All the Way to 2006!

This entry is part 12 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries

It’s a long time ago since I last wrote on this diary entry. When I first started to write about what happened with me and my swim on the Short Course National last December I was always getting so badly excited in front of my notebook that I stopped only thinking about it. The only thing a wanted was to forget about it and never talk about this experience anymore

I needed to get some distance before I was able to write something that can be published on The Race Club website. And that’s the reason why it took me so long to share with you what I think all of you have a right to know it. It would be just not fair to write such positive things about The Race Club and their training methods. I was asking myself how I would feel if someone is saying me that he went through the best training program on earth and didn’t beat anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Now laying on the couch in the Race Club house and seeing the sun for the first time again after a long period of cold and gray weather in Switzerland I think I found a way to finish what once started with so much anger.

Most of you maybe have already some thoughts that what started so positive under the sun in Florida last summer, ended so bad last December in Lausanne, Switzerland. I still don’t want to talk about times in this diary entry not because I feel shame about what happened. But because I think this is not about performance (doesn’t matter what level) rather than about personal growing. So let’s start with the interesting things.

We arrived in Lausanne one day before the event started and I just jumped in the pool for an all over smooth first contact with the water. I thought about doing maybe 1000 to 1500 easy. By 500 I felt so exceptional in the water that I decided to get out for tonight and get in the race tomorrow with the same feelings and just lay it down.

After 4 weeks swimming for myself and doing everything I planned with Jon and Andy this gave me a lot of self-confidence but there was also a lot of pressure coming up. In these 4 weeks I didn’t have a comparison to other preparations or swimmers. Because I worked so different than ever before that I just had to believe in what I’m doing. And this warm-up showed me that I did the right thing.

My entries had been made for the 50m & 100m fly and freestyle and the 100m IM. Deciding to drop the freestyle races in favor for the fly races I probably made a big mistake. This decision made my so told main races become even more imported and the pressure growing again.

So my first race on Friday was the 100m fly and I missed my personal best by over 1 second and everything else that would have been satisfied for me. I missed the finals (A and B) and with this the chance to fight for the best place possible or even a medal.

On Saturday I swam the 100m IM. By the time I made the entries with my coach I didn’t want to have a day where I just hang out at the pool and do nothing. That’s why I decided to do the 100 IM just for fun. And after the lousy start on Friday I must say that I wasn’t very excited about swimming another race by the time of the warm-up in the morning. And oh surprise I did well. I even went out faster on the first 25m fly than I did the day before in the 100m fly and powered my personal best. What still was not fast enough to swim in the afternoon in the finals but that really wasn’t my goal in this race and I was fully satisfied how this day took place.

Last day arriving and the 50m fly was on the menu for today. And this 50m fly was even worst than the 100m. I missed my personal best for almost 1 second again and truly disappointed of this year Short Course Nationals.

After this all over bad weekend there was one “tradition” left for the next weekend. The Regionals (Championships of the French part of Switzerland) always take place one week after the Nationals. And this is the meet where you swim as much races as you can and as much things you normally never swim. Sounds like fun – is fun!

Finally! – The hard work paid off. I swam fast but on the wrong weekend in the wrong races.

And with Christmas coming up I decided to forget about what happened and enjoy the time with my family as much as possible.

Even if I proofed that the so called world best training program failed on my main event it worked. Because the only man to beat on the Nationals had been myself and I wasn’t mentally strong enough to handle the things right.

And now being back in Islamorada I believe more than before that The Race Club has the best training program in the world. It not because they do things different than all others. Because they swim more yards than all other or because they work harder than all others. It’s because they train smarter than all others.

Gary wrote in one of his Aqua Notes what Eddie Reese used to quote:

“Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.”

And I have to admit, it’s the truth. Even if I thought I already did perfect practice (of course I also thought that practice makes perfect) I obviously never knew what is perfect practice FOR ME!

All this put me back on the right way and let me knew that what it showed until now was not all of it.

Last summer I dreamed my life in spending some months here in Islamorada with The Race Club and now in 2006 I want to live my dreams!

Long live the Race Club!