Senior Nationals Recap!

So about two three weeks ago I had the opportunity to finish out my season in Victoria, BC, at the Canadian Summer Senior National Championships! I was competing in both the 1m and 3m springboard events, having retired from Platform diving with the end of my collegiate career, but not ready to be done with the sport completely.

This meet was a new experience for me. My training cycle in the weeks leading up the meet, quite honestly, sucked. We weren’t having Saturday practices, I was working a lot (i.e. missing practice times) and we had quite a few cancelled practices for a variety of reasons! After Spring Break I had my final set of x-rays and while I had permission to jump and run, and wasn’t even diving with any more tape on my foot, I felt out of shape, and sluggish, and slow. I didn’t feel like I could jump high or spin fast or be prepared for a Senior National meet. I was borderline panicking- in a constant state of anxiety about this impending competition. Frankly, I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

And while we’re being honest here: I wasn’t wrong. I was NOT prepared for a Senior National meet, and things finally came to head about a week before I left. I sat down with my coach and we talked it through- every cold hard fact and every bit of pressure I had been beating myself up about. We ended up clarifying three goals to focus on in order to end my season on a positive note:

  1. Celebrate the fact that I am healthy- that I am no longer injured, that I can dive on two feet, and that I’m not in pain anymore.
  2. Celebrate my family being there, and the city of Victoria. Victoria is so pretty, and my mother and sister being able to come out for the weekend was so great for Mother’s Day.
  3. Enjoy the atmosphere. Take it all in. Say hi to your friends and enjoy the facility and have FUN during the competition.

My final practices in Iowa were MUCH more enjoyable and I jumped on over to Victoria (where I was 13 HOURS late- rants about my horrible flight karma in the works). After the disastrous travel day however, two days of competitions came and went and I ended up having a great time. Nerves got to me a little during the 3m event and I ended 18th, missing my marks a little more than I had hoped. Despite being somewhat “off” during the event I actually ENJOYED the competitive experience, which is always a bonus! The 1m event the next day was just as fun, where I finished 14th with only one miss compared to the day before.

This meet itself was a testament not to my preparedness or my ability as an athlete, but showed a shift in my outcome expectations. I’m a competitive person- I always want to do well regardless of the circumstances! What I’ve learned over the past year though, is sometimes the circumstances win. Sometimes all you can do is make the best of it, and I surprised even myself getting through the whole week with a smile on my face.

Now my summer plans include taking some much needed time off, getting into work and my internship, and getting to build up my fitness levels again! I can’t wait to be lifting weights and going for runs and finally getting to be SORE!

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Weekend Whirlwind

Hot damn I haven’t blogged since May 3rd (my bad). This month is over halfway finished and it has been a whirlwind, both literally and emotionally. This month alone I:

  • Have 15 different flights for four different trips
  • Finished my season on TWO feet at Canadian Senior Nationals (recap to come)
  • Submitted my final paper and wrote my FINAL final exam
  • Graduated college with two degrees (recap to come)
  • Said goodbye/see you later to my two best friends (I probably won’t write about that)

After a disastrous travel day out to West Coast to compete, the rest of the month is passing by in chunks- four days in Victoria, two days in Calgary, five days in Iowa, four days in Calgary, and four days in Denver, before spending the last weekend in May preparing for my internship starting June 1! I’ve been a whole number of things these past few weeks, including proud of my season and my graduation, thankful beyond measure my family could be there for those moments, and heartbroken saying goodbye to my best friends. It’s been the strangest and strongest combination of good and bad emotions, all echoing change and times of transition.

I’ll be playing catch up over the next two weeks or so, not only to recap the travel and the milestones but to work my way through the emotions of being a recent college graduate! I am no longer a Senior, or a Super Senior, of my college. I am an University of Iowa Alum, which is a title I will always carry with pride.

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Wishing everyone a happy Spring and I can’t wait to update you all!

Do It for the I-Ring

Sunday during the day we had our Annual Swimming and Diving Awards Banquet, and Monday evening I had the opportunity to attend the Iowa Athletic and Academic Awards Banquet, along with the Senior I-Ring Presentation. These two events involved dresses and heels, plenty of photos, and the recognition of the many achievements Iowa student-athletes have accumulated. I was asked to stand a few times along with many others, for making the All-Big Ten Team for Academics and for qualifying for the NCAA Regional Championships. The Seniors got recognized with a procession to be seated, and then individually Monday evening to receive our I-Rings and induction into the National Varsity Club.

