Tag Archives: Life

It begins…

Today is our first swim meet of the season and I am not as nervous as I am every year. That might change as I step onto the bus that will take us to showdown.

I am an unusual coach. I like to be the best, but I also like for you to have fun!

My swimmers swam their hearts out yesterday…and it was only Monday practice. If you don’t talk swim I apologize, but they did 4300 yards yesterday; and 3100 yards was the main set. They died…and I couldn’t be more proud. The unusual part of me is I want them to forget that they are dead and die all over again.

Swimming is about moments. Depending on the athlete… but you only have 24 sec, within your moment, to define your effort. Your pain, your suffering must accumulate into something grand so that you know you are doing something right. I think that some of them understand my methods, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to get me to change my plans for them.

Like yesterday, I had a plan for practice. Yes, they would have hated it, but it would have made them stronger. Yes, they would be exhausted today, but it would make that 50 Freestyle seems easy peasy!! Instead I changed my set. Again sorry if you don’t understand…

This what they would had did…

1x(20x25s@25 FR/ 50ez/ 20x50s@40FR/ 50ez/ 10x100s@1:20 FR)

1min rest+50ez

1x(10x50s@45 FR/ 50ez/ 20x25s@25 FR/50ez/ 5x100s@1:15 FR)

50ez

DONE. 4150 yards (main set only (does not include warm-up and cool down)

Instead they did…

3250 yards…

What would that extra 850 yards do…? Someone swimming the 500 FR today would say before the race…I just died doing 4100 yards all out yesterday…this is easy peasy…moments like these can make small improvements. The person,they will race would be terrified. (Because most high schools are not as crazy competitive as me…) So that kid would be thinking before his/ her race…”they are more experienced than me…” or “They are gonna kick my butt!”

(In a world where %= 150%) For swimming, it is 100% physical. This sport uses every muscle equally and drains all your energy. If you swim correctly…

It is 30% mental, I can only do so much as a coach. The biggest thing for a swimmer is decide if you want it more than anyone; YOU swim for YOU, not parents, not school,not your coach, not for friends…You!

Lastly, it is 20% intimidation…Yes, intimidation…You need to portray yourself as the best. You need to stand behind the blocks puffing your chest out. You need to, without being a stinker about it, get into your competitors minds and make them believe you will win the match…

Though it is true, you will not always win 1st place…but swimming is truly about you and a clock. That clock wants you to not try, wants you to give up, wants you to say “I can’t”…If you do, your competitive clock wins. The time runs on, your efforts are wasted.

Stop the clock, make it stop for you! You are in control of what happens. As a coach I wish I could stop the clock sooner. I wish I could make each of them the best they can be…

I guess this meet is different because some of them have done everything I have told them. They have all the knowledge I can give them. I can say focus on this, or focus on that…but I can’t stop their stopwatch.

My three things as a coach…I believe its still the same as last year…

  • Respect. Yourself, Me, parents, swimmers, officials, etc.
  • Try. In practice, at meets, in school, at home, with friends, with people…etc. If you don’t try then what’s the point to begin with.
  • Do! Show me what you’ve got. Lay it all out for me and everyone to see. Walk up to the block and face the clock. The showdown is up to you.

Take your mark…Beep.

1771

Cheyenne to Nebraska…

All photos by: emily2jane

Because we were only 40min from the border we decided to venture towards Nebraska. 
We stopped at the info building for tourists. Nick wanted a map so we didn’t get lost. The man working there told us of all the hot spots we should checkout while being in the state.

First place was the Oregon wagon trail. It was beautiful up there. That’s where I tried to FaceTime my Mom, but there was no service. 


We walked about 1/4 of a mile and once we reached the gravel we were walking where the travelers had walked. The 2 tall rock formations were what the travelers used to know where they were and where to follow to travel.

My guy not knowing he is posing for the photo…😉

It got nippy once we got in the snow. Of course we decided to leave our jackets in the car…

We went up the road to see the better view…it’s amazing!!

There were man made tunnels in the hillsides


There were man made tunnels in the hillsides!


We’ve had Arby’s in another state!! It was one of the best Arby’s I have been to. 😎

That peak off in a distance is chimney rock. When the wagon trail was real, wagons could circle the top of the formation. Because of weather it has decayed and riddled. Now it’s just a point…


We went closer…😁


Across from the chimney was a cemetery. Families that didn’t make the journey on the trail were buried there. The dates went back into the 1850s.


A couple pretty scenes!! 

It was just a fun day to go on a road trip with Nick! We had a wonderful day 😊 Though in Nebraska there is only one location that has trees…Nick says he needs trees.

We are planning on going to Calvary Chapel Cheyenne. More pictures to come!! 

Love you Mother ❤️😊


Pretty…💕

-All photos taken by: emily2jane-

Cheyenne.

