CLAUDIA AND JACKIE TAKE ON JAPAN

Well it’s official, after one day of competition, we are in Japan. A few months ago, Jackie and I recieved confirmation that we would be participating in the Kakehashi Project. (Kakehashi means “bridge for tomorrow”) This project is to create friendships between Canada and Japan as well as learn about Japan’s economy, society, history, culture, politics, diplomatic relations and of course the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. Sharing what we learned to fellow Canadians and friends around the world!

We will be in Japan for about 8 days with 7 other athletes from Canada! They represent synchronized/artistic swimming, archery, sailing, canoe, skateboarding, taiquando, gymnastics and fencing. The group will be attending lectures, talking to university students, experiencing the culture of Japan and finding ways to share our experiences with the rest of Canada (and the World) upon our return.

We will also will be travelling to Kyoto, where we will be staying with a Japanese family and surely visiting some of their famous temples and, as we just found out, we will also be learning the art of meditation, as it is very important for athletes to know how to concentrate properly!

It is sure to be a busy, yet exciting trip for us! I look forward to sharing the trip with you and documenting all of the interesting experiences we will have these next few days!

Claudia

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LOOKING BACK

Today I looked back on 5 years of epic memories, of the struggles and of the triumphs. I realize that I am so fortunate to be doing something I love. No matter how hard it has been, I am proud to be a member of the last Quad and hopefully this Quad will be even better! I have grown and learned from all of the trials and tribulations and I want more than anything to make my Olympic dream a reality.

This flood of memories comes from some recent troubles with my computer and having to transferring everything over to a new hard drive… So I’ve just been going through pictures and watching videos from past competitions, my years at the Aquabelles and my years with the National Team. It also comes from watching everyone at the Winter Olympics and the excitement I feel for my fellow Canadians!!! (GO CANADA GO!!!)

I realized that I really miss the experiences I’ve created with this team. I look at all of the pictures, the videos and the memories of World Championships, Pan Ams Games, Perfect, the Olympic Qualifier….. all experiences that I would have NEVER been able to be a part of without this sport, the support of my family and my stubborn personality driving me to continue. (HA!)

Inspiration doesn’t just come from watching the AMAZING athletes compete at the 2018 games, it also comes from looking at my journey these last few years and what I have gone through to get to where I am today. It puts into perspective how much I want this goal that I have been working so hard for! I have spent so much time holding on to the Qualifier and the heartbreak I felt not making it to the Olympics, but looking at all of the positive moments in my journey, the smiling faces, the tears of joy, and the energy we spent FIGHTING tooth and nail to go to the Olympics, it just inspires me to go on and be even better. More prepared, more driven, and more focused on the year ahead!!

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P.S Our 1st competition is TOMORROW!! We have been training hard and have been doing our best to fit everything into our schedules so that we can be fully prepared! I am excited to debut a new solo and our new tech duet!! 🙂

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** Majority of these photos are provided by Jeremie Battaglia (@jeremiebattaglia) and photos from the 2017 World championships are provided by Liz Corman (@lizcormanphotography)

 

 

ADJUSTMENT

5 years and a specific routine has made it a big change to go back to the club atmosphere! I love being with athletes that just simple love synchro!! It has made coming to the pool every day a joy and I spend way more time smiling during training than I have in the last few years.

IMG_9215These last few years I have been training entirely in the morning…. Now I am training around 7 hours a day in the afternoon/evening with morning practices as well! There is something about having 3 early mornings and 3 late nights that is making it just a taddddddddd difficult to adjust! I want to sleep in on the days that I need to wake up and then I want to stay up late on nights that I need to get up early the next morning…..

This year I have also added coaching to my schedule which has been a great experience for me. Adjusting to being a coach as well as an athlete is so fun! You need to have a plan, be prepared and always make sure that what you are saying is understood. It puts into perspective how to teach as well as how to listen to the needs of the athlete. As I am in this odd position of Athlete/Coach at the moment, I see myself in my swimmers, what I would do in the situation, how I would attack the correction and how I would need things to be explained in order to understand them in the water!

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Birthday celebrations with these lovely ladies!  

I also just recently experienced my 1st competition with my athletes and am so proud. Being a coach, watching an athlete perform a great swim and to actually see her SMILE while she swims (hahaha) is so fun. It’s a small thing to coach on the side, but it really does bring excitement watching young athletes understand, improve and enjoy synchro.

Here’s to new adventures!

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GIRL TRIES LIFE PODCAST

A few weeks ago I was asked to do an interview for the “Girl Tries Life” Podcast!! It was a fun interview about my life as my team and I prepare for the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

For all of the questions I am sure many people are dying to ask an athlete in training, “Girl Tries Life” asks them all!

