Oct. 22, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Women's swimming and diving senior, Erin Malone, takes us to San Juan, Puerto Rico to catch up with the Villanova Swimming and Diving team as they train for their upcoming 2012-2013 season.
Blog Entry No. 3:
As we head into our second to last practice this afternoon with tired eyes and muscles, great tans, and a week full of great memories, it quickly occurs to me that it is not only a time to celebrate a great week of swimming (and survival), but also time to reflect. Wrapping up the 2012 Villanova Swimming and Diving Training trip, for many of us it has been a week full of `firsts' (especially for our freshman), but also (sadly) a week full of `lasts' (for our senior class of 2013).
Thursday morning kicked off with more great group work, where our distance team put together 9x1000's (a feat that I am constantly in awe of), while our sprint group was, well, sprinting to make some short rest intervals, before cranking out some more group dry land. The afternoon saw a change of scenery as we headed to University of Turabo for a bit of a head to head. Everyone had the opportunity to jump up and pull out some all out efforts in preparation for our first meet next Wednesday against La Salle University back at Villanova. The longer ride to Turabo took us through some beautiful sights of the lush green, rolling hills of Puerto Rico.
Once the last relay finished up, and we thanked our kind opponents for their time and pool, we headed back home on the bus, this time indulging our senses with the most spectacular sunset we had seen all week, displaying every color imaginable for the entire duration of our trip home. The evening brought `class dinners', where each grade went out to celebrate the success of their year so far, and for the seniors, the success of the last three and a bit years, and most of all, our last fall training trip with the team.
Friday morning once again saw us separated into distance groups, putting together what would be our last official group practice of training trip, and last `traditional' swim practice for the entire team. As a senior myself, despite the pain, heat, and exhaustion of training which often consumes appreciation of the moment, I have been trying to enjoy every `last' moment with my teammates, whether it be fast kicking up and down the pool, doing squats and pushups in the pouring rain, or sitting around the breakfast table enjoying cheerios and granola (aka. Crushed up nature valley bars).
It is true - in the moment, it is often the overall placing or the time on the stop watch that we remember, but upon a closer look at these passing moments it has become clear to me that it is, in fact, the overall places we find myself in (like the beautiful landscape of Puerto Rico) and the times we have with the amazing people around me (my teammates, coaches, and the support networking helping us every step of the way) that will be remembered long after our tans have faded, we have left the sand and sun, and even beyond graduation at the end of this year. These are all sentimental notions I will be carrying with me for the next 24 hours as training camp wraps up and we say farewell to the nurturing environment of the 2012 training camp.