Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Value of One More Race

Here’s a little snap shot from the end of this summer’s racing season that tells a big story. It comes from JD who is a breaststroker from our North Bay Aquatics club team who also swims at the University of Arizona.

JD had knee surgery this last college season which meant he red-shirted his most recent season. It is tough to sit on the sidelines watching your teammates move forward while you wait for your body to heal. Ask anyone who has had to go through this process and they will tell you it is far more difficult than any training regimen they have had to endure. Athletes love to work out and compete. It is in their “blood” and when they must sit they tend to go a little crazy.

And then they must get back into the flow. The reactions to re-entry are as varied as the individuals themselves. We can tell you that JD was grateful to be back training. This summer he had a few races but nothing compared to the normal cycle he would have had but for the injury.

He figured he would go to a couple of meets then qualify for Summer Nationals and everything would be back to normal. Except that it didn’t go exactly like that.

He struggled with his racing, trying to find rhythm, pacing, tempo and his place in the pool in general. He was unsuccessful in getting his qualifying time. He went to an extra meet, our California Sectional meet, for another chance but still fell short. But the maddening part wasn’t so much the time he swam but the lack of “feel” in the races.

So…he went to one more meet. This one was the same weekend as Nationals so the level of competition was not as high as the previous meets. But it was still a chance to get up on the blocks and go racing, to work out the kinks.

The following are his texts after swimming his final 100 breaststroke of the summer.

“1:06 at night (in the finals). Came back much better - in terms of time, flow- than I did any other meet this summer. (We said we knew racing this one last time in a meet of no real significance would pay big dividends down the road) Yeah, I agree. Tonight was the first time this summer that I hit a second gear. I think what was most lacking in my summer was racing before I had to shave. Tonight was extremely valuable in setting me up for the fall season (meaning his collegiate season).”

So we say big CONGRATULATIONS to JD for sticking to it, working through it and having the inner strength to keep his resolve. This is an obvious life lesson we all would do well to remember. Thanks for sharing JD. We appreciate you a ton!

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