Yeah…me again. So if you’re tired reading my diary entries you should stop right away. Because I started this entry a long time ago and never really came to an end and so it got a bit long. Ever since I started to write after my last visit in February, I started to feed this entry with all the stuff (interesting or not) that came to my mind. Yes, I assume, I sort of “abuse” the platform I’m given, but maybe you like it? And if not, STOP reading further.
Still Trying to Catch the Green Flash
Good times – really bad summer weather in Switzerland brought me “back home” to Islamorada. Enjoy some sun and outside swimming that’s exactly what I needed to start my winter season. Another good reason for me to come back of course is that I still need to catch the Green flash.
Green flashes are “rare” optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible for a short period of time above the sun, or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point. It is usually observed from a low altitude where there is an unobstructed view of the horizon, such as on the ocean (so Islamorada in the Florida Keys should be a perfect place to catch it). Its explanation lies in refraction of light in the atmosphere and is enhanced by atmospheric inversions. Whilst we would expect to see a blue light, the blue is dispersed (this is why the sky is blue) and only the green light remains visible. With slight magnification, a green rim on the top limb of the solar disk can be seen on most clear-day sunsets. However, the flash or ray effects require a stronger layering of the atmosphere and a mirage which serves to magnify the green for a fraction of a second to a couple of seconds. And I was told that it is a good thing to see the green flash. Can’t say if it’s true or not, but I really would love to see a Green flash once.
Jorge & Yolanda Caragol Masters Invitational
The best way to get your body used to swim fast is to race. For this reason, Saturday morning in Islamorada is race day. Warm-up and get ready to swim fast. Even better than race in workouts is to race in meets.
Somehow in the first part of your preparation cycle, the most important point is not always to swim your personal best but to get the effect of fast swimming. After two weeks of hard work in a camp, I was really happy to join the local Masters swimmer Tanya Hanson for the meet in Lauderhill.
What Keeps You Swimming?
For this diary entry I got inspired by the message board on The Race Club website. In these last days there had been made some very interesting posts like “The Art of Taper” or “The sprinter mentality”. And some great personal experiences had been shared.
I now start my 12th year in swimming (so still a rookie). And probably, like most of you, I have had moments of doubt where I was close to stop. Times where I worked so hard for success and earned so little and bad. But hey, I already knew that because one of my coaches once told me:
“Listen – Swimming is hard work and most of the time it pays badly (literally). But when it pays back for all the hard work that had been done, it will be a lifetime experience”
And he was right. Every time I reached my goals I forgot about the struggle before and was filled up with happiness. Although this is not the point of the story. I mean, why didn’t I stop in times where struggle and not success had affected my swim. Sometimes I had to wait 2 years to come back. How could I know that I would succeed again? What was it that kept me swimming?
All the Way to 2006!
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.
Practice Saillons les Bains
Photos from our one day training trip to Saillons les Bains in the midst of a cold winter day in Switzerland.
From Islamorada back to Switzerland
Although I would have loved to stay longer, Friday, October 28, was the day I had to leave Islamorada, The Race Club and my new friends. My flight back to Switzerland was on a wonderful sunny and warm afternoon only one week after Wilma. By the time my plane took off, I knew that at home the winter season was about to begin and the “shorts and T-shirt” season was over for me. After 8 hours of flight time, our plane approached Zurich Unique Airport. It was so foggy that you could see absolutely nothing and I could only feel that the plane had landed.
But let me start a bit earlier and tell you something about my last day in Islamorada with The Race Club. My last day in Islamorada was a bit different from “the business as usual” day of which you have perhaps already read in one of my former diary entries. Besides, you should also know that almost every day in Islamorada is different from the day before even if there are some (nice) habits.
Thank you TRC for pimpin’ my swim
My time here in Islamorada is almost over. At the time I am writing this diary entry, there are only a few more days left and then I have to go back to Switzerland (in the winter!). I feel very much “at home” here and I know I will miss everybody and everything!
But before I leave, I want to tell you what’s about The Race Club and how it makes me feel. I found a good example to explain what exactly is going on when you may once be in Islamorada as part of one of the Fantasy Camps. You may or you may not know the TV-Show Pimp My Ride. So let me give you a short introduction to this TV-show.
Pimp My Ride is a TV-show originally shown on MTV. The concept is simple — they take a car which is old, thought to be unfashionable, falling apart, or some combination thereof and WWC (West Coast Custom) “pimp” it.
Islamorada with Michelle Engelsman
Not a long time ago I was sitting on the coach and Michelle came through the door. And during these 3 weeks Michelle spent here in Islamorada, things were getting started
If you have followed my diary entries so far, you already know a lot of the things Michelle and I were doing together here in Islamorada. But yes, it was all about fun. Swimming with the dolphins, fishing with Mangrove Mike’s, going out with the boats to snorkel or watch the sunset. But that’s only one side of our Race Club life, don’t think that all days had been relaxed like these. We also did a lot of serious work!
Me and the Islamorada District Sheriff
I really never thought that something like this would happen to me. But life goes its own way and it happened. Since last week, I’m not longer a stranger for the Islamorada District Sheriff!
I already told you that I went out with the Jeep to get familiar with the Keys environment and this time I got familiar with the American law. So let me start with a short lesson in American law.