Cheyenne has been amazing! I had an abrupt but slow morning; my guy left at 7:03am this morning to go for his ride along. He kissed me good bye and I slept until 8:30am. Understand that Wyoming is 1hr ahead. So to me I woke up at 7:30am…

Anyways I needed coffee 😬 and of course I could just drink the stuff provided in our room but I wanted to experience the small cafe shop. Looking at the weather for the day began at 21° and by the time I was leaving the hotel it was 26°. And it would continue to climb until 2pm.  So I put on 2 layers of pants, a sweater dress, scarf, fingerless gloves, a knitted hat and my inside lining of the snow jacket.

Since my guy is busy, I planned on meandering through town. I got my coffee at the Paramount Cafe. I stopped at a convience store for a book called, ‘Duty and Honor’. And as I wandered down a street, a cop car pulls over and stops next to the sidewalk. I was a bit nervous, wondering what I did wrong. There in the passenger seat sits my love, bright eyed and smiling. I said hi and hello to the fellow officer taking him around. Its nice to see him excited and happy. Please pray for him, his test is Tuesday. God willing he will pass or not pass. But praying always helps.

Some scenery pictures..

This is a house/art studio. The walls and shelves were filled with all types of art!!

This was just a cute home. I love this style of house.


Right outside of the hotel there is an old classic theater. This photo is taken in front of the thrift store( I talk about it later)

As my day continued, I had to wait until 10-11am for the small shops to open. I stopped in a clothing store that looked sweet from the outside, but once inside I discovered this is a new dangerous store. It’s called, ‘Just Dandy”, and everything in there is my style. Thankfully everything is expensive and not in my price range. Except then the lady tells me the clearance section is down stairs. I got a cute, but nice quality shirt for $17. It’s a tank top fringe beaded shirt. 

😳I tried mother…but I did look at prices first before trying on. This store is totally a you store as well…😎 

The lady there told me to check out this other place called, ‘Donna’s Boutique’ its more of a thrift store. It’s really cute and this store is more realistically priced. It reminded me of the old thrift store in Monrovia. Then around the corner was a nit-nack type of store. The lady was really nice and so I bought a coffee mug from her. 

I turned the corner and returned to the hotel. No more exploring for the day. I dropped off my jacket and headed towards the sitting area. I sat and read my book awhile. Then started this post. 

I hope you are enjoying hearing about Cheyenne. If not I’m enjoying writing about it. And this blog is for me and my thoughts!

Again love you mom!! ❤️ I am being good about not buying everything I see 😬

Dreamland

I’m just sitting on the couch with my baby and we are doing completely different things. Im trying to stay focused on my phone while he laughs and giggles at the video on his phone. He is on one side and I’m on the other. However my feet have wedged themselves between his legs. His legs are at a angle that makes it difficult for me to go free.

As I sit here I ponder on when he will ask me that one question that will change everything! That one question I have been dreaming about. 💕 “When!?!”

But alas I sit here, a small distance from him, and I write this post. Sitting and waiting for that question…There as so many things I have to look forward too and so does he 😊 but until both “I dos,” are said, I sit here dreaming and waiting. 

Your Choice.

“Left or Right?” I say, realizing it sounds like it will define my life.

“I don’t know you choose…” Peter says like its just another pathway in another direction.

Standing there wide-eyed, energized, and immovable at the top of the mountain trail after a long hard strenuous hike, I look out into the vast valley and I’m surprised at how far we have come; we did start today at six o’clock in the morning and it was now closer to ten. This is our last day of our journey.  Even though I was dying because of the lack of coffee, I felt more alive today in the wilderness than I had these last few months in the city.

Peter on the other hand was a mindless zombie; he stood behind me, but only barely. If someone were to come bump into him he would probably topple over and roll down the hill. His eyes were closed at every point we weren’t moving; he would occasionally mumble something under his breath, usually about coffee; he looked like a lonesome tree, who just wanted to be left alone until Spring.

This trip wasn’t either of our ideas; our friends set it for us as a way to work on our problems. “We don’t have problems!” I remember saying this in unison once six months ago, to our loving and caring friends. “We just like to work, and it works for us.”

We have  been married for almost two years; I wouldn’t say it has been easy, but it hasn’t been so awful we needed to go on a hiking trip to figure ourselves out. But still we went on this trip, just so that our friends would leave us alone.

The first couple days were terrible; we both hiked through bushes, branches, dirt, dust, muck. With every step we hated being here and we just wanted to run back home; but, if we did that then we would never hear then end of it.

Besides, I am now happy we did come on this trip. I have discovered something about myself, I love hiking. I love being away from the city; I love hearing the wind intertwine with its surrounds creating the wilderness’ song. Standing on top of this mountain I can see anything and everything. The journey upwards was hard, bitter, long, but the fact that we are standing here shows me, at least, that we can survive anything.

“Peter…” I say to the sky. No response. “Peter!” I turn and there he is sitting on a rock sleeping soundly. “Oh, Peter…” smiling to myself, because trying to arose him is pointless, once he is dreaming he won’t wake up.

Instead, I put my pack down and sit down beside him; I can hear his breathing. We haven’t been this close in months. I realize why our friends said we had problems; our jobs became our loves. I think I saw him once this last week, and until this moment I hadn’t thought anything of it. His breathing hum added a soft melody to the wilderness song; changing it into a lullaby. I rested my head upon his knee and dream my own dreams, but they all consisted of him.

