Categories
life Sport

Three Races

Last week I won an informal race against my friend Stephon doing the 100m IM after our water polo match. He is going back to his home country of Germany today and last night after our last game of water polo he challenged me to a rematch, only this time we would swim something a little longer—the 800m freestyle.

It’s no secret that I am not a long distance swimmer. However, I let my confidence in combination with my unbridled enthusiasm get the best of me and agreed to the race. I figured that if I could average 45 seconds every two lengths (or 100’s on 1:30) I’d be fine.

I loaded up a nice foot long pizza sub from Subway just before the race. I wanted to have plenty of energy for the longest race I’ve ever done. (Well that’s not true, I’ve done longer timed events but never anything that I considered a race against anyone else but myself) As I was sitting there, eating my lunch, I ran into one of the lifeguards who swims quite a bit and told her about the upcoming event. When I explained my plan to do 100’s on 1:30, she warned me that Stephon was pretty fast and that when she swims with him, he does them on 1:25 and that wasn’t even at race pace. Hmmm, this might be a little trickier than I had anticipated.

I actually paced myself pretty well, but towards the end, I could feel that pizza sub wanting to have an unwelcome reunion. Almost needless to say, Stephen really showed me up in the 800m Freestyle. I didn’t even make my goal time of 12:00, but if I had, it wouldn’t even have been enough.

Now the score was 1 – 1. We needed to have the rubber match to determine a true and final winner between Germany and Canada.

“50 Free?”, I pondered. He knew I am a sprinter through and through but he put into consideration that I was quite tired. He agreed, and I just hoped I had enough left in me to still get up to top speed.

It’s not an exaggeration to say I was extremely tired as I prepared for our final showdown, but there’s something magical that happens in the sprint. Getting up on the blocks, preparing for the lightning round, it’s as if my body forgets its limitations and I an unseen power takes over. I don’t know what it is, but when it comes to the sprint I can’t help but swim at 100%. Despite how tired I was, I was excited for the rematch. The moment I dove in I could feel the shortage of blood in my head. I wondered if I had made a terrible mistake as tiny shooting stars streaked across the pool floor. Was I going to pass out in the middle of the pool? I certainly wasn’t going to slow down to find out.

I raced into the first turn and whipped out of it as fast as I ever do. I could see Stephen just crossing under the flags. Though light headed I pressed on pulling and kicking just as fast as ever. It felt like a new record for me, and in the end, it was a solid victory for me. Stephen is a fast swimmer, when it comes to distance, but he’s no match for my sprinting, even when I am on death’s door with fatigue.

So victory goes to the Canadian! :) But as a parting gift I gave Stephon my U of L Horns swim cap. Tonight while he’s flying home to Germany, I’m going to sleep like a baby.

Categories
life

Blue and Gold Banquet

Every year the University of Lethbridge has an awards night for all the athletes on all of the sports teams. Last night was the awards night for the 2004/05 season – and a pretty crazy night. I have to say, the awards themselves were probably the most boring part of the evening.

We met at a pub for a pre-party swim team gathering where some of the girls gave out presents to the other swimmers. Brock and I got (in my opinion) the best presents. We each got a framed Speedo with our names engraved on the frame. It’s kind of hilarious because I would never wear such a small suit, but at the same time – technically it would fit me.

I guess a couple of the girls had a few shots of absinthe before they came and consequently they were very intoxicated. One of the girls was particularly drunk and as we left the pub she asked everyone in the room if she could get a “woo woo”. Then after high-fiving everyone in the bar twice we were finally able to leave.

Photo of Jeff at the Blue and Gold Banquet

We then headed to the University for a buffet and awards. I’d like to say the University splurged on the athletes and gave us a free meal, but then again I’d also like to say that the University isn’t anything more than a glorified money grabbing machine. (It is though, in case you never caught that).

After the ceremony was over we hung out at the Zoo (the University Pub) for a bit. That got old so I loaded up my Jeep with a bunch of party animals and headed to the Roadhouse – a bar on the Southside. I have to say, I normally don’t take that many people in the Jeep, but they were anxious to party and I was the only one able to drive.

