2015 has been an increcdible year, filled with many obstacles, ups, downs, and of course some of the most memorable moments of my life. It had it’s fair share of dissapointments, but just as equally it had
a great amount of joy. I could say that I would be even more satisfied if I had ended my synchro year with great results at Worlds, but there really is no point. Being bitter about the past does nothing but make you miserable… Looking back, I am not happy nor sad. I learned from the experience and that is all that matters, although gold at Pan-Am sure makes 2015 a year to remember.
This year has been one of education. I have been taught about
patience, teamwork, respect and have expanding horizon of new traits that will aid in my future, whether it is in the pool or outside of it. As many of you know by now, I am one of the team captains. At first I didn’t quite know how hard it would be to put myself out there, to place myself in front of a group of girls and lead them. I had to do a lot of adjusting! In the pool, I can adapt to everyone else within a matter of seconds, but when it came to being a leader for the team I had no clue how much of my personality I would have to calm in order to make sure everyone was comfortable. Let’s just say that my fiery ways are not always the best in leading a group of women. It took months for me to know what I was doing.
To understand how each athlete reacts in every situation (though I am still learning every day) and to see how positive a calm leader was to the team. I can’t say I have figured it all out because I believe that I still can improve myself to help the team grow, but as a group I am happy to see that we are meshing well and our primary focus is for the Olympic qualifier in 2016.
This year I started a new project; this Blog!! It has been incredibly helpful and fun to share with you ALL of the adventures we have been on! From Rio at the beginning of this year, through to the joy of Pan Am, the tough love in Slovakia and the struggles of Russia, this blog has given me another sense of purpose. I love sharing my life and what is going on with the team because I think it is SO important that we can have a support system that stretches beyond just Canada!
There is also another amazing project in the making and that is the Documentary that is being directed by Jérémie Battaglia (http://jeremiebattaglia.com). He has an incredible eye and has been with us through the entire of 2015, becoming part of the family as we head to the Qualifier! The film will focus on our training, our happy moments as well as some of the tough times as we prepare for the Qualifier and the Olympics. I am very nervous to see the final result, just because I will be reliving some of our most vulnerable moments as individuals and as teammates, but I know that he will do a great job!
Thank you for your support, if you would like to follow the blog please click the link in the side bar on the left! Wishing you all the best for the New Year and may 2016 bring even more spectacular moments!
This weekend I had a bit of an epiphany. I don’t generally have positive dreams about Synchro…. Its a lot of nightmares of forgetting the routine, doing insane workouts or getting to compete without my competition suit packed (which, embarrassingly, has happened to me), but this weekend I dreamt of Qualifying for the Olympics. I can’t shake this feeling of joy and a sense of passion for this sport which gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. It’s refreshing.
I can see it now. The 8 of us standing on the deck in Rio, waiting for marks that will decide whether we go to the Olympics or make other arrangements… I see the marks coming up showing us that we have made it! Tears, screams, maybe some hugging with shocked, but relieved faces. Even as I write this, there is a frog in my throat trying to keep down the tears. I can feel all the JOY that will come from all of our hard work.
I know I don’t make it easy, the girls can tell you that! I am tough and I ask a lot from my teammates because I know that we are good! We’ve got the talent, we have the chemistry, now we just have to practice like we want to perform at the Qualifier. We are capable of going to the Olympics! I know that if we play our cards right, we will be ready…
WE will do this for us, for the thousands of hours we have spent in the pool together, for the sacrifices we have made, for the people who have helped us get here and again FOR US!
This is about 20 hours late, but HAPPY CANADA DAY!! Yesterday we had our Send-Off Show for the Pan Am Games and World Championships! It was a great turnout. Almost every swimmer had someone to support them….. Some swimmers *cough cough* had around 15+ family members!! Either way, it was a great day for us.
We always have a show before we leave for big competitions, but this year it was especially important to have the opportunity to simulate our routines with full competition make up and suits. We felt pretty great about our routines, and by our video analysis this morning, we did have some great performances!!
