Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Disclaimer: I'm happy that the US has won so many medals, especially gold medals in swimming. I don't care for Michael Phelps as a person for several reasons, but I am happy we have him. This note is going to sound annoyed with him, but I know it is not his fault people follow.

Yesterday I was feeling really restless so instead of doing my usual "jailhouse" workout I decided to go to UCI's gym, the ARC. The sun was shinning and the sky was perfectly blue and clear. What a good time to put in some mileage in the pool and work on my semi-tan.

The first thing to catch my attention is that the ARC had half of their parking lot closed for construction. I have no clue what they are doing, however UCI (Under Construction Indefinitely) is living up to their name. I parked and walked into an almost empty building. They were renovating the inside. Again. I went and put my stuff in the locker room and then decided to do a quick warm up on the track upstairs. That was pretty nice even though you had to run 16 laps in order to do a mile. I perfer to do the 4 laps on a standard track. Makes me feel like I'm going somewhere.

I went back down to the locker to change into my suit and stretched out a bit. Stretching is extremely important to me especially since my left hemstring was pulled and still gives me trouble from time to time. I grabbed my SD Chargers towel and walked out into the sun... to see a ton of people in the pool. I usually swim in the deep end but I only found room in the 3'6" end. Zip Turns were out of the question. I tried one and literally had my stomach on the floor. If I wouldn't have pushed off with my hands, I would have smacked into the fiberglass or whatever that pool is made of. At Chaffey I had done that once and knocked myself silly.

To continue... The guys next to me were comical. I was greatful that they shared their lane, but they were the kids inspired by the Great Michael Phelps. They were no swimmers. Since Phelps has been very sucessful at the Butterfly, they were working on that. The Butterfly is the hardest stroke out there. It consists of "pulling" with both arms while dolphin kicking with your feet. Imagine someone doing the Worm and that's how it's suppose to look in the water. Did I mention for every pull you're suppose to kick twice, too? Most people who don't practice can only kick once. It's a mental thing. The Butterfly feels very weird if you do it right. Watching these guys do alternating kicks while pulling had me shaking my head. They weren't even extending their pulls in their freestyle. For every one they did, I did two. And it's all because of a longer reach instead of "muscling" it.

It's wonderful that more people are coming into the water and watching more water events. Once the fever cools down though the pool will be lightly populated again until Phelps shows up in London in 2012. Hopefully by then I have my own pool to do with as I please.

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