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)

 

 

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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!

A FRESH START

WELCOME to a new and improved blog site provided by….. me….. Claudia Holzner!

As I have promised in the past, it was time to re-vamp and re-style this blog for more than just synchro information, but also travel, life, and as of most recently, adulting….. Which is a tough adjustment I must say.

For those who don’t know… Adulting = to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.

So here goes! A new year, not quite yet a new me, but definitely a new outlook on life and continuing to learn to love it.

I now declare this blog LIVE and will be using this new domain as my primary in replacement of “Aquae Vitae” — Though it treated me well, life has been far less accommodating and therefore I have decided to change my ways and leave what was comfortable behind!

I hope you enjoy this new site, as I have enjoyed creating it! It will provide you with posts about this past year/summer, as well as 2018 and moving forward as I look towards 2020 and beyond!

NOW! Navigating this new site is important!!

Above you will find the HOME page, BLOG page where you will find all of my posts, ABOUT page (as well as my Athlete Bio) and CONTACT page. You can send me an email with questions, suggestions, pictures etc and I will do my best to email you back!

On the right, you will see the SEARCH button, FOLLOW button (to follow this soon to be awesome blog), and MY SOCIAL MEDIA where you can follow my journey on Instagram and Twitter.

Don’t forget to follow and share! xo

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Our trip to Quebec

Hey Everyone!

So as most of you know already, last weekend Gabe and I made a courageous decision to drive to Quebec City for the Canadian Open Qualifier!

IMG_1691 2For those of you who follow my Instagram @claudiaholzner or my teams Instagram @syncanada2020 you would already know what we went through during that trip…. A quick recap: Went for a great lunch, popped a tire driving 100km/hr, changed the tire, got to the hotel and received the key to someone else’s room…awkward…. got a new room and met some synchro girls who had been running around trying to figure out where we were staying. That’s probably the best way to describe it all!

We were so excited to arrive at the pool the next morning to perform our Tech Duet for the first time in public and we are pretty happy about our swim! We have a ways to go and lots of little things to work on, but we are confident that our training plan is working and that we are on the right track as we get ready for Japan in just about a month!

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I know that both Gabe and I truly felt a huge wave of support throughout the Synchro Community as we made our Canadian debut and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to give us positive comments and tips for our duet as well as just to chat and meet the next generation of excellent swimmers! Thank you for making us feel welcome and we can hardly wait to perform in front of you again at the Canadian Open in May!

Follow our journey using the hashtag #gabeclau in honour of our Aquabelle “mini me’s” xoxo

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#SwimForVanessa

157 days until the Qualifier

Hello Everyone,

Today I dedicate my blog to the wonderfully inspiring, Vanessa. In the recent European Games in Baku, Vanessa and two of her teammates were victim to a horrific bus accident at the Athletes Village. The news of this incident hit us hard half way across the world and we have been praying for them ever since. Her two teammates have recovered well, but it has come to our attention that Vanessa, after multiple surgeries is now Paraplegic.

So we ask all of you to support Vanessa in this fight. Her courage has taken her this far and with our help we can show her how much her bravery has touched us around the world. We give you this small challenge: Post a picture or video of you doing Synchronized Swimming with the hashtag #SwimForVanessa and show your support for this brave woman.

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I accept the #SwimForVanessa challenge and I challenge all of you to support this lovely lady!

C.

Time for an update! 

171 days until the Olympic Qualifier

Hello There!

I am proud to say that there is a lot of excitement surrounding this new season. Obviously, there is some stress as well, but we have a ton of great things coming to us as we prepare for our “race to the finish line”.

We have started creating some new routines for the Qualifier. These take time, but we have made fantastic headway opening our minds to new ideas and storylines.  We have managed to find some inspiration through a theme, which took us approximately 2 weeks to agree upon, but finally it’s something we can visualize ourselves competing internationally and swimming with excitement. 

I have been named tech team captain, to help Marie-Lou Morin as we will now be sharing responsibility for the team. This is a new challenge for me as I must be positive enough to encourage, but tough enough to strive for results from the girls (and myself).  I think this opportunity will teach me amazing things for my future not just as a synchronized swimmer but also as an individual. Those who know me understand how much I expect from my teammates as well as how much pressure I put on myself to be the best I can be. I am thrilled to see how much progress we can make in the coming weeks and will try to update this blog more often, as I am finally accustomed to my daily routine! 

Until next time,

C.