On the way, while we were stopped at a traffic light we watched as an AMA tow-truck hit a pedestrian! We couldn’t believe our eyes. I wasn’t sure if he really had been hit or if he just fell over but when the tow-truck turned on its flashing lights and we pulled off the road to investigate, it turns out the guy really had been hit. He had a little bruising and some scraps but he was okay. I guess the saying that there are only two types of pedestrians may have some merit…. (ie. The quick and the dead). A ghost-car pulled up to the scene with lights flashing about two minutes later and seeing as everything was under control, we bolted. Besides, I didn’t want to get busted for not having enough seat belts.

Next we made a quick stop by my house so I could change into something less formal and to take a look for a gift certificate that I won a while ago. I never found the gift certificate but when I came back outside I did discover one very drunk girl running up the street sans shirt. Crazy. I’ve seen her a little drunk in the past but this was incredible.

All in all it was a fairly fun night. I guess I should probably get out more, but rarely going out makes nights like last night all the more memorable.

Photo of Speedo Swimsuit that is framed
Categories
Sport

Richard Goes His Best Time

My roommate is swimming in the Nationals in Calgary this weekend. He is swimming against some big names like Rick Say and Matt Rose. He swam a personal best time this morning, placing 4th and going 23.03s in the 50 Free preliminaries. I haven’t heard how the finals went, but I’m definitely excited for him.

Update: The results are in, Richard went 23.36s in the finals taking 8th place in 50 Free at the Nationals. He swims again tomorrow and Sunday.

Categories
life Sport

2002 Swim Meet in Calgary

I’m off to Calgary on Saturday, and I must admit—I’m pretty excited. I guess kayaking in the cold was a bad idea to begin with but the weather in Lethbridge has been so nice it’s hard to imagine the cold winter that Gary has described in Lethbridge. Anyway the meet is going to be a short one. I am only competing in 2 events. The nice thing is that I do get to miss some school, but really it’s New Media which I enjoy anyway so it’s a mixed blessing.

The fact that I don’t have much to write about shows how boring my life really is. I mean I could go on about how my rake sucks and my lawn looks horrible littered with leaves. Perhaps I could ramble on about the wind in Lethbridge — of course that never gets old. But instead perhaps I should just say that life is good.

I do have one thing that’s slightly interesting to tell you about. My swimming is coming along nicely. Yesterday we did a set of 75m – 75m – 100m with each 75 or 100 both done in less than 1:35. Well for those of you that are not big into swimming let me just say that doing eight of those is VERY, VERY tiring. I’m happy to say that I was able to complete them.

Categories
games Sport

Tribes and Late Meetings

I downloaded the demo for Tribes 2 on the weekend. I am completely addicted to that game. Anyway I played it all day Saturday, and a couple of rounds Sunday morning. Don’t worry though — I’ve decided for my own good to erase it, and hopefully I’ll be able to resist downloading it again.

In other news I am going to Calgary for the weekend for a swim meet. The swim team is having a mandatory meeting this Wednesday at 9pm. It kind of ticks me off that they are always having these 9pm meetings. I mean we see each other at practice and I usually don’t leave the school until after practice ends at 4:30, so to have to come all the way back at 9 just sort of bugs me. I am excited to have another meet so soon though. I hope Gary takes some good pictures too. Maybe there will be an angle where you can get some Calgary swimmer in with me and then publish the picture under the pretense of that Calgary swimmer, but I’ll actually be in the picture too. That’d be sweet.

Categories
life Sport

U of L Swim Meet 2002 – Day 2

My swim meet was great. Aside from the power going out and delaying the meet for an hour and a half, I think it was a great day. I competed in the 50 breast and the 50 free. Breast was great — lane 4, heat 4. I was the fastest in my heat with a time around 34 seconds. In the 50 Free, I came out with a 26.4.

It snowed today which sucks, but gas prices are low and I can finally take advantage of it. With my luck prices will be back up before I get out of class and have a chance to go. That’s life I guess.

Categories
life Sport

U of L Swim Meet 2002

I just finished the first day of my first meet swimming for the U of L. I am dead tired. Today I swam the 100 Breast (1:18), 100 Free (1:01), and 50 Fly (32.5). I took a few pictures on my digital camera but I don’t think they are going to turn out to well. It’s too dark in the pool area, but if there are any worth it I may try to improve them in Photoshop.