CLICK HERE for a great article and the podcast! 🙂

P.S Sorry for the audio quality on my end! Hope you still enjoy it!

11 places to go in Iceland

Here we go again!!!

Iceland and all its glory. Of course, this is only based on some of the places I went and is in no way a reflection of the entire Country, but I think that if you ever have the time, freedom or chance to get away for a week or two, go to Iceland.

Below is a list of 11 places. They are in order of where Jackie and I went…. because honestly I had to look through my phone to know exactly where I was on each day!! — They are all amazing places and I would say that these are must see places you need to experience at least once in your life time!

Enjoy!

Kirkjufell Mountain Why?? Because it is off the beaten path and unless you look at it from the right angle, you can easily miss it! It was the 1st stop on our trip and definitely started it off on the right foot!

Haifoss  – Takes a while to get to, up a steep gravel road, but it is so worth it! Immersed in nature, you are at the top of the waterfall, looking at a cloud of mist, green moss and mountain sheep!

Gullfoss – A wide and powerful waterfall surrounded by flat ground. You can go right down to the edge of the fall, feel the cold air from the fresh water and take in how small we are compared to nature!

Geysir – It was a very cold evening when we went, but the sight of water spewing way up into the air is something of a surprise! Get your camera out and try to capture the perfect picture!

Seljalandfoss – Another epic sight to behold. Not only is this a beautiful waterfall, you can walk around the back! You will get completely soaked but the view and the experience is absolutely amazing!

Skogafoss – One of my all time favourites, we even went to see it a second time on our way back to Reykjavik! The huge fall is swarming with tourists, but if you’re willing, like we were, you might just get the perfect moment as well as getting a shower in the process! **DOUBLE RAINBOW**

Glacier Lagoon – THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I HAVE VISITED. If there is one place on the planet that has made me feel peaceful and happy it would be the Glacier Lagoon. It’s ice cold waters are home to seals, birds and HUGE icebergs! Grab a seat, watch the seals swim, watch birds fight for fish, watch icebergs break and travel into the ocean, and of course, watch the sun set. Hours later, cold from sitting on the floor, you wont regret it.

Diamond Beach – Right beside the Lagoon is the Atlantic Ocean, where all of those beautiful icebergs wash up along the shore to make, what looks like, diamonds on the sand. Don’t attempt to sit on any for a picture, they break and you end up in the Atlantic!

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – Surprisingly is not made out of sand at all, but of lava! It has incredible views and also hosts quite a few Puffins! Which are very cute and can keep anyone entertained!

Solheimasandur Plane Crash – Need a walk, a break from the car?? This is great! It’s about a 3km walk to get to the plane, with a clearly marked path. Once you get there it is a haunting sight, looking into the cabin of what used to be a fully functional plane.

Blue Lagoon – Ready to unwind even further? Take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon, surrounded by odd landscapes, it is a beautiful and intriguing place to take “shelter” from the Icelandic air. Enjoy a face mask or two, a drink and the soak!

Hope you enjoyed this looooooong post about Iceland, I just love reliving the memories I made there. If you have any questions, comments or requests on future posts, don’t hesitate to send it along!

ICELAND

So we are going to start with some moments of 2017. There was fun, excitement, stress, challenges and more, but all in all, there are some experiences that will last a lifetime.

Starting the list of amazing things is ICELAND. I can’t exactly describe to you the beauty, the intricacy, the depth, and the power this country has. but it is like a planet all on its own. The landscapes….. just WOW. A place where trees don’t grow, but intense green grass, black sand, lava and white moss takes over.

The freedom and tranquility I felt in Iceland is something I have never felt in my life. The idea that I could go where I wanted, when I wanted, was the first part that made this trip so awesome. I travelled with my duet partner, Jacqueline, as we had made the very spontaneous decision to book a week long trip about the same time we were arriving in Budapest (just a few weeks prior to our departure). As you can imagine, there were some bumps along the way….. ie. when I booked the hotel for 2018…. not 2017. OOPS****…… but that made the trip more fun and even more adventurous.

Iceland is a place with a vast array of landscapes. One minute you are driving through a green area and in one swift motion you are surrounded by black sand, an in the next, surrounded by lava rocks covered in white, squishy moss. It’s like someone wrote about it in a fictional book and it came to life. Each day you a shocked and perplexed by it’s beauty and it’s breathtaking features…. and we only made it through a small section of the Island!!

I might not be able to go back right away… but next time I go, I will definitely be doing the whole island!

This amazing part of my summer deserves two posts! Up next I will be sharing 11 places I traveled in Iceland and why each of them are so breathtaking….. As you can imagine, this post would have never ended if I didn’t cut it off here, but ICELAND and all of its beauty will be back soon!