December 21, 2008

Day 8 was a day that left many Red Men swimmers just that. It was our latest start to a day that we have had thus far. Waking up after 8 AM was a nice treat. After a late wake up call we headed down to the lobby for breakfast. When I opened the breakfast surprise holder and saw the french toast sticks, I knew it was a good day. After breakfast we boarded the vans and headed for the beach, not sure what to expect. It was another rough ride with Guy at the wheel, but we arrived at the beach in one piece. This was the day that would validate our trip to Florida with our "competition" with the University of Cincinnati.

We knew we would be doing a biathlon consisting of a swim in the Gulf and a run along shore, but it ended up being shorter than expected. After completing the swim of about 800 yards and running back to our stuff, we prepared for dryland. The dryland was made even more difficult by the fact that Cincinnati was playing frisbee and volleyball and building sand castles.

We were told by Greg to be prepared to "get sand in places we didn't know we had places." Our dryland consisted of 4 stations. One was led by Tom where he took us through a rendition of Cats and monkey dance. Another station was led by Greg where we were forced to crawl through the sand and do med ball exercises in the Gulf. The other two stations were med ball ultimate with Beth accompanied with abs on the side. My team was beyond exceptional, led by the powerful duo of Blake and Ortmann.

After surviving the dryland we were free to enjoy a day at the beach. The Siesta Beach was much nicer than the beach we had previously visited on multiple occasions. This beach had some really choice sand. I was excited to be able to spend the day with a friend of mine from Cincinnati. Other highlights from the day included Clinton's sand sculpture of a mermaid and the friendship mound.

We stayed at the beach forever, perhaps a little too long, we got copious amounts of sun and some neglected to apply proper amounts of sunscreen. Some left the beach at 2:00, while a few of us stayed until 4:00. I chose to stay until 4:00 which was a decision I began to regret around 3:00. We returned to the hotel just as the women's team was leaving for the pool, which only enhanced the great feeling of our day off. Back at the hotel we lounged around for the rest of the day and applied great amounts of aloe. There were multiple visits to the Splash store, where many steals were made on some great Venice attire. Much to our dismay, we missed the complementary cookies for the first night since we have been here. It really took away from the day that had so far been really great. After Stephen prepared another wonderful dinner for the two of us, we then proceeded with our nightly routine of whooping up on Alex Van Huis and Steenrod in some Euchre. As we look ahead at the 2 days that separate us from being at home celebrating Christmas with our families and friends we anticipate that it will be extremely difficult, but after the challenges we have sustained thus far, we know that it is nothing we cannot handle.



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