Today was….. to say the least, challenging! We had a pretty tough workout…. and by workout I mean 4 hours of non-stop routine swimming. Days like today are quite frustrating. As an athlete you’re wondering, “why is she making me do this?”. Well, it’s to make you better, believe it or not. I am not going to lie, today sucked. Not in the sense that we didn’t have good swims, because after the ridiculous amount of work we did, we had some of our BEST swims to date!
The worst part is the pain you feel in your lungs and your legs after restarting your run through 15 times, but you have to do it!!! Because no matter how terrible you feel, your teammates are feeling the same. They are pushing their limits just as much as you are and they want to make it through the routine without having the coach stop the music… again. Now that I am thinking about what we accomplished today, I am proud, but in the heat of the moment I was not a happy camper.
Today, we pushed another limit. Tomorrow we will push it even more!! This team is so strong and everyday I see us becoming more of a family! By doing these intense, semi-crazy, training days we are building something so incredible. I believe we will be ready for these games and for Worlds! It’s our time to SHINE!
Today marks ONE WEEK before we leave for the Pan Am Games!!! I think I can speak for the rest of the team when I say that we are very excited to compete in Toronto. These are our games and we are so happy to be celebrating our achievements, thus far, with our home country. It is going to be a very BIG, very exciting experience for us. Most of this team has not competed at a Pan Am Games, so we are going to soak in every minute of it.
I think it’s very fair to say that we have had our share of ups and downs this year. Like any team, we have been working out the kinks and have been striving to make our routines ones that the audience, and the judges, will remember… Over the last 175 days we have become so much more of a unit; One team that will compete together and win together. Whether that is a gold medal around our necks or the satisfaction of having a “best swim”, we will be smiling. I am proud to say that these girls are my family and every day they show me how strong they are. As a group, we can move mountains.
Heading to Toronto soon, I would like to say a quick thank you to everyone who has supported this journey. The coaches and athletes could not have made it this far without our tremendous staff of experts and of course the family and friends that keep us sane on a daily basis. Your listening ears…. well, reading minds, that keep this blog filled with viewers is an inspiration in itself. So THANK YOU!!
Now, go share!!! Share our journey with your friends and family! Throughout the Games we will be working with our photographer to keep this blog up-to-date; filling it with photos, videos and info from inside the Village, Competition Venue and all other amazing things, such as the Opening Ceremonies!! If you aren’t following this blog yet, now would be an exciting time to start!
For more details of our #TO2015 experience check out my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts using the links. Have fun and share, share, share!!
Well… Hello There!!! It’s been quite a while since my last post. Synchro has kept me busy these last few weeks. Now that I have completed (and scored well!!) in my classes this semester, most of my spare time has been spent on daily recovery of my training sessions.
We have been working really hard to get prepared for our debut at the Canadian Open this month. New routines, means a new approach to our training techniques. Harder practices, increasing endurance and working towards a confident start to the season. This year of course, is leading up to the Olympic Games. Time is of the essence and we are running out.
You know, this life is not for the faint of heart. We work our butts off every day just to make it to that one AMAZING moment of our lives… And that one moment will define us. It will be a part of our lives, living on through our friends, families and future generations of athletes. All of the people that love us and support us, those who are in our corner, guide us to that one beautiful moment we will share with the world.
It’s days like today when you realize that you KILL your muscles and work so hard to PUSH those limits that you truly start to understand that the future is NOW! We are so close to our dreams, if we wanted to we could just reach out and grab it.
Never EVER take days like this for granted. The times that our body cringes and your mind tells you that its had enough; thats when miracles happen. Achieving a goal is not just about showing up, it’s about showing up mind, body and soul, ready to work for something you’ve loved since the day you started.
Be strong and BELIEVE that what you’re doing is right and worth every minute!
Here we go!!! Today is the 1st day of competition here at the World Cup in Quebec City!! We have been working so hard to achieve our goals for this year and from the feedback we have been given, we are on the right track!! It’s going to be an amazing couple of days and I have a feeling that Canada is going to rock it!
Also, I would like to send a shout out to Jérémie Battaglia who has been an amazing contributor to our team as PHOTOGRPHER!!! He just released these beautiful photos to the public and to us!! Huge thank you to him!
Check him out on Instagram: @jeremiebattaglia, Twitter: @jeremiebatt and Facebook: Jeremie Battaglia