Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Sweet Voyage

This is a Nordhavn 68 named Sans Souci. The owner named Ken writes a wonderful blog about his travels, boating, weather and various other maritime topics. Some of you probably already know that I'm in love with boats. My dream is to one day own a boat like this and travel the world with my family and friends.

Ken recently started a huge voyage with two other Nordhavn 62's which will take him from the west coast of the US, across the Bering Sea all the way to Siberia. He plans to circumnavigate the world over the next few years. I really love reading his might too. This gives you a little more insight into my interests and what I like to do!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Georgia Mudd Fudge Baby

I've figured out that one of the true necessities of maintaining a healthy diet is to incorporate cheats and indulgences into your diet. I generally figure in two cheats per week. A cheat for me can be anything from going to a bbq joint, having a donut, an ice-cream, pizza, gyro etc. It's very difficult to keep your diet perfect all the time. There is no doubt that I have a huge sweet tooth. The truth of the matter is that I get super excited and happy when I eat something really sweet and indulgent. The healthy foods keep me positive and confident that I'm eating everything I need to be in order to help fuel my body for maximum performance. The treats are just a little break from the usual that get me really up-beat mentally and charged up!

I've been super healthy and haven't had a cheat in probably over a week. Tonight I let loose big-time. I had a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard at Dairy Queen. This is vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, brownie bites, pecans all mixed together into a gooey, delectable treat. YEAH BAAAABBBBYYYYY:) I'll probably spend all day tomorrow working that off but hey I gotta go crazy sometimes.

In about another couple weeks I will probably cut out cheats completely. Going into huge meets I will make the sacrifice to stay strict to my diet and have zero cheats. At this point there is really no room for error. I'll be honest with you. I'm not a lean, cut, monster of a machine. I have a little layer of fat on me. Genetics have provided me with this and there is nothing I can do about it no matter how much I work out or what I do nutritionally. Either way, I stop the sweets and cheats because in reality they aren't helping my body get where I want to go. Before Olympic Trials last summer I hadn't had a dessert in about three months. It worked for me then and I plan for it to work for me now!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Casa de Luz

There is a great restaurant in Austin called Casa de Luz. This must be the most healthy meal in all of Austin. The concept of the place is organic, vegan, and macrobiotic. The food is really tasty and is mentally soothing because you know your body is getting the nutrition it needs.

Here's what you can expect at Casa de Luz:
Soup (self-serve)
Grain (example: short grain brown rice)
Vegetables (example: broccoli stir fry)
Beans (example: lentils, black beans)
Greens (example: kale, mustard greens)
Salt Pickle (example: red sauerkraut)
Salad (self-serve)

If you would like to learn more about what a macrobiotic diet consists of you can click here

I do not follow this diet but do enjoy going to this restaurant to eat. If you are in Austin or ever pass through here and are looking for something healthy and good you definitely need to check this place out!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sullivan Award Video

This is video someone took of me being interviewed at the Sullivan Award last week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Navy SEAL Experience

I was recently made aware of some cool photos and videos from the National Team day with the Navy SEALs in San Diego. Here are some videos I think you'll enjoy!




I hope you now have more of an idea of what the Navy SEAL day consisted of and why much I LOVED it!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Tough Question

I'm currently sitting in the Denver airport on my way to Colorado Springs. I'm going as one of two athletes who will sit on the USA Swimming Senior Development Board that decides various issues relating to swimmers, meets, suits, time standards etc. There is a bunch of snow here and supposedly more in the Springs. Geeeeezzzz I love snow!

New York was fabulous. I will write a longer post on that in the next day or so but there is one thing I must share with you now.

An older gentleman came up to me at the Sullivan Awards banquet and talked to me about my swimming, the Olympics, and my interest in food. At the conclusion of the conversation he looked at me and simply asked me this question, "if you could pick one word to describe what went through your mind and how you felt when you won that 400 Free Relay what would it be?" I was completely and utterly speechless. I really had no idea what to think or say. There wasn't/isn't one word to describe it. There was/is a plethora of words to describe that....maybe not even enough words??? I thought about it for a minute or two while I signed some things for some people. I finally looked at him and responded.

