Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chicago bound

It's our coach Jimi's birthday tomorrow and he says he has a special Jimi Flowers birthday workout for us tomorrow so I'm a bit nervous as to what it entails. But whatever it is, it will be OK, since after practice tomorrow I am going back to Chicago for 2 WHOLE days of no swimming. Whatever am I going to do???
Jimi is giving our whole team the weekend off to go home a last time before we go to Beijing and has given us strict instructions NOT to swim. It will be a much needed break to let my muscles rest as I was beginning to think they were getting over worked this week.
This won't be the last time I go home, as I get a special trip to Chicago to see Dick one last time in a few weeks so that will be nice. This is the first time either Dick or I will be back to our house in Chicago for 2.5 months so hopefully everything is still in place. We had a friend checking in on it and we've had nothing unusual mentioned so hopefully that is the case.

This week went pretty good. Practice was especially hard all week and I doubt tomorrow will be much better. Today we did the dreaded 6 100 sprints as fast as we can from the block. We did these before trials as well, each week doing one less and as much as they hurt they give us a good idea as to where our times are. If we are getting good times here in practice, then it's left to the imagination as to how much more time we can drop when we are rested, shaved, tapered, etc...and the imagination can drop lots of seconds. My 100's were OK this time around, nothing spectacular. However, this week I did have the best and the worst practices that I have had in months. Both encouraging and discouraging but I try to put the latter one out of my mind...I mean everyone can have a bad practice every now and then right??

As I mentioned before, this week was the week of interviews. NBC, EPSN and MTV today. I'm not sure when they are all to air but I will keep you posted. As I know, Lou DObbs is still scheduled for tomorrow night but we'll see about that.

We just got back from a lovely dinner at the Stockwell household with Dick's parents and extended family. I have thouroughly enjoyed my time here in CO and getting to see Dick's family as much as I have as they are always a fun group to be around. They spoil me with all sorts of food and treats that I shouldn't be eating. Unfortunately when it comes to sweets and any sort of chocolate I lack the willpower to say no.

It is late and i need to get to bed now. Jimi's secret practice starts an hour earlier tomorrow meaning that the alarm will go off at 5:09 instead of 6:09 so it's bedtime for me.
Have a great weekend!

Oh and this picture in the upper right is a cool picture that was taken by the people. It's one of my favorites...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lou Dobbs

So, the Lou Dobbs piece was not on last week (sorry to all those that watched) It has again been postponed till this Fri. but has been postponed 5 times now, so no guarantees...

The drive went well. We left Sat after my practice and drove to Kansas City and then on to St. Louis in the morning where I flew back to CO around noon. Dick is close to the ending point of Fayettville, NC and will stay with a good friend of ours there tonight. Then the long awaited arrival of Brother is tomorrow. We are all excited to have him back home. He recently bought a plane ticket to Beijing as well. I think that makes the count 15 people and I can't express how lucky I feel to have so many people take the time and spend the money to come watch me compete. I really do have the most amazing friends and family.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Air is Rare

The Air is 7250 feet that is what was written on the wall at our swim meet at the Air Force Academy today and yesterday. I did the 200 free, the 200 IM, the 200 fly and the 400 fly. Unfortunately, I have no exciting news to report. I did drop some time in my 200IM but I rarely do that event so that is too be expected. The 400 free and the 200 fly were especially rough, whether it was the lack of air or just being tired I don't know. Most likely a combination of both. That was our last meet before Beijing and I was hoping to do better but I;'m OK with it. I'm confident in our training and what I can accomplish in Beijing.

Dick finished up with camp yesterday and got here last night. Tomorrow we start the drive to Kansas City, KS and then onto St. Louis, MO where I will fly back to CO on SUnday. It should be a fun drive. Really, I like road trips, especially with DIck who I haven't gotten to spend near enough time with lately so I am looking forward to it.

Next week is filled with a number of media interviews. ESPN, NBC and MTV. I think they will be more frequent now that the games are approaching. I'll try and keep you all posted as to when they will be airing.

This past Wed. I helped teach a swim clinic for some visually impared kids and for some blind disabled vets from Iraq. It was the first time I have ever tried to tach any sort of swimming and I really enjoyed it. I admit I didn't know what I was doing exactly but they all seemed real receptive too it. Working with the wounded vets was a great experience. There is an obvious connection with them right off the bat and I enjoyed myself. It actually made me miss the Army a little bit.

Time for bed now so we can get up and make the long drive tomorrow. Have a good weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

5 weeks

5 weeks till we leave and head to Beijing. 5 weeks, that's it. I like to say that it has come up fast but in reality I've known it was coming all along. It it just so close now. Every practice has counted since I arrived here at the OTC and it's now that I start to look back and reflect wondering and hoping that I made the most of them all.
When it comes to the Paralympics I am constantly asked if I am going to medal. Do I want to? Of course. Do I think I can? Yes, but I know it will be tough. My S9 class is so competitive and thanks to Natalie Du Toit of South Africa I would have to drop 40 seconds in my best event the 400 free to win gold. Yes, 40 seconds... To be in medal contention it would be a 20 second drop. I dropped 17 seconds at trials and I know it can be done. I'm just gonna try my hardest to get to the wall before my competitiors. That's all I can do. And regardless of the medal outcome I know I would have done my best and I'll be happy with that. I have been imagining myself on top of the podium hearing our nationl anthem and I get goosebumps and all worked up even thinking about it. As much As I love to think about it and imagine it, it will come down to how fast I can go in China. I'll be ready.

I had a great weekend with Dick. He heads back to Chicago in 2 weeks to start back up with school. I can't believe the summer is almost over. Brother is getting back from his year long tour in Iraq in a little over a week. Next weekend DIck is driving the 26 hr. trip from CO to NC to bring him his car. I will be joining him for half the trip so next Sat after practice we'll drive to Kansas City and then on to St. Louis the next day where I will fly back to CO. Fun road trip!

I am looking forward to practice this week. I look forward to it most weeks. It's on Wed or Thurs when I get so sore that I begin to look forward to the weekend. But it's the beg. of the week so I'm excited.