Sunday, October 25, 2009

New week, clean slate

It's been a bit of a downer week.  I had some car issues early in the week, had a less-than-stellar workout in the pool on Tuesday, and was under the weather Wednesday and Thursday.  By Friday, I was really looking forward to my first practice with my new swim coach.  Unfortunately, I woke up Friday to a text message from her saying that she wasn't going to be able to make it to practice and had to cancel.  Don't get me wrong, I totally understand that stuff comes up - I was just a little bummed because I had been looking forward to really getting to work on my swimming.  Well, tomorrow's the beginning of a brand-new week and my butt will be in the gym, continuing to work hard and get stronger.

On a way more fun note, check out this super-cute TYR suit that I found online at

It definitely has my name written all over it - thankfully they're sold out in my size so there's no temptation to buy!

Also, all you swimmers out there should vote for the Golden Goggle Awards!  Here's the link to vote:  Golden Goggles 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten...

I decided to shake things up a little.  My workouts seemed like they were becoming a little less effective, mostly because I wasn't as sore as I had been a few weeks ago when I started really working out hardcore.  Now I know that soreness isn't necessarily an indication of effectiveness, but I knew that I needed to cross train more than I was.  I decided that I would try out a spinning class - partly because they seem to be super fun and also because my extremely fit cousin recommended them.  So I'll set the scene for you:  Monday rolls around and I'm all excited for this whole spinning idea to help with cross training.  The class is at 6 pm and I had to run a few errands for my mom in the afternoon beforehand.  Well wouldn't you know that my super awesome boat of a car had to go and bust two tie rods right in the middle of the mall parking lot, leaving my vehicle stuck with tires pointing in all different directions and unable to move.  Let me tell you, the old ladies trying to get a prime parking spot on their way to the JCPenney styling salon were none too pleased.  So after making a few phone calls, I get the car towed to my garage.  At this point, I'm a little irritated and flustered, but I'm still really looking forward to this class.  I figure that I will use it as a bit of an escape from the day's craziness.  I borrow my mom's car and make it to the gym right on time for spinning.  As luck would have it, there was one bike left in the last row, which was perfect since this was my first time and I wanted to be able to see what the honor-roll spinners in the front row were doing.  We get started pedaling and I'm thinking "Yeah, this is nice - a brisk bike ride with fun music, awesome!"  And then the warm up is over and what I would describe as the most vomit-inducing 45 minutes of my life began.  It was painful and horrible and torturous.  My legs burned with the fire of a million suns.  I can't even count how many times four-letter words came into my head.  The entire time all my legs wanted to do was stop - immediately - and walk out of this nightmare that I had gotten them into.  Maybe a year ago, or even a few months ago, I would have grabbed my towel and snuck out like a kid trying to bust out of detention.  But my head and my heart just would not let that happen.  I was going to get through the entire class - come hell or high water (or, more appropriately, come puking or passing out.)  There was absolutely no way I was going to let the pain beat me.  I have too many goals and have worked my butt off too hard to let anything beat me.  And I did it - I kept going and finished the class.  If I wasn't on the verge of being physically ill/crying, I would have given myself a pat on the back.  Of course, just like any new, high energy workout, I'm sore and being reminded constantly that there are a million little muscles that I never knew existed.

I can't wait to go back.

Yes, you heard that right.  I got such a high from pushing myself way beyond what I thought I was able to do that I just want to do it again.  ...although maybe not right away, I'm still sore...

AND (cue drumroll), I have my first practice with my new coach Kristen on Friday!  I'm way pumped for that and can't wait to really get to work on technique and strength in the pool.  I will be sure to update after practice!


Also, a Happy Birthday shout-out to my brother Vinnie who turns 26 today!  He's out in Austin, TX livin' the dream - hope you have an awesome day bro!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BIG news!

