Monday, January 12, 2009

Hello Sunshine State

Well I successfully got through the tough parts of winter training here in Texas. There were most definitely some trying times but it was good for me. I'm leaving tomorrow to head down to Clearwater, Florida. I can't wait to leave Austin behind me for a week to experience something new.

I'm going to visit the Clearwater Aquatic Team to swim for a week with Randy Reese. Randy is the younger brother of my current coach Eddie Reese. I actually swam for Randy when I was younger. I went to Austin to swim for Randy the summer after my junior year of high school. I got so much better that summer that my Mom and I continued to live in Austin for the first semester of my senior year of high school. I went back to Wisconsin for my second semester of my senior year so that I could swim the high school season and graduate. After graduation I returned to Austin to swim with Randy for my final summer before college.

You might be wondering why I went to swim with Randy? Simply put, he is the best club coach in the United States. He has coached many Olympians and is very knowledgeable. He transformed me from being a good high school swimmer to believing that I could make the Olympic team. His coaching style is unique. It is a combination of a toughness and straight-forward brusqueness that is uniquely Randy. Yet he is also more supportive and thoughtful than almost any other coach I've ever been around. He is just like Eddie and Kris in that he cares about more than just your swimming. He cared about me as a person and my maturity into adulthood. He recognized my abilities as a freestyler and was the perfect coach for my formative years.

One thing I've always loved about Randy is that he will tell you exactly what you need to do in order to get better no matter how it may make you feel. For some people this can be hard to deal with. For me, I loved his blunt honesty and took what he told me to heart. I distinctly remember times when he would tell me to stop doing something with my stroke or in practice or else I would never make the Olympic team. He would tell me when he thought I could do better or should have been better but would always be the first to congratulate me when I did something right!


I will be down training with him for three days before I swim in a meet he is hosting at his pool. It is going to be a great mental release for me to go somewhere else after grinding it out for three and a half straight months in Austin.

On a different note, I had a great weekend. I believe it is the simple pleasures in life that truly make me happy and content. For instance, I saw my godson Joe. He is awesome. He is just learning to walk while holding on to things and that is an amazing step in his life. For some reason I was craving fresh figs on Saturday so I went to Whole Foods and got some. They were sooooo good and it put a huge smile on my face. One of my best friends is two time Olympian and former training partner Neil Walker. I spent a lot of time with him on Saturday which was a blast! I can already tell...this week is going to be great:)

14 comments:

Kate W. said...

That's awesome Garrett! I think that everyone needs a break to escape stress every once and a while. You have put in a good 3 months and this "break" is well deserved. I think that this is just what you need to get you over that mental hump of not wanting to do anything. I hope you have fun! Thanks for keeping us updated!!!!
-Kate

Mary said...

Have fun in Florida! Get out to the beach if you have time and the weathers good, and good luck with your training!

Garrett said...

Yes this break is definitely needed. It will be good for me!

I really want to get to the beach at some point. I think Randy and I are going fishing one day...should be exciting

Sparkl0413 said...

Man my home state. I would love to go but a 6 hour drive both ways is a bit too much for my car right now. Have tons of fun and good luck in the meet.

Donna Binkholder said...

What's the word I am looking for?? Oh ya Sweet Action...lol...Change is good and I break from the 3 month grueling magnet is better. Sounds like you will be having a great time and that you are off to a good start of happiness. Awwww I bet your godson is really adorable!!! Yup! That's a big step in his life and an amazing one!! As of now what is your main event in freestyle? Good Luck with your meet and everything that you do.

Isa said...

Good luck with your meet and with your training...
Enjoy this time away from Austin...:)

Nicole said...

The aquarium in Clearwater is really awesome.

Anonymous said...

Insightful blog... I enjoy the fact you highlight the true commitment to the balance dedication and making time for the important things in life. Family and friends are definitely a blessing. Best of luck with the meet!

Sarah said...

What do fresh figs taste like? I've never had them.

Heidi Sandorf said...

Hi Garrett. Welcome to CLearwater! My kids really enjoyed meeting you yesturday. I look forward to your clinic tomorrow night!

Nicole said...

We have a fig tree right outside our house. Only my Dad eats the figs so we make a lot of jelly and preserves.

Miss Melanie said...

Sometimes I've had a craving for Fig Newtons.

Garrett said...

My main events are the 50 and 100 freestyle. However, I train for the 200 freestyle. It is important to prepare yourself for more aerobically than you will actually do in a race.

I love aquariums but my trip already seems to be filling up...maybe next time.

Fresh figs are amazing! They have a soft texture with somewhat of a crunchyness on the inside because they have little seeds. They are much sweeter than you would taste from like a fig newton. The inside is quite juicy and allows the sweet flavor to get into every corner of your mouth. Figs are really a beautiful fruit...you must try them:)

A fig tree outside your house? Wow I would love that...I wonder if I could grow figs in Texas?

Nicole said...

I don't like figs that much but I love the way the tree looks. It has really big leaves and squirrels like to take the figs off and eat them.


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