Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dark and Early

Sunrises are one of the few good things about morning practice.
"See you tomorrow! Bright and ea--oops...I mean dark and early!" For a swimmer, that would make sense. Any other person would think, wait a minute, doesn't the saying go "bright and early?" That's how any average person would say it, but for swimmers? We don't see any brightness whatsoever when we see each other for the first time in the morning. I don't think it even qualifies to be called "the morning." It's basically nighttime. It's pitch black, and the sun doesn't come out for awhile.

Welcome to the world of competitive swimming. We wake up before the crack of dawn. What for? Morning practice. Yes, that's right, we wake up when you can still see the moon just for morning practice. People think it's insane, and it is. To be a swimmer, you have to be a little bit insane. Nobody in the right mind would wake up that early just for a workout. Do you see any other sports waking up at 5 AM for practice? Nope, just swimming.

But despite waking up that early, I will admit, there are a few (I repeat, few) perks of going to morning practice. One, you get to see the sunrise most days (if you're not swimming during it). Two, it wakes you up in the morning (kind of). And three...I can't think of a third benefit, sorry.

It's foggy, it's cold, and it's miserable, but I guess you can say that it's beneficial in the long-run. Although we may not see the point in morning practices at the times when we're actually in the water, we see them pay off at the times that count: our huge competitions. And then we're (somewhat) thankful that we dragged ourselves out of bed and for our coaches that forced us in the water.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Never!!! (1st blog post ever!)

I've never really blogged before, so don't judge me if it doesn't live up to your expectations. I named my blog Swim Tales on a whim. I have yet to discover the inspiration behind that spontaneous decision. I was forced to create this blog because my English teacher, Mr. Z, told us that we have to post at least once a week. He thinks that we should have a worldwide audience, instead of an audience that only consisted of him. Personally, I prefer minimal audiences, because I'm not sure if I want the world to know what I have to say. I'm not sure if the world is ready to hear what I have to say. But then again, I'm not that interesting to some people, so I guess it doesn't matter. If people want to read this, they will, if they don't want to read it, no one's forcing them to.

Anyways, I'm here to talk about something other than the rationale behind me creating this blog. Yesterday in class we were asked to make a list of things that you'll never do. Thinking back, I had surprisingly few things to put on the lists.

Things I will never do:

  • 200 Butterfly
  • 400 IM (Individual Medley)
  • 1650 Freestyle
  • Eat pig feet
  • Eat chicken feet
As you can see, my list is relatively short. There are not a lot of things that I will refuse to do, but those five items are things that I would never, ever, ever do if I can help it. It's interesting to see how my five items fall under two categories: swimming and food. Those are two very important things in my life - I swim around 2-4 hours per day, every day of the week (except occasional Sundays), and eating is utterly essential for me.

For all you swimmers out there, I'm sure most of you would understand why I blatantly refuse to do the 200 fly, 400 IM, and 1650 free (a.k.a. the mile). The 100 fly is already bad enough, but a 200 of it? That borderlines on torture!! And the 400 IM?! That just speaks for itself. The 200 IM is terrible in its own way, but the 400 goes beyond my limits. And the mile? That should speak for itself. If my coach ever tells me I absolutely have to swim those events, I will quit swimming. I will seriously quit swimming. For anyone who knows me, that's not a statement to be taken lightly. I am known for my love and dedication toward swimming, and even though my strict Russian coach can be a pain, he's still amazing. So for me to say that I would quit swimming? That shows how much I would refuse to do those events. I like challenges, and I'll accept challenges, but I refuse to be led into being tortured. I refuse.

Pig feet and chicken feet should be understandable to most human beings. Although some people find those things appetizing, I think I would rather starve than be forced to eat those two things. There aren't many things that I won't try because I love to eat, but with those two, I had to put my foot down. I will never, ever eat those things. I don't know if it's just the concept of eating feet, or the nauseousness it gives me when I look at them, but I know for a fact that these "exotic delicacies" will never touch my tongue. And I mean never.