Friday, August 31, 2007

Getting Back in the Swim

It sucks when you make a return to the pool after 2.5 weeks and a surgical procedure to find one of the most revered coaches in the history of swimming in the United States (and the world) standing on deck. That makes it a bit hard to concentrate on how you are feeling instead of thinking about what the person on deck might be expecting. Granted the team I train with is the Daland Swim School Masters, it is known that on any occasion Peter Daland will decide to drop by. Here is a little info on Peter Daland: USA Swimming - History/Coaching Legands

It felt nice to be in the water, but I could tell my stroke wasn't very efficient. My flips turns were terrible. I kept trying to avoid tucking my leg so I would flip too far from the wall. I was also afraid to try breaststroke in any situation except warm up and warm down. Things were relatively painless though. The suit rubbed a bit. I just kept adjusting it and it worked out ok. Tomorrow I might hit the ocean.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


The weather widget on my Google homepage insisted that thunderstorms would happen today. However no where else was there any sign of potential thunderstorm activity. The sky in particular had no idea that it was supposed to be producing any thunderstorm in the Marina Del Rey vicinity. I grew up in Virginia. Frequent random thunderstorms were apart of summer. I miss them sometimes. It was such a tease seeing the cool lightening bolts on my Google homepage.

On another note I got my stitches out today. It is more comfortable without them, but I still have a swollen lump on my leg... I've got about 6 weeks to go for that to subside. After everything I am pretty tight again. My flexibility was progressing pretty well and I was hoping to have my splits by the end of the year. I think that goal needs to be adjusted because I don't think I should push my range of motion too far too soon. With the World Gymnastics Championships happening in a few days it makes me a little bummed that I can't use it for inspiration to develop new skills in the gym. I will be busy just trying to see what basic skills I can work my way back with. Thankfully I don't think I am going to have any problems swimming. If anything I only might have discomfort from the swim suit rubbing on the incision. I will find that out tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Marissa is My Hero

One day my sophomore year of college out in Ohio I returned to my dorm room after a meal to find my roommate, and swim teammate Marissa, looking quite forlorn. She had been away for a couple days to visit her parents back in PA. There was no way I could have prepared for the news she would relay to me at that moment. She had just received a phone call from her doctor informing her that she had a large brain tumor and she had to return to PA immediately.

Her PA visit had been one of her frequent trips to various doctors in order to discover what was causing her difficulties. For many months Marissa had been experiencing extreme nausea every morning. She also had moments of vertigo. For the whole summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college she was bounced around from doctor to doctor and told all sorts of things, including that she was pregnant. Pregnancy being an impossibility Marisa pressed on for an answer. People said it was in her head so finally a doctor scheduled her for an MRI, just to check. The results were supposed to come back on a Monday. The doctor didn't wait until then to spring into action. He found a golf ball sized tumor sitting on her brain stem, blocking fluid drainage and causing her seasickness like nausea. He wanted her back in his office. He wanted to get it out asap.

That all happened back in the fall of 2000. Marissa made it through her brain surgery to remove her tumor. She made it through the radiation treatments to breakup the irremovable tumor section. She returned to college to run on the track team. She graduated college. She became a coach and a teacher. Then at end of 2006 her symptoms returned, the tumor was back. This time it wasn't going away peacefully. In the past many months Marissa has gone through more radiation than anyone should have to endure. Her strength has deteriorated and she has lost her balance. I don't want to see her give up! She needs support!

Marissa has started a scholarship fund. It would brighten her days to get more contributions. Go here for more information:

Also to help Marissa her friend Brent McAuliffe set out to swim the English Channel. Sadly his journey was foiled by foul weather (Channel Swim Sunk by Storms). His attempt was still very noble. I am going to suggest to him that next he should go for the Catalina Channel (from Catalina Island to San Pedro, CA) swim as it is about the same distance as the English Channel. I will even offer to do it along with him!

I Got Stabbed

Someone cut me open and took out my insides...

Ah the peril of another lymph node biopsy. No cancer for me yet again. The stiches come out tomorrow. I am antsy to get back in the pool again. It has been two weeks... Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I get mobility back for gymnastics as well. I haven't really been able to stretch my legs properly for awhile... Its a bit frustrating.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Breaking the Seal

I had been some what maintaining a blog on MySpace:
However I have finally decided that its lame format made me lack enthusiasm for posting. I know a lot of people using Blogger so I have made the switch! I like that I can post via multimedia text message. That way I can make silly posts from work, the pool, the gym, racetrack or even a car show. Hooray!

I also now have a blog on my employer's website. It can be found here:
That spot is reserved for expressing my more technical thoughts.