Ok, so this news might not be quite as *super* exciting to some people as it is to me...  But for me, this is a major step towards my goal.  I am so pumped that I now have a swim coach!  My first practice with her will either be this Friday or next week sometime.  She is an instructor at the YMCA that I workout at, so the cost isn't too bad - and I have made some sacrifices financially to be able to make this happen, since I'm still looking for work.  I will probably just practice with her once a week and work on the skills that she helps me with on my own during lap times at the pool.  Needless to say, I am soooo excited to take this next step and start to get to work seriously on my swimming!  I will definitely update after my first practice - wish me luck!!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Master of your domain...

(High five to the person that can identify that quote.)

Ok, short update this evening.  Today I received some info from my local Masters club - it's definitely interesting and probably something I will pursue in the near future.  It sounds like an avenue that would get me going in the right direction with competing.  If anyone out there has been involved with Masters swimming, I would love to hear about your experience!

On another note - no pun intended - I wanted to get some ideas for new music to add to my ipod playlist that I use during my workouts.  Here's what I've got so far:

1.  Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead
2.  Waking Up In Vegas (remix) by Katy Perry
3.  On a Mission by Q Da Kid & Jermaine Dupri
4.  Remember the Name by Fort Minor
5.  Dreamer by Chris Brown
6.  Uprising by Muse
7.  Got Money by Lil Wayne & T-Pain
8.  SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
9.  I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
10.  Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne
11.  Keeps Gettin' Better by Christina Aguilera
12.  Pop Bottles by Birdman feat. Lil Wayne
13.  Notion by Kings of Leon
14.  Forever by Chris Brown
15.  A Milli by Lil Wayne
16.  Hotel Room Service by Pitbull

What should I add??  Obviously, it needs to be upbeat and fun - suggestions please!

Tomorrow I get to lift at the gym with my Strength & Conditioning coach - I'm excited to hang out in the 'big boy' weights area with the dudes.  I usually do all of my weight stuff on the circuit machines, so this should be interesting.  I will certainly update with any ridiculous stories, so stay tuned...


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Act your age

When we were young, how many times have we heard that saying - 'act your age'?  At some point in time, a few years down the road from hearing that phrase so often, we realize that acting our age may no longer be such a fun thing.  This thought has entered my mind a few times, particularly since embarking on this swimming thing full-on.  One of the demons that I have to fight is this idea that I'm too old to be starting such an intense journey.  I know this is all in my head - and it definitely has not deterred me.  It is, however, one of my biggest fears in this endeavor.  I combat this fear with two things:  going to the gym to prove to myself that I'm getting stronger and my body is up to the challenge, and to remember that my age is out of my control but how I deal with this fear is what I can control.  My birthday is coming up, and I have decided that I'm not going to celebrate my calendar age of 28.  I will instead celebrate with my friends and family how old I feel, which I have decided is probably 23 - completely arbitrary, but the number doesn't really matter.  I don't care what I didn't do ten years ago - I could have been doing this then, but it obviously wasn't in the grand plan for me.  Maybe I wouldn't have been able to follow it through or have the strength to make it happen at 17 years old.  It's all about living to the max and working 110% to make my life everything I want it to be, no matter my age.  This is it, the one life I have been given, and I'm not going to waste any of it on regrets or waiting for tomorrow.  Each day counts, each lap counts, each rep counts.  This isn't about putting pressure on myself - it's about motivating myself and convincing myself that I can do it, no matter my 'real' age.  Every day that I'm in the gym, I become more focused - I no longer am in the mindset of 'if I can do it', rather 'I will do it - it's just a matter of time.' 

That being said, I can update all of you on my progress...  I'm feeling much stronger and really working my butt off in the gym.  I get in the pool a few times a week, but it's not a major focus right now.  The pool workouts I use to keep my feel for the water and work on breath control.  I'm waiting on really training seriously in the water until I get a coach.  I'm afraid of doing too much in the pool and developing bad habits or poor stroke technique that will be hard to shake once I have a pro working with me.  Thanks again to my readers for the kind words of support - it really means so much that I have people cheering for me!