APRIL 22, 2011

Let me start off by saying that I apologize for the lack of writing over the past month.  What started as the winter blues, quickly morphed into Spring fever and then I got lazy.  Writers block soon followed.  It’s been years since I’ve been in school but I was starting to feel that familiar itch of procrastination.

Part of the problem was that over the past few months, my schedule has been pretty mundane.  Wake up, Pilates, swim, eat, lift weights, swim, eat, sleep, repeat.  Not exactly groundbreaking stuff to report on, but that is the life of a fulltime athlete.  And I love it!  

Many people assume that the life of an athlete is a life of glamour.  Trust me, it’s not all traveling, photo shoots and parties! While I have done some amazingly glamorous things, the thousands of hours of heavily scheduled training has far outweighed them.  Without the countless hours of relentless work, I would have never experienced the traveling, photo shoots, television appearances, et cetera.  And while I have enjoyed those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, what I have loved the most is the daily grind of training.

I love the accomplishment of finishing a solid week of training...  The satisfying feeling of pushing yourself beyond what you thought you could do.  The gratifying pain of intense physical therapy.  The quiet, energized, internal buzz right after a good Pilates session. Being sore after a heavy weight training workout.  The essential need of rest and recovery.  The list goes on and on.  

Eventually I am going to have to retire from swimming and when that day comes (whenever that is!) I think I’m going to miss these seemingly boring, daily rituals the most.  They have become such a big part of my life.  While I will still exercise and workout in my post-swimming career, it will never be with the same intensity of having Olympic dreams push you to your limits.

As I write this, I’m covered in physical therapy bruises (from cupping, an ancient Chinese therapy), incredibly sore from weights, and in desperate need of a nap.  Call me masochistic, but I love all of this.  I have a few more workouts before my Sunday off and I’m going to make the most of them.  Have a great weekend!