What would you have said to a question like that? How do I begin to sort through and make a decision?

The answer will come soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sullivan Award goes to Gymnast

Garrett said he had a great time in New York at The Sullivan Awards banquet. Winning would have been fabulous, but Shawn Johnson certainly deserved it as well. She's so tiny!

Pictured above: Cynthia Barboza, Tyler Hansbrough, Shawn, Nastia Liukin, Garrett.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New York...Old Work

I arrived in New York City this morning. I have some business to take care of tomorrow during the day and will be attending the ceremony for the Sullivan Award tomorrow night at the New York Athletic Club.

My Uncle who lives in Florida was in the city today and I got a chance to get together with him and my sister for lunch. It was great!

This afternoon I went to the New York Athletic Club and worked out. I lifted weights for a while and then went to swim. I really didn't like being in the water. I'm not quite sure if I really didn't like swimming laps or if I would rather have been doing other things. New York has soooooo much to offer. I couldn't wait to get done with my workout and get on with the day.

Although I didn't want to be in the water, I felt really satisfied with the work I did. It's one of those things you're happy about after you do it. Gotta keep bustin' my butt.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Brutal Week, A Crazy Dream, Consistency is the Key

The 'Zen Master of Swimming,' Eddie Reese, always preaches, "Everyday we miss is a day we can never get back." He has taught me that consistency and hard work are the keys to achieving our dreams. Swimming is a very difficult sport. So much of what we do relies on going to the pool every day without fail and grinding out yards, making sacrifices most are not willing to make and pumping iron in the weight room. The older we become, the more consistency becomes important. The analogy he gave me last week was this, "Imagine you are trying to cut down a forest. When you're young you can take breaks, miss some work, and still make up some lost ground over the long haul. However, when you get older you have less ability to make up time you miss which is why it is crucial to stay devoted." I always tell it like this, "Every time we get faster it becomes more and more difficult to get faster again. Therefore, the only way to keep getting faster is by refining our skills more and more."

Why am I telling ya'll all this? Tomorrow I will be traveling to New York City for two days. I won't be totally missing time in the water but the intensity and duration of my workouts will be greatly diminished while I'm there. In order to try and account for this missed time, I went to every practice that was offered last week. Keeping to Eddie's mantra I knew I had to put in extra work before I left. Generally we are asked to attend three morning practices per week, five afternoons and Saturday morning. Last week I went every morning, every night, and Saturday. To say the least, I was shredded. I could barely function at the end of the week. Completing all three mornings and all afternoons is hard in itself. The extra two mornings put me over the top.

Crazy training schedule:

5:52am wake up
6:30-8am practice
After practice I ate breakfast and did numerous things throughout the day such as writing, errands, emails, phone calls, reading, stretching, massage, etc. I don't usually take naps because I feel like I'm wasting my time...this week I was so tired I took three!
1:30-3pm weights or dryland
3-5pm swimming
At the conclusion of afternoon practice I would hit the hot tub and stretch in order to help alleviate tension in my muscles and promote recovery.
My bedtime was around 9:15 every night.

A trip to the Australian Outback

Wow was I tired. My body and mind were dragging. Even my dreams were weird last week. The most memorable dream went a little something like this...."I was on a horse (I love horses so this part of the dream was great) trying to cross the Australian Outback. It was dusk. The sun was slowly drifting away and as the darkness crept upon me so did the creepy noises of the Outback. Before I knew it I was in the complete darkness. My only salvation was the moon shining bright and the stars guiding me through the night. I was terrified. I kept looking over my shoulders in fear some alligator, lizard, monstrous dingo or even a crazy kangaroo was going to kill me. The only thing that kept me sane and happy were the cattle that seemed to cover the landscape. However, these weren't ordinary cattle....Noooo ma'm. These steers were so fat that their stomachs actually rested on the ground. When they wanted to move or run they lifted up their backs and their bellies came off the ground just enough to move. I kept charging my horse at the herds of cattle just so I could watch them pick their fat bellies off the ground and run. I was amused all night and it kept my mind off all the things I thought were trying to kill me." How's that for a wild dream???

