Blog #4 - Sidney Glass, Dec. 22
As our final night in Puerto Rico comes to an end, we reflect on the training trip as a whole.
We have yet again increased the caliber of training, and this has been one of the most productive and intense weeks in Tribe Swimming history. We have accomplished sets that we thought we could never do, put up some incredibly fast times, and excelled in dryland and in the weight room (Shout out to Coach B for the awesome workouts).
We have spent A LOT of time together over training trip, and have really gotten to know our teammates. We found out that Gabrielle Mizerak is an expert belly flopper, Stephen Fay and Hailey Hewitt make an awesome chicken fight team, the Men’s Team can make a mean human pyramid, and Brodde Lamb is actually an extraordinary pianist. This week has brought our swimming family even closer together (who knew that was even possible?).
We had time to explore Puerto Rico. Whether it was the visiting the fruit market, hiking through a tropical rainforest, surfing up and down the coast, adventuring through old San Juan, or just enjoying the beautiful weather, this trip has provided experiences that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Although the team will be going their separate ways for the holidays, come January 2nd we will be back in Williamsburg ready to keep up the intensity in and out of the pool for the final stretch of the season.
Blog #3 - Jen Bentley, Dec. 21
Hello from San Juan!
After four days of hard practices, mild sunburn, and running into the lanelines on backstroke, we finally reached the second half of our trip and had some time off to relax and enjoy Puerto Rico.
Monday morning we had a much-appreciated recovery practice and then the afternoon off! One group went surfing at the beach with our resident surf instructor Gabby Famularo and apparently caught some amazing waves. I went with a group to the El Yunque rainforest, where we hiked through trails, looked at lots of vegetation, and swam underneath a huge waterfall. The water was freezing (even colder than the Rec Center pool) but we convinced Coach to come in and took some great pictures underneath the waterfall.
Monday night we headed into Old San Juan as a team to shop, eat dinner, and walk around the historic area. We did some good souvenir shopping and Christmas shopping, and many of my teammates went back on Tuesday afternoon to shop some more. Vermonster champions as we are, most people found some ice cream during the trip too!
Tuesday brought another day of doubles, and a very rainy afternoon. We switched up coaches for morning practice and Fernando had the distance group doing some ridiculous looking aqua-jogging drills. Fernando- did you film the whole set so you can watch later on and laugh at us? We got rained out of the beach in the afternoon, but survived a rainy practice with the stroke group doing a fun set off the blocks.
That’s all I have for now. Three more great practices and we’re home for the holidays!
Blog #2 - Caylyn Tate, Dec. 20
Our past few days have been a blur of practices, dryland, and stringing together as many Spanish words the team collectively knows in order to communicate. In the midst of our hardest training of the year, Puerto Rico continues to surprise us with its differences and quirks of the island, such as:
1) You need several seatbelts to survive Puerto Rican driving. Here, parking spots, signals and even signs are more of a suggestion than actual driving protocol. For example, over the past few days we’ve dodged: cars in wrong lanes with backwards driving, bumps that will lift you off your seat, and pedestrians walking down the middle of the road. Needless to say, driving to practice is equivalent to a roller coaster ride and always an adventure.
2) Like the bricks of Williamsburg, you’re likely to trip over a few coconuts here. And as Andrew Strait, Chris Dong, and other men’s team members (pictured) unfortunately found, they don’t always smell coconut Yankee Candle fresh.
3) The Tribe has gone through sunscreens by the ton. Even with our excessive sunscreen application before practice and before beach time in between, a majority of us are sporting a variety of different patterns of sunburns and tanlines.
Adios for now,
Blog #1 - Ben Ward, Dec. 19
This is an authentic description of what has taken place during the first few days that we (W&M Swimming) have spent on our training trip in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Upon arriving in San Juan on the afternoon of the 15th of December, we were greeted by our long lost friend the Sun. We proceeded to check into the Embassy Suites and then were corralled into vans to head to the pool and get to business. After our first practice, we ventured out and found out that the pork Mofongo (a fried plantain-based dish from Puerto Rico) proved a worthy adversary for our ravenous appetites.
Our next two days basically consisted of morning practices (7-8 lifting/dryland & 8-10 swimming), beach time, Mofongo time, afternoon practices (4-6 swimming), dinner time, and then some quality down time with the team. Although our training schedule takes a toll on the body, we still had time to appreciate the culture of the island and enjoy the simplistic beauty of the beach.
My teammate Michael Polo and I were brave enough to scale the rocky terrain surrounding the hotel pool and immediately after this picture was taken, were asked to descend the daunting cliff that we had scaled. Training comes first, but the coaching staff has done a good job integrating fun team building activities into our schedule over the next few days and I look forward to what is to come.
I must now get in some quality beauty sleep time and retire to my chambers but luckily for you readers, I leave this blog in the capable hands of my teammates. Good night.