Thursday, January 19, 2012

Janet Evans Update

So close and yet so far...but there is always a chance.  

When it comes to Janet Evans, I would NEVER count her out.  But, as even she knows, qualifying for the Olympic Trials is MUCH different than qualifying for the Olympic Games.  I am pretty sure she qualified for her first Olympic Trials when she was about 12 years old, so she's got that down pat.  Can you believe it, she is now 40 and qualifying again for two events.  Amazing.  

Evans at Austin Grand Prix courtesy of the Statesman.
But we moms like to keep things real, and her journey is FAR from over.  The facts, she was 12 seconds behind the best at the Austin Grand Prix  in the 400 free and 17 seconds slower in the 800 free.  Not all the best swimmers were at the Austin Grand Prix, yet all that were there were in the middle of INTENSE training, so they were swimming a little tired, including Janet.  She IS getting faster with each race, and she is definitely regaining that "confidence of steel" she's known for,  but qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games is going to be tough. I couldn't do it in 1996, just four years after my Olympic glory, but then again, I'm not Janet. 

And of course, Janet would be the first to say, "Nobody said it was going to be easy." Which is so true, if it were easy, we'd all be doing it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blog Facelift

Always Summer 

With a new year comes change. And for me that change begins with my blog.  When I first started jotting down bits life back in 2008, I had just become a mom for the second time and was dedicated to blogging every single day.  When coming up with the name, I wanted to share a "little sunshine" every day, therefore, "Daily Juice" was born.  I actually had larger plans of turning it into a web show but mommy duties were my priority.  Well, hundreds of blogs later I came to terms with the fact that I CANNOT blog everyday, nor do people have the time or desire to read something from me every 24 hours.  So, with a little nudging from my friend Holly Robinson-Peete, I began a little campaign to change the name of my blog.  When "Always Summer" came up,  a bit of advice I received before my first big interview when I was about 11 struck me…it was simply to "just be myself".  At the time, I looked at the person and thought, "That is silly, who else would I be?"  Today, that totally rings true. My blog is pure me, genuine and real and certainly not perfect. It's just "Always Summer"!

Thank you all for helping me find the perfect name for my blog!  Hope you love everything it offers in 2012! New feel, same face.

Friday, January 13, 2012

You’re never too old

Hula Hooping
The kids showing me how to hula hoop.

Hula hooping was kust re-introduced into my life because my kids absolutely love it. Me, I am awful, but my kids don't mind. They just tell me that I need to practice more and give me advice. It's my intro to my kids teaching me.

They are literaly my coaches. And it’s so cute, they’re so patient and they love it. Now if only I could get better :)

Check them out!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Preparing for the Olympics: The toughest training is now…

When it comes to swimming, the period between November and February will be some of swimmers toughest training in terms of yardage and intensity.  I just watched 40-year-old Janet Evans, who is swimming less than she did as a 20-year-old, swim 8,000 yards twice a day.  And it doesn't end when the athlete leaves their specific field.  There are weight workouts, agility, rehab and on and on.  

For many sports, the work is already put in.  For swimming it is a crazy combination of years of thousands of miles in the pool, intense intervals and sprinting, followed by the most precise tapering process ever.  Gymnasts and track athletes have similar regiments. This is the time for these athletes to dig deep and really work hard. And they’re all thinking about the same thing, the goal: that perfect ending standing on a podium with a shiny gold medal around their neck.  

2012 is here! And there are only 200 days until London. In  "The year of the Games," everything seems more real and tangible, and the focus becomes even more intense. There are only be six months until Swimming Trials, Marathon trials are next weekend, and some teams have already be named, ala Gwen Jorgensen for Triathlon…But right now, athletes in every sport are bearing down and giving it every ounce of what they have…

Because if they don't, they know someone else, somewhere else, is.

If you want to find out what it's like to be one of these athletes, check out my "Countdown To London" web series on Spreecast. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ringing in the new year

Fa-la-la'd straight into exhaustion? 

Isn't it amazing how much fun you can pack into a two week break from school.  Parties, family visits, outings and...more parties! Am I the only one who was decked by the halls and then decked by a cold? If you are anything like me, you were downing vitamin C and trying to figure out if there was any way possible that you would be able to keep one eye open to see Dick and Ryan ring in 2012 (And that even happens at 10pm where I live.)

Sad, I know. But, really...New Year's is about hanging with friends and family and taking a moment to reflect, a few seconds to think of all the wonderful chaos, opportunity and love you received in 2011. And wish for more in 2012. Here are 12 more things to consider as you JUMP into 2012 with both feet and a whole heart…