Triceps back on track

The week was intense. I'm so glad it's over. My triceps have been feeling better and I believe they're almost back to 100%! I'm very confident knowing I put in a ton of work this year and will be ready to compete at the highest level this summer. Although weeks like the last one, with 11 practices, are brutal, they make me better. They teach me how to adapt through the struggle. They prove to my mind and body that I can do anything I put my mind to. They prove that even though I may be tired, I can still keep going. Eddie Reese is right, we must be consistent and work hard....everyday we miss is a day we can never get back. Prepare now for the dreams of your future!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gimme Bean, Beans, and More Beans for the Summer

Going into this important summer, I decided I wanted to prepare some food in advance to alleviate some stress on myself. I have a deep freezer in my kitchen and am planning on filling it with various items for those nights I come home from practice and am dead tired and don't want to cook. Last weekend beans were on the agenda. They are one of the healthier foods you can eat.

Saturday night before I went to sleep I poured about seven bags of beans into a huge pot. I filled it with water and went to sleep. The ratio of beans to water was probably about one part beans and three parts water. I woke up Sunday morning and went downstairs to inspect the situation. To my utter surprise the pot was completely overflowing with beans. It was a bean eruption. I couldn't believe it. I had more beans than I knew what to do with. I started to cook the beans and had three pots bubbling and steaming.

The concoction I planned on preparing included an assortment of kidney, white, black, refried and pinto beans. In addition to this I mixed in blanched kale, sauteed onions and mushrooms, diced tomatoes, some garlic and some carrot juice. When all was said and done I probably had upwards of 15-20 pounds of food. I literally couldn't believe how much food I had. The entire ordeal took me six hours to complete. (The cooking was a workout in itself.) In all I filled 22 Tupperware containers.

I'm really happy I spent a day in the kitchen and have already reaped some benefit from all the work I did! This week, for example, I had a killer schedule--five mornings of practice, weights plus afternoons and Saturday morning. You don't always feel like cooking on nights like tonight. My ready-to-eat beans are tasty, easy to make and full of protein. The kale is jam-packed with antioxidants and is said to help reduce inflamation. All that is pretty good when you're totally stressing your body.

Accomplishing our dreams requires a lot of planning and preparation...and sometimes beans! This is just one little piece of my puzzle that is going to help me reach my goals!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beans Beans Beans

Sunday was a crazy day of cooking beans, beans, beans, and yes, more beans... I was literally overwhelmed with little white ones, big red ones, black ones, pinto beans, refried beans and more beans! Check back tomorrow for the complete bean saga:)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shooting with a Navy SEAL

Last Friday night I had a really cool opportunity. A Navy SEAL named Darek was in town on some business. I met him briefly when I was in San Diego and so did Aaron Peirsol. Darek stayed with Aaron for a night and hung out with us in Austin. Eric Shanteau, Aaron and I went to dinner with Darek on Friday. After dinner we were talking about what to do and one of us came up with the idea to go to the gun range. I am not very into guns but I couldn't pass up this opportunity. My experience with guns is very minimal. I've shot a shotgun on one occasion...that's it. We rented an M4 assualt rifle and a Sig pistol. Both guns are used by the Navy SEALs. Darek showed us all how to shoot properly. Who better to learn from than a master of special warfare?!? This guy is probably one of the most skilled shooters in the entire world. It was awesome. The emotion of shooting these guns was unreal. I was on a high. For never having shot a handgun or a rifle of any kind, especially not an assault rifle, I was actually a pretty good shot. We were all pretty excited as you can see at the top!

The following are some pics from the event!

The diamond at the top right is mine...M4 below.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bedtime Snack

I'm just getting ready for the week. I needed a high carb snack to fuel my body while I sleep and get rest before morning practice. This is what I ate, Kashi, Go Lean Cereal. Eating higher carb content at night allows my body to use the food as energy. If I ate protein at night my body wouldn't break it down and use it for would store it as fat. I don't want that:P

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