Photo (courtesy of Andrea Nott): We take a pre-swim-moment to collect ourselves amidst the chaos!
We had an exciting week preparing for the annual Watershow that the Walnut Creek club has every year. We invited the Russian Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team to train with us for the week and then perform a few of their routines in the show with us. The Russians have won almost every competition since 1997, so it was nice to see with them outside of competition mode. It's easy to be intimidated by a team with such an impressive record, but getting to know them outside of the pool made us realize that they are a lot like us.
The show was really fun too. We had a crowd of 1400, which is huge for the facility we used, but the vibe was so awesome! Everyone was so excited to see us debut our free program and we we're anxious to show it off. Every show or exhibition we do, we are using as an opportunity to swim with more adrenaline and nerves than we feel at practice. I feel like I can thrive in that kind of a situation too, because I love to perform and compete. Outside of the pool, I wouldn't say that I love being the center of attention, but when we compete I want every eye in the place glued to us. One of my Santa Clara coaches used to say, "You don't want people in the audience to decide to hit the snack bar in the middle of your routine!"
I would say that the show was a huge emotional boost for us and we built some confidence in our new routines, and especially in the risky acrobatic maneuvers that we have spent so much time on in the gym.
Andrea Nott is a freelance contributor for teamusa.org. This blog was not subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee or any National Governing Bodies.