Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Remember when I was down and out? Remember when I had no desire to be at the pool? This seems like a distant memory to me now. Its unbelievable how fleeting some emotions can be. It's like I was a rubber-band that was stretched to its max and about to snap. I felt like I was on the brink of coming completely apart. The amazing thing is that every bit of tension that gets released makes my spine seem to grow taller, my lungs feel like they breathe deeper and my mind actually feel like it becomes more confident and ready than it was just and day earlier.

I was talking to someone earlier today about the importance of finding ways to constantly gauge our progress. By finding ways to compare ourselves to what we were like yesterday, last month or last year we can gain confidence and momentum from seeing progress. Monday I benched more in the weight-room than I ever have. I weigh about 190lbs right now and benched 220lbs twice. I popped up from the bench, yelled and flexed all my muscles...I was so jacked up!!! This is my max ever. I was so excited about it because I am getting so much stronger! Getting stronger is going to be essential to my continued improvement in the pool.

I'm currently about seven pounds heavier than I was at the Olympics. In Omaha and Beijing I raced at around 183 or 184. I was without question one of the smallest if not the smallest guy at either event that was at the top level. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Now I weigh a consistent 190. I think I have put considerable muscle on since Beijing. In truth I really don't know what this means or how this will affect my racing ability. The way I look at it is that I can always lose the weight. For now I'm continuing to get stronger and still swimming pretty fast. Eddie seems to think the added weight will help me maintain my momentum off the start and turns as well as break through waves. Eddie has always guided me to success so I will trust him on this one too!


Adin said...

Is this weight gain from pure weightlifting? Or have you changed your diet or anything? Just wondering because I am also trying to put on weight for swimming.

Lauren Ashley said...

That's great, Garrett! I'm glad you're feeling better, and I'm sure you'll be able to function just fine with the added muscles. :)

Ande Rasmussen said...

times will tell
I bet it's a great thing

Liza said...

That's great Garrett!! Building up those muscles will for sure help you out in the pool. So happy for you!!

J said...

Rock on Rock on-- that is awesome!

Noeline Bennett said...

Ha! I knew you'd come around (not round, got it?! :) Hope you get my sense of humor, i can be geeky or dry sometimes.

crystal said...

congrats on the improvements in the gym :) is there a goal you've set for yourself, as far as weight and muscle gain? or are you just taking it in stride. anyhow, great words on how to stay motivated and keep track of progress.

Garrett said...

I took two months off swimming after the Olympics. During this time I continued to lift weights, got stronger and also put on some weight. Some of the weight was a bit fat then but now that I am working out so much the little extra fat I put on back then has turned into muscle now.

I love dry humor!

I have set goals for myself in the weight room. Right now I'm continuing to reach them. My goal was to get 220 by the end of this season. I already got that so now I want to get 230. We shall see.

Lauren Ashley said...

"I love dry humor!"

Ironic, if you take your current profession into account... :D

Oh... oh wow... I just have to point this out... my captcha word verification for this post is "while." It's the first time I've gotten an actual WORD as word verification!

Anonymous said...

Yes, listen to the Zen Master Reece, Grasshopper. (I'm dating myself here.)
Ok, all silliness aside, you are so fortunate, but also, without a doubt, deserving to train with such a coach. He IS the man with a swimming plan (at least from what I've garnered from all possible internet and dvd outlets.)

I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better about your training and being in the pool. I don't really have even the vaguest clue as to what it must be like to train like you do, day in and day out, though that does not prevent me from having an opinion about it(!) My feeling was that perhaps you didn't get a sufficient mental break from Beijing, and all its attendant activities, before diving back into the deep end so to speak. From where I'm sitting (my office cube), it all seems a bit overwhelming. But hey, perhaps I'm just writing about the way I'd react to it. And at least you recently got a change of scenery.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences in and out of the pool with us. I look forward to your cooking stories esp. since I too have a copy of The Silver Spoon cookbook. You've inspired me to try my hand at more recipes though I have to tell you, my copy was passed onto me by my mother who received it as a wedding present from my grandma. So my copy is actually in Italian (Il Cucchiao d'Argento), and it is not a simple thing to have to whip out the Italian/English dictionary every other word to figure out the instructions!
As another person commented to you using a most appropriate Bob Dylan lyric, just keep on keepin' on, Garrett.

Sjtientje said...

* google: Hoeveel is een lbs? *
Being the Dutch know-it-all-teacher I just had to look it up ;)
A friend once said: If you want to find yourself again, you have to go deep and go into conversation with your mind and body.
It seems to me you did just that. Some people need years to reach that point, you took only a few months. Use this kind of strength to your advantage.
Gr. Christina

Donna Binkholder said...

That's soooo awesome!! Reall glad you are feeling better, it's great to know that your not down and out anymore. I absolutely love lifting and like right now I can bench 215 and it is always great to feel myself getting stronger. I always get pumped at the gym and my guy friends always challenge me and then laugh at me and say I think we a tough guy Lifting to me is like a big stress reliever, it's like lifting a big burden off your shoulder.

Congrats on your improvements. Everything is worth it in the end!!

Quote of the Day:

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."--Mother Theresa

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