The Bahamas!

We took our second training trip of the year to the Bahamas (I know… life is rough). The Bahamas Swimming Federation invited us to present Arianna with the Bahamas’ Senior Swimmer of the Year at their first Bahamas Swimming Federation Banquet. It was wonderful to see one of our own honored for all her hard work, dedication, and just general awesomeness.

Perks of the trip included staying at Atlantis, relaxing in the sun, interacting with dolphins (dream come true… again), the ocean playground full of inflatable slides and trampolines, and Atlantis water slides – even Bob did them!! Our favorite slide was the Leap of Faith, succinctly described by the twelve year old in front of me in line as the “bomb diggity”. So there you go.

We completed the week of training with the CARIFTA time trial meet and with a clinic open to all Bahamas swimmers. The most rewarding part of the trip was definitely interacting with this group of people. Not only was everyone eager to learn and listen, but everyone was also REALLY talented and excited about swimming. It is definitely something you do not see every day and something that made me stop and smile. Thanks to this wonderful group!

 

I also have to give a special shout out to two Fleet swimmers I met on the trip, Sydney and Savannah. They sent Cammile and I the sweetest thank you note and gifts! We love our new Kendra Scott necklaces.


Thank you girls!!

The trip would not have been possible without the generosity and hospitality of the following groups and people:

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Bahamas Ministry of Education
Bahamas Swimming Federation
Atlantis Resort
Dan Knowles Tours
BTC
Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon Island

For more photos of the trip, click here!

Arena Pro Swim Austin

15 January – 17 January 2015

The year started out with a trip to one of my favorite cities in the country. Shortly after we all returned to Charlotte from the holidays, and during an intense period of training, we packed up and flew off to Austin for the first Arena ProSwim event of 2015. (Side note.. when I say ‘we’ I mean my club team – SwimMAC Carolina Team Elite).

For those of you who are still working on improving your swimming IQ, the Arena Pro Swim Series (formerly Grand Prix) is a group of 6 meets that take place all over the country. Outside of US Nationals and International competitions, these are the fastest and most competitive meets of the year. They are 3-day long meets, each day with a preliminaries and finals session. The Pro Swims are great opportunities for us to practice racing. As you know, the only way to get good at something is to practice. You can train all you want but if you want to be excellent at racing, it is important to race frequently. I generally love swimming at these meets. Anything that includes traveling, racing, and spending time with my teammates and friends is fun to me!

I especially love swimming in Austin. Not only is it in the great state of Texas (my home state!) but it’s also my favorite pool in the country. And true to form, everything in Austin this year went great! We used the meet mainly as a training opportunity. We practiced as a team before each session and then went straight into racing our individual events. Although this isn’t the most fun way to swim a meet (read… we were all exhausted), it keeps us in good shape, and gives us a unique type of confidence. If you can race well when you’re tired, you will definitely be able to race well when you’re rested.

Most of the Americans on SwimMAC were gearing up for a meet in Australia, so we only swam 2 days of the meet. I placed 3rd in the 50m freestyle (25.43) and 9th in the 100m freestyle (55.84). The best part of the meet was swimming the 4x100m freestyle relay. This was Kirsty Coventry’s first race since the 2012 Olympics and the start of official comeback. Kirsty is one of the most well known athletes in our sport. She is an Olympian for Zimbabwe and is currently tied for having the most individual Olympic medals in the sport – she has SEVEN.. amazing!! She is a role model and an wonderful person who I have looked up to for years. It is an honor to get to train with her every day and to be her teammate.

IMG_7845Kirsty with the rest of the relay team after her first race back!

 After a great team dinner we headed back to Charlotte to get ready for our journey to Perth, Australia.

SwimMAC Team Elite

I am a member of SwimMAC Team Elite. Team Elite is a professional post-graduate group that is part of the USA Swimming club team SwimMAC Carolina. Currently there are 18 athletes from all over the world on Team Elite. Countries represented include the United States, the Bahamas, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Bermuda, Macedonia, and Zimbabwe. Team Elite is one of the few groups of its kind in the country.

This group is special and unique. There is a standard of excellence among all of us and we all push each other to get better, faster, and stronger. We are a family and I am confident I would not be as successful of a swimmer without my teammates.

You can find more information on Team Elite and all the athletes here.