Road2Gold

Hit the road with me as I aim for gold

The 200 Individual Medley and Nachos

Hello, friends!

Now that the swim season is in full swing, I wanted to share a little bit of insight for my friends here.

If you have just recently aged out of the “11-12” age group, you are expected to perform better and swim faster and, of course, swim longer races. This means you have a few short weeks to polish up your stroke and improve your endurance before your first meet.

You won’t be able to swim the 50 Fly anymore, kiddo. Welcome to the big kid pool.

But don’t be afraid of it. The 200 IM isn’t that bad. Think about it this way, you swim plenty of 200 IM’s in practice, so why can’t you do it once in a swim meet in which you are well-rested and full of energy?

I had a terrible mentality about the bigger races when I aged up. I used the excuse of injury to switch to a breaststroker in hopes that I would altogether avoid doing the 200 IM! I was by no means great at the Breaststroke, but I figured if I got better at it, I wouldn’t have to swim the Butterfly.

ButterflyBut in my heart, I was a true Butterflyer. Ever since I was 9, it’s been my stroke. (See pic of me many years ago) So what ended up happening? Well, I was already good at the fly and the free, and my breaststroke was forced to improve because of injury, so that left Backstroke. Still, I didn’t want to do the 200 IM.

Then, for the sake of the long, boring meets and watching everyone else do it, I decided to enter into the 200 Meter IM.

Truthfully, I loved it. It’s now one of my favorite events to swim.

Everyone’s going to have their strengths and weaknesses. We’re all going to have to train harder to fix those weaknesses. But how can you find what your weaknesses are if you’re too afraid to try the task? A chef won’t be able to realize that his nachos aren’t spicy enough if he’s too afraid to make nachos in the first place. Similarly, a chef won’t realize how amazing his nachos are if he’s nervous about how they’ll turn out!

Don’t be like the nacho chef. Do the 200 IM. If you find yourself falling behind on a certain stroke, you now know what you have to work on! Then, guess what! You’ll drop time. You’ll win. You’ll feel stronger. Your age won’t matter anymore.

Take it from me. 😉

Just keep swimming, peeps!

#1kid

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Get in the Hole!

Helloooooo! Welcome to Road2Gold!!!

The day after the Games, I went to golf camp. Now, I don’t always golf like I do swimming, but I still very much enjoy the game.

It was nice to finally find a sport this summer that didn’t involve much noise and physical activity. Therefore, my head barely hurt! Just the sun bothered my eyes which occasionally disturbed my head.

I am not amazing at golf, but I know how to play. So, going to camp is definitely a challenge when I see all the other teens driving them onto the green like a boss. 😀 No, never

Young Rory McIlroy

Young Rory McIlroy

am I intimidated when I stupidly drive ten yards. Those kids play golf like I swim. Say the teen golfer was to challenge me to a 9-hole match, I would lose with dull thunderclouds. But say I challenged him to a swimming race, I would win with flying colorful rainbows. I’m not as awesome as Rory McIlroy, but he was young once too.

On the last day of camp, we played our own ball instead of scramble tournaments. I was VERY nervous. I was like “Oh no! All the others are gonna be like wow, she hit right into the woods… AGAIN!” but it turned out a bit differently. On hole 3, it started sprinkling a little bit. We were like “Well, it’s okay.” Then, on the green of hole 4, it started down pouring, it became windy and very cold (my visor blew off my head!), and our friend couldn’t find her ball! Luckily, one of my group mates brought a giant umbrella that fit all four of us.

It was a crazy day. I lost count of how many times the group behind us yelled “FORE!!!!!” If you didn’t know, fore means that the golf ball is coming your way so take cover. We all ducked under our bags in the rain and hoped that it didn’t hit anyone else in the group. One time, it wasn’t three feet away!

I broke my favorite club, my 7 iron. I used it like I used swim goggles. It worked for almost any distance and it was one of the only clubs I was good at. On hole 6, I drove the ball out of bounds and into the woods, then took a three club length provisional, then took a swing with the 7, and crack! the head of the club sailed at least 10 yards behind me! Apparently, the pull-cart was behind me and I broke the club on the follow through!

Of course, every time we do something, we improve. And that’s exactly what I did. I had recorded last year’s scores in my phone for some reason. This year, they came in handy. Last year, I scored a 67 playing on the orange tees. This year, I scored a 73 with a concussion, in the down pouring rain, on the red tees, and with a broken 7 Iron. The circumstances weren’t very bright, just like the state championships.

Ever golfed? Ever felt intimidated because you “weren’t as good” as the others?

#1KID

THANK YOU, UNCLE MIKE, FOR THE AWESOME NEW 7 IRON! I CAN NOW SLEEP AT NIGHT. 😀

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Just Keep Swimming!

Hello, friends! Welcome back to Road2Gold!

I know I said that I’d post a Blogiversary post, but I’ve been SUPER busy and it completely slipped from my mind… sorry.

This past week we went to the Fitter And Faster Swim Tour. We took a three hour drive all the way to Beverly, Massachusetts. It was a really cool experience!

peterVanderkaayThe first thin g we did was we got to meet two Olympic medalists, Peter Vanderkaay and Emily Silver. They helped us do some drills and taught us to do some pretty cool stuff.

Some of the drills we learned were the “Bow and Arrow Drill”, the “Six-Kick-Switch Plus Three”, and “Sculling”. I struggled a lot in Sculling because I had never done it and I couldn’t figure out how to get across the pool when moving my arms in such a strange way. Eventually, Emily showed us howemilysilver-block to do it and I finally got it.

When we got out of the pool, we learned about goal setting from the Olympians. Emily Silver also taught us some yoga stretches. I felt like Jello afterward.

The next thing we did was race the Olympians. Of course, they won. We didn’t even know what we were doing when behind the diving blocks. Basically, it went like this:

Guy with the microphone says, “Swimmers, step up to the block!”

We all get on the blocks and do some quick final stretches or a last second goggle push.

“You are doing the 25 yard Butterfly. Swimmers take your mark… Beep!

Blacktip Reef Shark and FishAnd then we swim like no tomorrow! For we know that Emily Silver is coming up right behind us in lane four. She still won, even though we got the head-start and she went easy on us. 🙂

We then played Sharks and Minnows. It was very difficult with one hundred-fifty kids all trying to swim to the other side. Just when you think you can sneak by the “Shark”, along comes Vanderkaay. And then you’re a Shark.

It was a really fun day! I even met some new friends from my lane.  After I had gone back to the hotel and I had eaten dinner in Salem, I was back in the pool at the hotel! Of course, I couldn’t do as many things in a small pool, but I loved the water!

I have some news! You many have already heard this but… the 2020 Olympics might be hosted in these three cities: Istanbul, Turkey; Madrid, Spain; and Tokyo_2020_OlympicTokyo, Japan. My goal is to compete in the 2020 Olympics and if they’re in Japan, I am going to throw a party.

This past week was the beginning of the Summer 2013 Swim Season. And this season, I’m going for my first gold.

#1kid

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