Monday, January 10, 2011

On the road with the UWM swim team ... Part III

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 Academy, both short and long course. The team hotel is right on A1A on the beach for the fourth-straight year. They will be on the trip through the 15th of January before resuming the regular season schedule second semester against Carthage College on Jan. 16.


The third blog entry comes from sophomore Sam Niesen:

Currently, there are many sick people on the team and I happened to be one of them until today — I woke up in the morning feeling a whole lot better than I did the night before. I knew it was going to be a good day. I put my clothes on, ate a muffin and a banana, brushed my teeth and went down to the van for morning practice.

We had the usual venting in the van with “so-and-so did this last night and it was really annoying” and other variations. Some of my teammates were tired, some of them were enigmatically hyper (maybe it was the coffee?). Although I hate getting up to go to morning practice, I’m always really glad I did when we finally get into the water and get things going. Today was different though, I was actually happy to wake up and get to practice. Even with only one day of sickness, I began to appreciate my health a whole lot more — being able to get up and go to practice without any problems was something I took for granted until today.

We got to practice, got a good warm up in and surprisingly got a decently long pull set in. I’m used to long pull sets from my club coach and I’ve actually managed to absorb a liking for them. The UWM team doesn’t do them very often though, so I take advantage of it whenever we do. The rest of the practice went decently well, everybody seemed to be in a good mood and we headed for dryland. We had a warm up lap around the track, a good set of abs and ‘inch-worms’ and a great stairs run. The sun was beaming with few clouds in the sky, everyone was sweaty and tired and the morning workout was done.

After the team got back from morning practice, most of us headed for the beach. The sun was still out and it was still a beautiful, warm day. We laid on our towels and get a good UV-soaking for the day. The guys on the team and I fulfilled our daily football and frisbee needs and we call it a day for the beach — you don’t want to get heat exhaustion before night practice.

After complaints from a few people on the team about afternoon practice being in the way of the Packer playoff game against the Eagles, we were graciously allowed to decide whether we wanted to practice from 6-8 (during the game) or 8-10. Most of the team decided to stay with the regularly scheduled 6-8 practice time, while twelve people decided to swim from 8-10 — myself included. I saw a huge advantage in going to the later practice; not only could I watch my favorite football team, but I could have a mere eleven people with me during practice. I thought I might regret going from 8 until 10 at night, but the Packers won 21-16 and I was happy.

Afternoon practice itself wasn’t too bad — we had stations with some including a ‘stopwatch-roulette’. The highlight of the late group practice, in my opinion, was Sky Boggio finishing off a no-breath set with a full 50m underwater dolphin kick. I happened to be swimming right over the top of him the whole way, wondering if he was going to make it or if I was going to be forced to save him. Luckily, he’s a great swimmer and he managed to finish it underwater fairly easily. After we went through our stations in small groups, we went to our bags in the chilly, dark weather and headed back to the hotel. My prediction of it being a good day was thankfully correct, and I headed off to bed, only to get ready for another grueling day of swimming and working out — how could it get any better?