View Full Version : Nationals,Fun and swimming fast

Allen Stark
June 18th, 2012, 12:43 PM
I have decided I am going to LCM Nats at Omaha with the goal of having fun.
You are probably wondering why I'd start a thread to announce that;it's because I have never done that before.I have been going to Nationals since 1975 and it has always been with one thing in mind, "swim fast",(by my standards.)This meant that if I met my goal I was happy and if I didn't I was pretty miserable until I figured out how to do better next time.For most of the time the concept of "fun" never entered my mind.A couple of years ago, when Don McKenzie died,Bob Strand wrote a moving account of racing him and one thing really struck me;before the race Don would say "lets have fun."I literally had never thought about racing that way.I started saying it to the people in the next lane from me at meets,mostly as a reminder to me of this truly alien idea(and never before the 200 BR.)
My last taper meet was at The Pacific SCY Zones and I did pretty well there,so I was pretty happy.Right after that I got sick and was out of the water 10 days and I hurt my back so that I couldn't swim BR hard or fly at all.All in all I have gotten about 4 good weeks of workouts in to this point and am ready to "taper".(How do you taper from 4 good weeks.) I seriously thought about not going to Omaha ,since I didn't feel ready to "swim fast." But then I thought ,"If a friend asked you what to do,you'd tell them to forget about times and just go to have fun." I am really not sure how this will work,but I decided to try.I'm not sure I can (I'm an old dog and this is a new trick),but if you see me at Nats and I look different,maybe it's because I am having fun.

June 18th, 2012, 01:04 PM
... Don would say "lets have fun."

Damn fine slogan for a t-shirt methinks...


June 18th, 2012, 01:33 PM
Having FUN is what it's all about.
Swimming fast is FUN and improving is fun but sometimes we don't swim fast and we don't improve but we can still have fun.

If swimming is no longer fun, take a break or find something that is.

June 18th, 2012, 05:47 PM
I've been telling my kids to have fun in their races for a long time ... and I've had fun since coming back to Masters in 2001, but I made a huge mindset change after Atlanta Nationals. Arguably, I swam really well there (even won my first event at Nationals), but, like Alan noted above, I didn't allow myself to really enjoy it. I think I really starting adopting the attitude wholesale since Mesa Nationals, where I swam (mostly) completely frivolous events (for me!) in which my expectations were low. I had a blast. Fortunately, I think I've managed to hang on to that "have fun" attitude.

The other piece I'd add that is fun is this: just racing, regardless of the outcome or time. Open water racing has certainly taught me that, as has having some events where tight competition both pushed me and created a "play-like" swim.

I can't wait to have fun in Omaha.

June 18th, 2012, 06:25 PM
That is a great attitude. Life is far too short not to have fun. Having fun and being in a good state will probably see you swim fast anyway. Good luck

June 18th, 2012, 09:10 PM
Way to go, Allen! I look forward to learning more from you at nationals. I will have tons of fun (800 free, 2/4IM, 50/100/200br).
If I'm not having fun I wouldn't be here because I can't scare anybody other than the lifeguards. :bump:

June 18th, 2012, 10:41 PM
"lets have fun."

My age group coach, before our races, would always send us to the blocks after our pre-race coaching tips with those words: "HAVE FUN!" Every time, and every swimmer, those words came out of his mouth.

And why do you think I'll throw down a 500 fly now and then, or swim a 200 Fly in the 200 Free event? It's about fun mostly...or is that stupidity??? I'm still :confused:

June 19th, 2012, 11:02 AM
Your days at Nationals should look like this:

:applaud::cheerleader::ohyeah::hug: ... :dinner: :party2: :groovy: :drink: :wine:

Every day should be a new personal best! Have fun!

I'm not fast enough to swim fast, but I'm fun enough to have fun! :banana:

June 19th, 2012, 11:08 AM
:cheerleader: Goooo Allen! That's my cheer to you to out to Omaha and have a blast! Nationals meets have always been a blast for me, because I have gone with the attitude to have fun first- then, try to make my goals. Due to my strained leg muscles, I didn't make any of my swim goals at Greensboro, but I did have a lot of fun; mostly because of the Forumites I got to see or meet for the first time.

How is this for a goal: See how many Forumites you can meet up with at Nationals- and, meet for the first time!

Just go have fun, whatever you do. I know you will! :applaud:

June 19th, 2012, 11:35 PM
I am happy you decided to make the trip, we would miss you and Carol otherwise in the Team Oregon area. See you there!

June 20th, 2012, 07:24 AM
Your days at Nationals should look like this:

:applaud::cheerleader::ohyeah::hug: ... :dinner: :party2: :groovy: :drink: :wine:

Every day should be a new personal best! Have fun!

I'm not fast enough to swim fast, but I'm fun enough to have fun! :banana:

I wholeheartedly agree with Swim', Smilies and all! I would applaud him, except he used up the maximum 10 Smilies leaving none for me. Darn.

Swim'? Although I disagree with the first half of your last statement, I do agree with the end. Of the people I knew in Greensboro, you definitely looked like you were having the most fun! Your smile was HUGE when you swam your PB's!

Water Rat
June 20th, 2012, 12:09 PM
I had a wakeup moment in Atlanta after blowing the 100 breast, my focus event for that meet, but not before storming out of the meet and back to my hotel. It was there that I realized I was still in my B70 full body suit and alone in my hotel room, I couldn't unzip it! I started laughing at myself and my behavior as I contorted myself into all shapes to get out of the darn thing. I called home and my very wise daughter reminded me to take the advice I always gave her after a bad swim. So I went back to the pool and changed my attitude to "have fun" and finished out the meet with 2 PR's.

Now I wish I could say I always have this attitude but that would be a lie. But on balance I've definitely shifted my thinking. Now my pre-race mantra is "Go for it, Relax, Have Fun".