Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The dazzle of the here and now

Captivated "by the dazzle of the here and now," Eamon Grennan writes poetry which offers refreshing "quick blinks" of the natural world. Each piece in "The Quick of It" is untitled, composed of ten lines and marked by a crisp use of color, rich movement and atmospheric change. Bloodred tulips, russet stones, "spear-shaped" green leaves and the "depthless black reflecting eye" of a finch are observed, as are: windhovering hawks, "the zigzagging cruise of bees" and a heron's rise and glide. Grennan asserts the need to "settle down" and "drink" in a world both lush and luminous.

These days, our pool workouts have been equally resplendent. Our focus is pure distance:
1 x 400 Free Pace
2 x 50 Kick*
2 x 300 Free Pace
2 x 50 Kick*
3 x 200 Free Pace
2 x 50 Kick*
4 x 100 Free Pace
2 x 50 Kick*
*Swim as recovery.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Happy wandering fishes in water

In How to Be Sexy, Carmen Electra freely admits she does not read novels; rather, she prefers self-help. I'm not sure which titles make the model/actress's top ten list, but I suspect she's not a Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul kinda gal.

Lately, I have joined Ms. Electra's camp and been on a major league self-help reading binge. Sports psychology and motivational titles are my current staples. And Working Out, Working Within: The Tao of Inner Fitness through Sports and Exercise by Jerry Lynch and Chungliang Al Huang is a recent favorite. Based on ideas adapted from the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching, the book offers practical advice on goal setting, developing personal strength and improving athletic performance. Additionally, it presents a number of inspirational stories:
A sixty-year old athlete had set a goal of running under three hours in the marathon. After thirteen unsuccessful attempts at his almost impossible task, a friend asked why he continued to attempt what seemed to be a futile ambition. Without a moment's hesitation, he stated that the attainment of the goal was not the objective; his kick was the elation he experienced in other parts of his life from setting that goal: repeated months and years of joy, training at high levels, getting into shape, eating well and feeling terrific. Nothing else in life could do that for him. The goal became simply a lantern that illuminated his way and, according to him, "kept me totally involved with health and wellness, a process relevant to my spiritual growth in all aspects of life."

Sunday, May 20, 2007



Our head coach declared Saturday the official start of the open water season. Although some of the team needed to taper for IGLA, there would be no let up for us. We would be swimming distance. Finally, an opportunity to focus on the Huntington 10K!
1000 yard warm up
4 x 25 Kick IM order
4 x 50 Drill/Swim IM order
4 x 75 Swim/Kick/Swim IM order
400 Freestyle (every 4th lap backstroke)
300 Freestyle (every 3rd lap breaststroke)
200 Freestyle (every other lap butterfly drill)
4 x 300 (laps 1, 4, 7, 10 kick)
300 IM

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Desperately seeking Susan

In See Jane Lead: 99 Ways for Women to Take Charge at Work and in Life, Lois P. Frankel, PhD considers the quintessential qualities necessary for successful leadership. When she asks her workshop participants to name the people who made a significant difference in their lives (e.g. teachers, coaches, bosses) and tell the group what made this person so effective, their lists nearly always include some of the following key behaviors:
Libraryland is chockfull of encouraging, trusting and generous folk. I've been lucky enough to know many a librarian with these notable charateristics. Someday I hope to pay tribute to these mentors (among them a special person named Susan).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Making noise

In the second chapter of Catherine McCall's autobiography, Lifeguarding: A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming and the South, she writes about the thrill of competition:
At age six, I was something of a hero at Big Spring, at least on summer Sundays during swim meets. I was speedy and already comprehended the importance of winning, of scoring points for our team and making my parents feel proud. Somthing happened every second at a swim meet. It wasn't a quiet sport, like golf or tennis, but a busy, noisy one, full of stopping and starting and cheering and clapping. Only when the starter said, "Take your mark" would everyone stop in midgesture, mid-sentence, as if on a movie set and someone had just yelled "Freeze!" Moments later, the gunshot would release the swimmers, and the whistling and cheers would turn on again.
My meet in Yonkers this past weekend was relatively subdued in comparison. Six of us donned team suits and were a quiet force (although some of us were still recovering from the rigors of swim camp). The day's highlight was watching Coach Jun compete in breaststroke. The man has a pullout to die for. Travelling faster than a water snake beneath the surface of the water, he ends up halfway down the length of the pool in a matter of seconds. Impressive!

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