Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A history lesson

So normally I am not going to post this often.  But I wanted to give people something (interesting?) to read instead of just a short little blurb.

So I thought I'd start with a little background.  For the most part I'll stick with athletics.

As a kid I played tennis and baseball.  I enjoyed baseball, tennis was okay.  I didn't really have the patience for either.  Nor did I have the control or the willingness to work on technique.  I always wanted to "go".  Where, I have no idea.

As a freshman in school the swim coach noticed me in swim class.  I had never swam competitively, but I knew how to swim.  I had been cut from the HS volleyball team.  I figured why not, they had a no-cut policy.  So as a fat kid I got into a speedo and swam.
Unfortunately I did not know anything about proper diet.  So for most of school I stayed pretty big.  However I did start to get faster in swimming.
Kids made fun of me for being big, and I vowed to beat them.  So I trained.  And I trained more.  By my sophmore year I was a varsity level distance swimmer and swam year round. 
By my junior year I was doing the 500 scy in about 5:20.  Considering I was 6'1 or so and probably 200+ pounds that was pretty good.  I was #2 or 3 on the team.
By my senior year I was #1 on the team and swimming under 5:10's.  Unfortunately shoulder troubles kept me from breaking 5:00 at state....it was a tough year as I didn't improve nearly as much as I thought I should have.
During that year coach Prior at UW-Eau Claire called and recruited me.  So based on that I decided to go there to swim.
Started as a freshman and was shocked at how good that team was.  I was no where near starting on that team.  But the training was good.  Unfortunately because I am an idiot...over Thanksgiving I blew out my knee playing no pads football.  Had reconstructive surgery and swimming that year was finished.
I trained HARD that off season.  Swam every day in the summer.  Got back in the water with the team and was dramatically better.
If memory serves I ended up swimming a 4:58 in the 500 that year.  Swam the mile and 200 fly as well.  In the 1650 I believe I swam a 17:30 or something like that.
Junior year was a really solid year for me despite not training as hard in the off season.  Ended with a 4:50ish and a 17:15ish.  I really can't remember my times.

Senior year was different.  I got home for summer after my junior year...within 2 weeks had surgery and was diagnosed with Crohns Disease.  I dropped from about 225lbs down to about 200.  I did a ton of walking for rehab.
Got into the pool that year and was WAY faster than I had ever been.  My mid season 500 time was 5:02.  At least 10-15 seconds faster than I had ever swam untapered.  And I kept getting faster.  B-cuts for nationals were a 4:40 and based on how I normally tapered I really thought I had a chance to do it.  Typically I dropped 15-20s by tapering. 
Unfortunately I didn't know anything about Crohns Disease.  I wasn't taking proper care of myself and was about to pay the price.
In December I had blood drawn for testing and then went to Hawaii on a training trip and got more and more tired.  My arms were heavy and burning while swimming.  I had no energy.  At a meet down in Hawaii I swam the 500 in 5:30.
In January my times got steadily slower.  I had no idea what was happening.  Late in January coach pulled me aside and told me I wasn't going to go to the final conference meet as a senior.  I was crushed.
2 weeks after that my doctor called me and told me my blood tests (from December) that I was anemic.  I was immediately put on Prednisone and given a blood transfusion.
Thanks doc.  As Adam Sandler would say...that was a piece of information I could have used a couple MONTHS AGO!!!

So there is my basic history in athletics.  Tomorrow I'll talk about how I got into triathlons and past results.

Thanks for reading.

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