Cal Women's Swimming Hawaii Journal: Days 4-6

Jan. 11, 2009

Honolulu, HI - The California women's swimming team is spending the holiday break in Hawaii (Jan. 5-15) for training and exercising purposes, while enjoying the sights, weather and beauty of Honolulu.

Head coach Teri McKeever has broken down the trip into morning training sessions in the ocean, afternoon sessions focusing on techniques in small groups and competition, as the Bears will have a short meet with the Hawaii Swimming Club.

Helping keep their fans abreast of the team's progress are guest bloggers Madison Kennedy and Lauren Boyle of the swimming team. The journals will be broken into three sections: days 1-3, days 4-6 and days 7-10.

Days 4-6

Aloha! Since our last entry we've had more time to explore Hawaii and a few more of its beautiful beaches.

The past three days we have been training at a different beach. Teri decided that a change of scenery would push us out of our comfort zone and challenge us in new ways. This new beach is about a 15 minute walk from our hotel and is a man-made channel between rock formations; the water is clear and deep and now we can see the rocks before we hit them...ha ha. In fact, the last 2 mornings we have had a sea turtle sighting! This caused quite a commotion amidst our 3/3 transitions and mid-ocean breakouts. For about 10 minutes the Bears were in uproar, but we all decided that after the shock of the sneaky sea creature, it was a 'learning experience'. It is ironic that we have seen more interesting forms of the native sea life during morning training then we had at our leisurely snorkeling adventure at Hanauma Bay.

Speaking of Hanauma Bay, one our little Bears had a brief but violent altercation with the coral there. Everything was going smoothly with multi-colored fish and octopi all around us until Sara Slovenia [Isakovic] took a hard turn into what seemed to be a less than forgiving chunk of coral. Her upper quad is somewhat scraped. Luckily, our amazing team trainer Dave Walden had joined us for a relaxing day at the beach. He was quickly put to work and with the help of the lifeguards and Dave's immense first-aid kit; Sara was taped back together and was able to enjoy the remainder of her afternoon. What a scar-story that will be!

The group with the afternoon off packed a lunch and headed to a popular local beach. We drove along the coast for a bit and then reached a beautiful and secluded alcove with crystal clear water and great body-surfing waves. They spent at least two hours riding wave after wave onto the beach, some trips were rougher than others. After a few perfect rides, we all got a little cocky / experimental, trying to catch waves doing backstroke and somersaulting to exit early. At one point, Lauren Boyle was seen head-over-heels in the sand, long-limbs flailing in the break. Luckily everyone returned in one piece, plus a pound or two of sand in the bikini. As an FYI, if you insist on body-surfing in a bikini, it must be a 'Fabiola' or you will find yourself publicly exposed.

Our awesome strength coach Nick arrived last night from Christmas in South Africa. He swam at the University of Hawaii and has much to offer our team with his personal experiences and infinite wisdom.

On a more serious note, practices have been kicked up a notch with filming and intense dry land. We have also deepened our knowledge about swimming focusing on starts and turns with Milt Nelms, our technique support.

Tomorrow we face stiff competition against a small Hawaiian club team. All the competitors must be of non-recruiting age, meaning 8th grade and younger. We will let you know how the meet goes.

Until next time, your bloggers,Boyle and Madison

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