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swimsuit addict

An unplanned swim

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Today's workout was short on yardage but long on gratitude. I flew down to Atlanta early Monday morning for a visit with my mom and aunt in southeast Alabama. Upon landing I had a voicemail from my sister. It turned out that my 93-year-old aunt had been admitted to the hospital late Sunday night for chest pains. So I drove directly to the hospital in Dothan, about 3.5 hours away, and have been here staying with her ever since. My aunt is doing better, and I'm hopeful she'll be kicked loose in the next few days. Meanwhile, I'm glad that I'm able to be here to help out, which lets my mom at least go back home to sleep at night. It can be hard being a plane flight instead of a drive away when emergencies happen with my family, so at least this time I was already on my way south when things started going south.

I'm very lucky that the hospital is within a couple miles of the only pool available for lap swimming in these parts. I was able to get in a lunchtime workout at the Westgate Recreation Center, an 8-lane 25y indoor pool. There were no lane lines, no clock, and only one set of backstroke flags, but the side panels of the building were partly open on this warm sunny day, and I chose an empty end lane to swim in because it was the most light-filled patch of water. After a day spent traveling and sitting in a hospital room, plus night spent on a hospital room couch, it felt so very good to stretch out and move around in the water. Here's what I did:

1000 warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 RIM d/s by 25)

10 x 100 FR: 2@ 1:40, 2@ 1:35, . . . 2@ 1:20

100 IM kick

5 x 100 IM desc. @ 1:45

Before I left the city I had a good diving practice Sunday night. Our team added a second weekly practice a few weeks ago, on Sundays from 6-7:45pm, and this was the first opportunity I'd had to take advantage of it. I love being at the beautiful Flushing Meadows facility, with its wall of glass that faces the park, when it's still light out (our other weekly workout is from 8-10 on a weeknight). I love even more getting home at a reasonable hour. My commute to and from the pool takes about an hour to an hour and a half each way, depending on whether there's express trains running. Nights when there are Mets games are great, because Citifield is at the same subway stop at the pool, and the MTA runs special express trains back into the city after games.

My goal Sunday was to learn a front flip with a half twist off the 1m. We had a group viewing of an instructional diving video last Wednesday, and I was intrigued by the twisting dives. I'd learned a simple straight forward dive with a half twist last January, but I don't have a lot of confidence in that dive, and I wanted to learn another twister for what will be my eventual dive list for IGLA. Plus, I just wanted to feel what rotating in two different planes at the same time felt like. When watching the video, I could imagine doing the various somersaulting dives, but it was tough to get my brain around how the twisting dives actually worked. I wanted to feel it for myself so that I could understand the motion better.

I started off by doing front flips in an open pike position, then added a half twist in the middle. The movement feels very much like a round-off, only without putting your hands down on anything. I was able to hit the dive in the first try, but need to work on getting more height. My instinct when I try new stuff is to start small, and be timid in my approach and jump off the board. I know this instinct is absolutely wrongheaded--it would be both easier and safer if I approached the dive with conviction and get a bigger bounce off the board--but it's tough to change that natural inclination to start small then build up when trying new skills.

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  1. pwb's Avatar
    I hope your aunt is doing better.

    You're taking this diving thing seriously. I know IGLA has diving, but is there a "Masters Diving" organization you can also join to further hone your skills?
  2. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    I hope your aunt is doing better.

    You're taking this diving thing seriously. I know IGLA has diving, but is there a "Masters Diving" organization you can also join to further hone your skills?
    Thanks Patrick! She's much stronger today and will probably go home soon.

    I am definiteoy into the diving now. I joined USA Diving, but will have to upgrade my membership before I compete (there are different categories of membership--my practice-only one just cost $12 annually). Unlike swimming, US Masters diving is a branch of USA Diving. There's definitely lots of opportunities to compete worldwide on the masters diving circuit--masters divers are a relatively small but very enthusiastic crew. A couple of my TNYA teammates just competed in spring masters nationals in Colorado and won fistfuls of medals, including gold on the synchro platform.

    For training, right now TNYA is the only game in town for masters diving, but there are opportunities to train with area kids teams, and masters clinics around the country I could attend.