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Melissa Stockwell Blog - Composed and Motivated

July 01, 2008, 2:04 p.m. (ET)


The rest of last week was pretty good. I had good, solid practices and was pretty happy about them. This was until Sat. We had an especially rough practice on Sat where we did eight 100 meter sprints as fast as we could. I was having an off day and was not happy with my times. I got a little discouraged and wasn't happy when I left the pool. I had to remind myself that one bad practice out of the hundreds that we have before the games is OK. I think that having a bad practice every once in a while makes me a better swimmer in the long run. It makes me want to work that much harder so I don't have another one like it. I was excited to get back in the pool this morning.

After Sat. AM, I needed to get my mind off of practice and I got a chance to get out of the OTC and see some of the sights of Colorado. My husband, Dick, and I drove up the infamous Pikes Peak on Saturday. At above 14, 000 feet it is quite the few on a cloudless day. Unfortunately, it was overcast and we could barely see 20 feet in front of us when we were at the top. But still a good time overall...

The InclineSunday is supposed to be our day off. And this weekend it still was, but for some reason some of us felt the need to exert ourselves even more to start the week off on a good note. Some teammates of mine and a few of the interns here at the OTC attempted ‘The Incline'. It's an old railroad track and a vertical incline of 1 mile with railroad ties. The railroad ties make actual steps so it is hundreds and hundreds of steps. And let me tell you, climbing steps is NOT easy with one leg and takes a lot of time.

Incline with Friends We did reach the top (YEAH!) in about 1 hr. 45 min. Check out the pictures...I think the record is 18 minutes which is insane. From the top it is a 3 mile hike down the Barr Trail which is part of the 13 mile trail that goes to the summit of Pikes Peak. We were exhausted and sore when we got to the bottom and rewarded ourselves with some ice cream which made it well worth it.

The Olympic Trials for swimming started last night and records are being broken already. Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff left us all sitting there imagining ourselves breaking records in Beijing. It is more than motivating to watch such great swimmers do so well  and I think this morning we all put in a little more effort in practice because of it. I am excited to see the rest of trials this week and watch more records be broken.

This Wed. we have a swim meet in Denver. It's called a sprint eliminator and each race is 50 meters. They start off with however many people entered, then they narrow it down to 16, 8, 4, 2, and then the winner. We are all swimming each event so if we are fast enough we could end up swimming quite a bit. I am looking forward to it and will let you know how it went in my next blog.

Until next time...




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.