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!!

signature

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!! 🙂

………………………………….

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

 

 

Advertisements

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!

IMG_6813
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!

signature

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

signature

Out with a bang

Hello All,

Well this has been the most incredible, frustrating, life changing and heart wrenching month. As I said in my last post, we definitely had to fight HARD for that last free swim. 

The funny thing about big moments like these are all the little pieces that pull the entire experience together. Out of this whole competition there is about one special connection that is still clear in my mind…

Right before the free swim we had a talk with Meng and our captain about what we had to do. We needed to create a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ swim that we could be proud of. I remember standing at the front of the line up waiting to walk on the deck. Meng appeared on the other side of the pool, 25 metres away, put up her arms into a muscle man and then pointed at us as if to say “it’s your time!” With no hesitation I gave her a nod showing that I knew was she was asking for and that we were going to do it. We did. 

Free Team Final

The next, and final, swim we wanted to rock was the Combo! We knew that it was our last time competing in the Kazan Arena and we needed to make it count…. “Torrential downpour” would be the 1st thing that comes to mind. It was freezing cold, the roof was actually leaking and streets were flooding, causing the judges to wear these comical plastic covers. I remember stepping onto the deck saying, “oh! We’re leaking!” 

 

Rain, technical difficulties and an overhead press
 
Because of the difference in temperature between the water and the air, there was a fog over the pool. It was like we had trained all day without goggles (which would create a white film over our eyes) but no, it was just the weather. Took us a while to realize it!! The rain, of course, also brought some challenges for the music system which started to malfunction just before this picture was taken…. If you look close enough you’ll see our teammate in the background signalling to our coaches that the music had cut out. We started tapping underwater and saved the ending! Definitely something we won’t forget!! 

  
Although in some ways we ended this meet disappointed, we couldn’t have asked for better performances. We pulled out great swims when they counted and made our coaches proud. Now time for a little vacation before starting to work on new routines and harder training sessions as we get ready for the Olympic Qualifier in March. 

Time to enjoy my summer!!! 

– C

It’s been a while…

Day 98

Hello Everyone,

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.

team_canada.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo

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.

Silver @ World Cup 2014
Silver @ World Cup 2014

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!

Love Always,

– C