December 14, 2008

The first day and everyone seems to be an even mix of excitement and trepidation. Excitement to finally get training trip started in earnest, trepidation at some of the challenges to come. We know that there are going to be days where we are faced with sets we aren’t sure if we can finish. We know that there are going to be days where even just getting into the water is a small triumph in and of itself. It’s what we signed up for and the key is going to be taking the trepidation and turning into excitement in and off itself. There are few things that feel as good as doing what you believed to be impossible or pulling something out of nowhere to perform that last practice when everything seems to point at not being able to. The unofficial team motto seems to be holding true already. We know what we’re here for, to “Do Work”.

Practice-wise this morning’s main set for distance consisted of a set of 3 x 400 descend, 4 x 300 IM/Free and 8 x 200 Pull Descend. It was great to see people going at it, the group as a whole seems to be buying into what we’re here to accomplish and I’ve barely heard a word of complaint as of yet. We went back a little early this afternoon at 3:15 to relieve some pool crowding issues we would have otherwise had. The highlight for distance was 8 x 100, 8 x 150, and 6 x 100 all Red split up by some 50’s kick. Once again I was struck by not only the good attitude at the sudden change in schedule but also how willing the team was to bounce back from the morning and not let any fatigue or soreness hold us back from doing the work we needed to tonight. Overall a good start to what promises to be an awesome week.

Off the pool deck we find ourselves crammed into even closer quarters than we’re already used to being together for hours each day. Six people per room, having to share food, space, bathrooms, everything. You either let it get to you and turn your week into a frustrating experience or you embrace it and have some fun with the situation. Movies, dodging around each other to make food, waiting around arguing over what to watch when one person decides to make food for the room, sleeping, playing cards, meandering between the rooms, whatever one must do to fill in the time between practices. It will be a test of how close our team has become over the last few months and, along with a bit of patience, I think that we have the chemistry and the team personality to have a great time over trip while absolutely destroying our previous notions of what we’re capable of.



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