Cal Women's Swimming Hawaii Journal: Days 7-10

Jan. 14, 2009

Honolulu, HI - Days 7-10 of the Cal Bears training trip in Hawaii

Aloha, once again! Since we last wrote we have completed our mandatory competition against the Hawaii All-Stars Swim Club, run an efficient coaching clinic for the team, learned to surf (a bit) and relaxed on Makapu'a Beach... and, oh yeah, we did some training too!

The meet had plenty of Hawaiian authenticities. It was casual, not run on any schedule and there were five events in the program. We all competed against the kids on the Hawaiian All-Stars team and helped them enjoy the day. They don't get a lot of experience with people outside Hawaii so being able to 'compete' against one of the nation's top swim teams was a learning experience for them. When the meet was done we spent an hour coaching them in technical aspects of swimming. We broke the kids into three groups and taught Cal style skills in turns starts and finishes, the most important parts of short course racing. It was great being able to interact with the swimmers on an up-close and personal level learning their names and their favorite stokes.

After the clinic we all introduced ourselves to the Hawaiian All-Stars and told them details about our individual swimming careers. The whole team had an opportunity to ask Natalie [Coughlin] about her swimming and how she has reached such amazing personal success. As part of the Cal team we are very lucky to be able to compete against elite level athletes, great college teams, Olympians included. Being able to swim with Natalie and people with other international experience on a daily basis means we can take advantage of their insight and experience in training. It s great to be able to share this capacity of our team with other aspiring swimmers.

We had a fantastic surprise waiting for us after we helped out the younger swimmers. All their families had cooked and baked a giant feast for us which we completely savored after the three hours work. We had traditional Hawaiian dishes and also some mainland favorites like pigs in a blanket and hotdogs topped off with delicious desserts.

After the meet we spent the rest of the day relaxing. Some people went to Pearl Harbor and some people went to 'Bodies, An Exhibition'; this is an exhibit that travels through the world showing the human body and its structure in unique ways. We highly recommend you go to see it if you ever have the chance. The ocean-addicts drove back to Makapu'a (the awesome body-surfing beach!!) to try and catch some more waves. On this trip, we were joined by University of Hawaii alum Nick who proved that even when you're old you can still catch waves! We learned a nifty little trick to turn left or right while in the wave which resulted in a few collisions with some of the locals.

Yesterday we had a pool workout with the whole team and then returned to Waikiki for team surfing!! We rented 12 boards and headed into the waves with Ole Nick and Nat as our very own surf instructors. As water creatures by nature, it was assumed that not many of us would actually stand up on the board, let alone ride any waves. However, all the Bears managed to catch waves and we spent 3 hours paddling back and forth, battling the mob for prime waves. Only one casualty, yours truly fell off the board into a shallow 2 feet of water, landing on some coral. The coral victim count remains 2.

That night all the Bears got all dressed up and walked down the strip to enjoy a delicious team dinner at 'The Shorebird'. The main dishes were 'grill your own meat' accompanied by a huge salad bar. Afterward we had a picture party on the beach which means every person MUST HAVE a picture with every other person on the team. As you can imagine, we were out there for ages.

We began with another morning ocean swim and afterward we divided in pairs to either work out or relax.

Tomorrow will bring a similar plan and be the last full day in Hawaii as we leave for Berkeley on the 15th. We plan to swim as a team at Makapu'a before going to the airport.

Until next time,

Your bloggers,Madison and Lauren

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