As I mentioned in my 1st blog we had a team camp last week and all 38 of my teammates were here along with a number of the other staff. We had a great weekend with lots of meetings about Beijing, various team building tasks and lots of swimming. Team captains were chosen and I couldn't be happier with those that were selected to represent our team as captains.
I really enjoyed the camp because it gave me a chance to get to know more of my teammates. As far as swimming goes, I am still considered relatively new to the sport as I started competitively swimming three years ago, about a year after I lost my leg. Until this point I have been playing catch up and have missed out on many team trips to meets in various places around the world since my times weren't fast enough. It is at those meets where the team can really bond. I am happy that the camp served its purpose as I got to know many of my teammates much better.
We found out that we are going to staying on Kadena Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan the week and a half prior to Beijing. It will be a welcomed trip to get accustomed to the time difference and the heat and basically just get prepared to swim our fastest in China. We leave on Aug 23rd so it's about two months from today and will be here before we know it which is a little scary...
We were warned that all the morning practices this week would be tough practices and if this morning's practice was any indication, it's going to be a tough week. A few weeks ago we did this power testing where we were all hooked up to a harness and we got filmed underwater and a machine gave us a graph of where we have the greatest and least power output in our strokes. We looked at the film today and I saw areas of my stroke that can be improved on and I am anxious to try them out in practice. The technology we have available at the OTC is incredible and I am always excited about any little thing that could make me a few tenths of a second faster.
I am looking forward to tonight (Wed) as it is the one night I get to see my husband for dinner. He is usually in Chicago as a medical school student but he is out here for the summer as a medical director at a Boy Scout camp about an hour away from here. We racked up the frequent flyer miles back and forth to Chicago and although seeing him once a week for dinner and for 24 hours on the weekend isn't ideal, it's much better than him in Chicago.
It's 10pm and my bedtime. I need to be ready for another grueling practice in the morning. For those interested, here is a picture of our 38 person swim team after the team was announced back in April and another picture of some of my teammates and I (I'm the one in the pink suit) working on starts during one of our practices.
(Photos: courtesy of Melissa Stockwell)
Melissa Stockwell 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.