Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Semi-Chlorinated Life: Why Athletes Make the Comeback

It happens to many of us: We hang up our competitive uniform and swear we won't step back into it, but then there’s a comeback…

There are many reasons why an athlete makes a comeback, and they are different for every person. Barry Sanders left at the height of his NFL career, leaving us all wanting more, but he never stepped foot on that field again. Jordan retired as #23, but came back as #45. And now Michael Phelps has “left the door open” by returning to the U.S. Olympic Drug Testing pool. Why, that’s the question… why does an athlete choose to come back? The only person I can speak about is myself, so I will, and maybe it will fuel a conversation amongst other retired athletes that will help those dealing with the word “retirement” at such a young age.

I retired in December of 1993 during my senior year at Stanford. For the first time in the history of my swimming career, I asked myself why I was pushing myself so hard and I didn't have an answer. I was in the middle of a morning workout, the sun had yet to come up, and it was a tough set. I'd reached that critical point in the middle of the 50 meter pool where I had to self motivate, to dig deeper like I had done about a million times before. And I questioned it. Why was I doing this? And that’s when I knew I was done. In my sport, like many others, you cannot be wishy-washy when it comes to training. You have to be tough every moment of every practice because it’s that fostered toughness you call upon when you need it most and your race is on the line...

Read the rest of Why Athletes Make the Comeback here on Semi-Chlorinated Life

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Semi-Chlorinated Life: Are my kids too busy?

I love the endless opportunity our kids have, but do you ever wonder if our kids are too busy? Don't get me wrong, I am a Title IX baby and relish every opportunity available to my daughter and my son. When I was little I wanted to play soccer, but there wasn't a girls’ team, so I watched my brother. And then I found swimming, thank goodness I loved it because I am not really sure what else was out there for me to do (other than cheerleading which I learned in 9th grade was not for me).

My kids, on the other hand, can't seem to fit all their activities into a 24/7 week. I have already written a lot about about “fighting for my kids' free time” in a another blog about keeping it all together as a parent, but I feel like I am losing the fight. And frankly, maybe “fight” is too strong of a word. Maybe I am just their lobbyist or advocate. I feel like I need to picket outside their bedrooms just to remind them how cool an afternoon of make-believe and play can be . . .

Read the rest on my Semi-Chlorinated Life babble blog

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Semi-Chlorinated Life -- 26.2: NYC Marathon

I am not gonna lie, I was nervous — or maybe it was more like anxious — about the 26.2 miles in front of me. Either way, I was losing sleep leading up to the ING NYC Marathon. Mostly I was hoping that everything felt right, that I didn’t get sick, and that I would run it smart. I wanted to feel as great as one can at the end.
The day started when it was still dark out, with only a few people walking along the midtown streets of NY. All these people had one thing in common: they were all carrying a bib and a plastic bag heading toward their transportation to Staten Island. I just kept to myself on the street until I met up with my Runner’s World crew. And what an amazing group! If you’ve ever had the good fortune to be in the company of Bart Yasso, then you know the amazing energy he gives off. We all woke up a bit when Bart walked in, and that is when it hit me: I am really doing this. This event that I last experienced 11 years ago was about to happen. . .

Friday, November 1, 2013

Semi-Chlorinated Life: Why I Sign Up for Races

It’s easy to realize why I sign up for races. I started competing at the age of 4…Oh wait…I started competing once I realized I was competitive and had a brother. Those 2 things, competition and my brother, were key ingredients to the beginning of my swimming career. I wanted to be right there with my brother, doing whatever he and his friends were doing, and keeping up with them every step of the way. Much of the time, he wouldn't let me join in, which made me work even harder for it. When you are born competitive and raised competitive, the juices never really stop flowing through your system. Sure the flow can slow, as it did after my competitive swimming career, but it never really dries up. And that is why I race now.
In the beginning, I was a afraid to sign up for any race because I wasn't sure I could keep myself from turning into super competitive Summer. . .Read the rest about why I race on my Semi-Chlorinated Life babble blog.