Sunday, January 10, 2010

On the road with the UWM swim team ... Day 3

With the UWM swimming team down in Florida on their annual training trip, we thought it would be fun to have a member of the team share their thoughts each day on the UWM Blog.

The Panthers are in sunny Fort Lauderdale, training at Pinecrest School, both short and long course. The team hotel is right on A1A on the beach for the third-straight season. They will be on the trip through the 16th of January before resuming the regular season schedule second semester against the University of Chicago on Jan. 23.


The third blog entry comes from freshman Mike Schalla:

We awoke this morning to find drastic weather change from the sunny 70s yesterday to it being 40 and raining. We got ready for practice only to be pleasantly interrupted by the captains to inform us that morning practice was cancelled due to the cold weather. We immediately hopped back in bed to get some well-deserved rest and get ready for the afternoon practice.

After a nice long nap most of the team thought it would be a good idea to get lunch, so our very handsome chauffeur/assistant coach, Andrew Belton, drove us to some local restaurants to sample the local cuisine.

After that, since most of the team members are bird experts we decided to try to trick the local birds into walking into our fellow teammate’s room by using their favorite food, bread … we were unsuccessful in our endeavor.

Soon it was practice time, so everyone bundled up since it was now a balmy 43 degrees outside and we headed to practice. We arrived to find a locked pool since we were the only team willing to brave the weather in order get faster, stronger and sexier. Even the LSU girls team had not had practice that day which was a big disappointment to us.

The scene before us looked to be of one from a movie battle scene. The strong winds swept across the pools bringing with them the billowing steam that formed from the frigid air meeting the pool water.

Our coaches walked in with gloves on with hoods up while we surveyed the pool with AH wondering if we really were going to have to get in. The Big Dog Bryce cried out with a booming roar that it was time to “man up and get dirty!!!” And sure enough us brave soldiers drove onto the battlefield known as the Pinecrest Pool, with a fury as mighty as the gods themselves. The wind whirred, the ice started to form, but we kept swimming. The steam rose like a creature from the depths of the pool, attempting to swallow us whole, but we kept swimming.

After a laboring workout we dragged ourselves out of the pool, our bodies gleaming in the steam, 6-packs and hard pecs were quickly hidden by warm clothes to slow hypothermia.

Alas, we were again greeted by our warm beds where we warmed up. That night we headed to team dinner to talk about the team scandals and we soon retired to our chambers to rest for the forthcoming day.

It's days like this that test us more mentally than physically and it is these days that will make us into the team we want to be, a conference championship team.