 years, competitive swimming became my passion. I lived, breathed, ate, & drank the koolaid (chlorine-aid?). I’d finally found my sport & it was my everything.

When it came time to “retire”, I wasn’t ready to leave the pool behind. I took on a team manager role for the Dinos &  started volunteering as an assistant coach for my former club team, UCSC. It was an incredible experience. I coached for several years before moving away for school. During that time I met so many great kids (who I’m now more likely to watch swim on TV or run into at the office. How’s that for making you feel old!). Maybe I shaped them, but I hope that, at the very least, the sport did. The sport shaped me like little else would, & I can only hope it did the same for them.

This week, I’ve watched these incredible women race their hearts out. They’ve blown me away. I’ve cried from sheer happiness for each of their successes, be it a podium finish, a PR, or simply a really tough race. Each has left me overcome with emotions & pride. This is what I’ve always hoped Canadian swimming could be. This is inspiring. They’re making history & I’m so happy to bear witness. I couldn’t  have dreamed up a better Olympic games performance, & it’s not even over yet!

This is everything I hoped for and more.

Early Rising

Edmonton Kinsmen Center 1999
Rookie Party 2003

I’m no stranger to early morning workouts. Competitive swimming was a huge part of my life growing up & the sport is known for it’s grueling practice schedule. I resisted these morning practices for as long as possible, citing every excuse from not having a ride to too much homework. Eventually I got my licence & started driving myself to morning practices. I’d wake up around 4:15 am, eat breakfast, & head out for the day. I was often the only car on the highway as I headed down to Lindsay Park (I’ll never get used to calling it Talisman Center, guys).

We were expected to be on the pool deck by 5:15 to warm up before jumping in the water. Practice started at 5:30 sharp & none of our coaches were very understanding if we weren’t in the water by then.After practice, we’d do weights before getting ready for the day at school. At 4:30 pm, we’d be back on the poll deck for round 2.

Dinos 2003
We did this every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday unless we had a swim meet that weekend. I’m still impressed with myself for making those practices, but sometimes I’m ever more impressed with my coaches for making them. Jumping into a pool has a way of really waking you up quite quickly. Watching kids swim back & forth in a pool for a couple hours doesn’t have quite the same effect.   

It’s no surprise that I didn’t have too much of an issue with opening shifts at the Y or Starbucks once I left the competitive swimming world. 5 am wakeups are a walk in the park when you compare it to my former swimming schedule. I took a lot of open shifts at both of those jobs. I still prefer working early to staying late.

This morning I relived a bit of that crazy competitive swimming life. We’re heading out to Panorama this weekend with some friends, so I won’t have the opportunity to do the )pen workout tonight or Sunday morning. They run a 6 am class throughout the week so I hauled myself out of bed at 5:15 am this morning to complete this week’s workout (14.4).

Richmond, BC 2003
Richmond 2003

Honestly, I was dreading getting up at that hour. Surprisingly, when the time came I didn’t even have to hit snooze (N would probably tell you I’m a slave to that snooze button). The only downside to weekday morning CrossFit is that it’s pretty hard to make it back from Airdrie during rush hour.

It’s nice to get the workout out of the way right away. Now I can focus on enjoying our ski weekend. I scored 139 reps (not amazing, not terrible) &, as usual, am replaying the workout in my mind. What things I could have done differently in order to get a better score (uhh row faster, pick that med ball back up right away)? That’s the nature of competitive sports though &, if you ask me, half the fun of it.

ps. I hope you’ve enjoyed these hilarious old swimming photos. Nothing says beautiful like goggle marks & dry skin.

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