12 February – 14 February 2015
Two short days after arriving home from Australia I was Orlando bound on a plane packed full of children STOKED for Disney World.
The Orlando Arena Pro Swim is the second Pro Swim of the calendar year and is always exciting. Florida swimming brings a lot of energy, the YMCA does a wonderful job hosting, and Valentine’s Day love (USA Swimming style of course) is in the air.
I may have been a bit crazy choosing to compete at this meet after a 38-hour travel adventure. I was still jet lagged enough that I was making frequent trips to Waffle House between the hours of 2am and 3am. Call me crazy but I enjoy racing under stress. I do not enjoy struggling through races or finishing in 8th place in multiple swims, but I do enjoy learning how to deal with the stress and how to find a way to perform. Swimming is a one-chance sport. Your spot on the Olympic Team is decided in one meet, in one day, in one race: no previous instances of success matter, and no do-overs or second chances are allowed. Unless you have mastered mind control (and if you have please teach me your ways!!), chances are you will be feeling some sort of nervous energy or pressure, aka stress, when it comes time for the race. It’s important to practice getting up and racing even when your body is telling you not to. I didn’t have the greatest meet of my life – I placed 4th in the 50m Freestyle; 8th in the 200m Breaststroke; 8th in the 200m IM; and 8th in the 100m Free – but I walked away happy and proud of myself for racing (semi-successfully) despite less than ideal circumstances.
More perks of this meet:
A reunion with the Team Elite members who were unable to join us in Australia. Despite representing different countries, these people are an integral part of our team and the group dynamic and are friends that I had not seen in over 2 weeks! It was fun spending time with Arianna (the best swim meet roommate), Roy, Marko, Dion, and Gregg and of course Bob!!
Valentine’s Day! I had a beautiful delivery of roses to my hotel from a very special person that put the biggest smile on my face. The swimmers and volunteers from the Kissimmee Swim Association also made Valentine’s Day extra special by surprising swimmers in finals with adorably sweet Valentines. Thank you guys!! xoxo
A special thanks to Rowdy Gaines and the Rosen Centre Hotel for fantastic hospitality!