I awoke to the rubbing of my head. I opened my eyes and the sky was a soft orange with the clouds still soaring through the sky.  I lift my head up and there sits Peter staring off into the sky. The colors dance across his face making him more handsome than ever.

“Hey,” I say quiet enough to not spoil the moment.

“Hey,” he says with a smile, still looking off into the distance.

The wind danced, the birds sang, and my heart fluttered…

“Shouldn’t we be going?” Peter asked as his body spread stretching out his spine; with every moment some bone or joint popped or cracked.

He must be a bit sore from sleeping hunched over on the rock. I didn’t want to move from this spot, but he was right.  “Yeah, we should.” I started to move and he jumped up and helped me rise. His hand on mine, made me feel like a teenager again.

“So, Left or Right,” Peter said now standing tall, refreshed, and strong.

My heart was beating so fast, I now remember this feeling; the feeling of happiness from another person. I love him…I haven’t thought this in a long time. Remembering this feeling made my body surge to life, but also fall into the place beside him. I realized I had been to quiet and hadn’t given him an answer. “I…” I start as I turn towards him.

His eyes are staring into mine; his features calm and loving. I haven’t seen him like this since our wedding day. “I don’t know. You choose. I’ll go where ever you go” only squeaky voice came out; I’m surprised anything came out of my mouth at all. His stare left me speechless.

“Okay then,” Peter said looking both ways, “Let’s go this way.”

Our bodies turned together, and we moved as one. We are following the Right path, hopefully to a different branch of our lives.

…But also, hopefully, this path leads us to a nice, warm Cup of Joe…

Fork

Mama.

Eyes sparkling with interest as millions of images dash across the screen. Those eyes catching each one as it dances away; not wanting to miss a single image. The eyes filled with excitement and wonder, but also a sense of sadness because the longing for these images will only ever be a dream.

“Mama. What’s that?” my beautiful little girl points at a image of a waterfall. A rare nature scene, one that I have not seen for many years.

“It’s called a waterfall, honey. Great amounts of water cascades over a hill of rock, spilling down over into a stream.” At least that’s what I remember at the age of six when my father told me.

“Have you ever seen one? Not on a screen. Were you able to touch it?” her magical eyes dancing with excitement knowing that this beautiful image is not just a fantasy.

“Yes, Honey. I saw it when I was a little bit younger than you. I stuck my hand into the downpour and it almost knocked me over. The water was warm and lite. It shimmered like the stars. I desperately wanted to dive into the water and submerge my being, so that I could listen to the noises underwater.” Remembering lost memories always have bitter sweet taste.

“Mama, in the future I will venture out into the world and find this beautiful snippet of nature!” she bounces up, taking up her normal explorer stance, and yells it into the air.

“Hush dear.” Checking around, hoping they did not hear her. “You remember the rules, we can look but we must be quiet about it.”

“Right. Sorry Mama.” She cuddle up beside my knee; then she continued to watch the images dance across the screen.

These small moments are what keep me going. These moments help me forget where we are and how our life has changed.

…12 years later…

A gush of wind stirs the dirt and grime into my mouth, “Eww, tastes like metal and dust.” I pull the bandanna up over my mouth again, because I will take not breathing before disgusting tastes. Sweat and mud mix over my skin; I probably look wild. Which is alright with me, I can’t be bothered.

The forest has become denser and the trees are closer than ever, “I’m close!” My pace picks up a bit. My steps are bigger. My heart is pounding…there…

It’s more beautiful than I ever imagined. It shines like crystals; continuously falling into a vast stream. I can barely see the top of the fall; I see the water spilling over the top, it seems to be spilling out of the heavens. The space around the waterfall is lush and green, small animals, bugs, and birds dashing over, in, and around the glistening water.

Standing in all the beauty I remember why…Setting my back-pack down I pull out the small screen which gave me dreams and wonders as a child. The now broken device, but it was stuck on the waterfall. “Mama…”

She has been gone nearly six years. She died in that place; she never got to explore the land of home. She gave me everything as a child. Love. Hopes. Dreams. Life. I am forever indebted to her. We lived in a small tent, on dirt ground, surrounded by hills of dirt. When she died I made it my mission to venture to the South, where all the images were from. Mama always talked about how she wanted to come back home and see the land that made her.

She is here; her love lives forever in my heart and soul. No matter where I journey she will relive all of it again with me.

I walk towards the waterfall, and just like her, I stretch my hand out into the water. The power behind the gushing water is impressive. I continue to inch forward until I stand firm under the fall, drench by the water. I slowly sink down and lay submerged. Its peaceful, yet chaotic. Losing consciousness I explode to the surface! I lay there floating in the pool of shimmering water. This place is like life…there’s always something trying to hold you under, but unless you dream and pursue what you want you will stay submerged. But if you fight back and live, like my mother, you will live fully and your dreams will never die.

I love you Mama!

South