Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lessons Learned

As I said, three days later I would update! Kinda nice having a day to be able to take to myself and be able to reflect on the happenings of the last few days.

It's been a whirl-wind since our Team's Exhibition here in Riverside. To those of you who showed up, THANK YOU! We couldn't directly ask anyone to take off their own personal time to come watch Synchro, but we're thankful for those that did! With this being our second day off, I've come to enjoy the three days on, one day off. It almost gives me a way to really push hard for three straight days, and have a bit of time to recover and refuel.

Now if only I could refuel correctly...food options can be really hard to deal with as a hungry athlete craving nothing but carbs and sweets. Good thing I'm from Texas and I love my protein right?!

Anyways! Like with everything, there are lessons to be learned around every corner of life. So in lieu of our Exhbition (and the whole 3 days of training at a time...) here's 3 things I have learned!


Teams have individuals who have different strengths and weaknesses. Each person within a team brings something to the table that no one else can. That's America. When we work together, we can move mountains. Work by yourself, and things won't work.


That doesn't mean you have to go where you don't want to. It means you have to push yourself further than you think you can. I struggle with this daily. I don't like things to be difficult, to be hard. I don't enjoy breathing heavy, or my muscles burning, or turning down that dessert. I fail at being uncomfortable sometimes. I fail at pushing past what I want to do for what I should do. No one is perfect, but I have to try and get as close as possible. Being a good athlete means striving for perfection. Being a good person means striving for perfection. Perfection isn't the same for everyone, and it doesn't have to be impossible.


Apologies for the small swear word, however, this is totally true. Synchronized Swimming isn't exactly recognized as an art form all the time, but is very similar to dance and life alike. As a soloist, I connect to the music so that those around me can connect to it as well. Sometimes it's not what everyone likes, sometimes you can't even connect to it yourself. What I have to do, is just dance. I can choose how I react to changes in tempo and music, and I can choose how I react to coaches corrections and scores from judges. You can't control what life throws at you, but you can control if an when you dodge. 

Stay tuned! We're in Riverside for 3 more training days, then we head to Toronto for the Pan American Games!!! I'll do my best to take pictures so you can feel like you're there as well. Wish us luck!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Flashback Friday - New York and US Opens

So as most of you have figured out, or are wishing to know, the US National Team and I are in Riverside for a training camp! We made it to our first day off, and how did we spend it? Watching Inside Out, Napping, and getting physio so our muscles can work well tomorrow when we head back to the pool. 

We're just that cool.

However, in the midst of training for Pan Ams, I though I would look back at the US Open that happened a few weeks ago, and let yall know how that went!

So first off, the Team only swam our Technical routine, and I debuted an extremely new Tech Solo. The Duet swam both their Technical and their Free routines.

While our swims weren't necessarily our best, we're proud of them. Now, we have to step up our game, and PUSH! It's all about the fight, the spirit, and that American Pride that reminds us what we have to do everyday in order to achieve the results we need.

Luckily for us, traveling to competitions doesn't just mean we get all glammed up in knox and glitter! We also get to wear normal clothing and go be tourists. So of course we went to Manhattan.

After that, we made the treck to SoHo, and in true athlete fashion, found the coffee shop. We went to Maman for some glorious tasting coffee, before making our way to a place we could purchase macaroons. While I didn't personally buy any, I took the chance for a photo op

Towards the end of our day, we stopped by Ground Zero. They've got a memorial set up with a gigantic square waterfall going down into the depths where the towers fell. The air is actually a bit eerie, even amidst the people taking pictures and waiting in line to go to the top of the Trade Center. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news...do you?

Now it's on to a new story. We're training for the Pan American Games! This is basically a mini-Olympics for the American Continents. Last year was in Guadelajara, Mexico. This year is in Toronto, Canada.

Wish us Luck! I'll update during our day's off here in Riverside. We have an exhibition here tomorrow at 6pm that you can look forward to hearing about in my next post. The next one will be on Tuesday!

Until then!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Back to the beginning

So for those who have wondered where I went, I've returned to represent USA at the Pan American Games and World Championships this summer! College has been crazy, and next semester I will be going into my Senior year. Oh how time flies. 

Speaking of time flying, its been requested that I write a blog post on how I got started in synchro. The real story. What made me fall in love with the sport? How did I choose to move to California for it? Did my parents always support my decision? What about how I've been treated as an athlete?

Well my friends, here we go. It's gonna be nice to take a walk down memory lane...

Unlike rumors, I did not start synchro from inside the womb. Although I'm sure my mother would disagree (Sorry Mom!) but I've been a swimmer my entire life. Everyone has heard the story of how my friend (and ironically first duet partner) Claire Evans took me to a summer try out session and I fell in love with the sport. It was pretty, it was powerful, and I could listen to music while doing stuff instead of just swimming up and down the lanes for a specific time goal. 

However, what most don't know (but probably assumed) is that I had always thought I was a mermaid. Ask almost any synchro swimmer, and THAT is why they stay with the sport. It's literally the closest thing you can get to being a real life mermaid and not give up your voice to walk on land. 

Thank you Ariel reference. The little Mermaid was a childhood favorite...after Aladdin. But that's besides the point. 

California was not one of my first decisions, as for the first 4 years of my career, I did both competitive swimming and synchronized swimming. The worlds were SUPER different and I loved them both in so many ways. When it came to what I needed to do to continue forward, I had to make a decision. Give up swimming and move California to train with what I believed was the best team in the country, or give up synchro and stay in Texas with the fastest times around. 

Then it came down to which I was better at. I could continuously be 2nd in the state of Texas, or 1st in the Country. Looking at it that way, the answer was simple. Note I said simple, not easy. 

I'm sure it was hard on my parents. They dropped everything and moved with me to California to support me, and I doubt it was their first idea of the type of world for their daughter to grow up in. I have to say though, I would not be able to be where I am today without them. It was a tough time transitioning from 2 hours every other day in Texas, to 6 hours EVERY day in California. Talk about a tired 14 year old girl coming home in tears because all she wanted to do was sleep. 

I also have my parents to thank for putting up with the drama I would bring home everyday. From normal girl drama, to coach issues, to simply being annoyed and exhausted...Seriously. Thank you. 

Being an athlete isn't always all glam and glory either. It's hard work and dedication. It's fun at practice and stressful at the same time. You have to balance sleep, and what to eat, and when to stretch, and take care of sore/injured muscles, and still spend time with your family. You do get used to it, but the initial transition can be a struggle, and some don't realize that our response of "I'm just tired..." when asked to go to a movie isn't is blowing you off, it really just means we can barely keep our eyes open and probably wouldn't be much fun anyways 😆

So from here, I'm on the plane to Pan Ams, and the Summer of travel and competitions begin. Representing the United States is a dream come true for any athlete, and I'm glad I get to wear the Red, White, and Blue. 

Until next time! Don't worry, the summer shall be FULL of posts...as long as I remember hahaha