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Sunday, at the annual team awards, my coach stood at the front of the room and talked about how the team has grown, how this was the first time he had seniors graduating in the three years he’s been at Iowa, and told the story of my broken foot. I didn’t know he had planned to say anything about it. He admitted to many behind the scenes conversations that I wasn’t aware of, where the coaches and staff didn’t know if competing was going to be possible, and shared what struck him from my Big Ten meet; telling him I needed to finish what I started and finish with the girls I started with. He shared with the group that was the kind of individuals we had on this team- those who compete for the team knowing winning was out of the question.

My coach, in the past, has said that we need to be striving to leave the program better than we found it. We even had a specific conversation at the beginning on the season about what being a senior on this team would mean- mentoring the underclassmen through the difficulties of being an NCAA D1 athlete. Not just surviving, but thriving. I know my fellow seniors and I took that to heart, aiming to be the positive role models we thought the team needed. I thought by performing well and competing with heart I was demonstrating what our coach wanted us to do, but what I missed was the bigger picture. Our coach didn’t need us to be athlete role models, but role models for the ideals and values he taught us every day in the pool. He wanted us to demonstrate the life lessons he had taught us over the years. What I didn’t realize was that he was just as proud if not more so, of the example I set when injured, than when I was not. I didn’t know anyone was paying attention when I spent hours doing therapy and icing. I do know that I could not have made it through that time without the life lessons we had been taught through the past three years:

You need to fall in love with the daily grind. 

If you don’t love what you’re doing, every second of it, it’s not worth doing. You have to fall in love with every miserable minute. Every practice you feel like crap. Every day you’re stressed and tired and hate everyone. You need to fall in love with the bad days because if anything is guaranteed it’s you WILL have bad days. Embrace them.

Good is the enemy of great.

Do not settle. Do not give in to satisfactory, do not be “okay” with decent. Strive for more. Strive for better. Hold yourself accountable to be great. Belief that you CAN be great. Good is good but good is JUST good- don’t ever be satisfied with only good when there is the potential for greatness.

Do not despair. Do not give in.

Never, ever, ever, give up. Never give in. Like the daily grind, train through the bad days. Train through the negative self-talk. Don’t let the bad day win. Don’t let the bad day mask the bigger picture or alter your perspective on the ultimate goal.

Have the heart of a champion.

Having the heart of the champion is more than training and competing for the win. It’s about competing for the team, and training with a purpose. It’s about keeping a positive attitude above all, and rising up when we smack or fall (or break bones). Having the heart of a champion is never giving in to adversity, and fighting for your greatest potential.

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I didn’t think about my I-Ring much over the past five years. The significance of it just didn’t register with me while going through the practices and the travel and the competitions. And for someone who didn’t give it much thought, I can’t describe the feeling of pride in my chest when I slipped it on.

“Once a Hawkeye, Always a Hawkeye,” has never meant so much to me. No matter where I go in life, I will always be a Hawkeye, an Iowa alum, and a member of the Iowa National Varsity Club.

Friday Favorites/Five/Fifteen/Whatever

I’M WRITING TWO DAYS IN ROW!! *insert all sorts of champagne emojis here*

I’ve never been the biggest fan of posting on Friday’s due to the VOLUME of blog posts that go live at the end of the week, typically discussing favorite things or top five of something (I want to see a blogger do 50 of something) (actually that’s a great idea maybe I’ll be that blogger). BUT I’m in a great mood and felt like sitting down to write so here I am, discussing my favorite five things from the past forty eight hours (did I include enough alliterations to justify a Friday post?)

Um hi I’m obsessed with this song. “Fight Song” from Rachel Platten popped up on my social media feed early Thursday morning, and just because the world works in strange ways I saw or heard it EVERYWHERE for the rest of the day! Not that I’m complaining, I’m mildly addicted. Judging by the number of times I heard it in one day means I’m not the only one though too, right? Dare you NOT to belt it out once you’ve learned the words.

I’ve discovered the Holy Grail of protein powders- PEScience Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. Using a BLEND of whey and casein protein, PEScience proteins offer the best formula for muscle repair and recovery. Also, the new Peanut Butter Cup flavor is. Ah. Mazing. I scooped up the trial 7-serving tub and IMMEDIATELY made a protein mug cake. Needless to say, I’m never buying another protein powder if this one (with 23g of protein and 3g of sugar per scoop) can taste like a freaking cupcake.

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Where are we? Oh yeah #3…I GOT A JOB INTERVIEW! Like a real girl office job! I know I mentioned here that I had scored three(!!) jobs, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t still looking. One of them is just an internship and the other is just retail, so I’m still keeping an eye out! Even tonight I sent off two more resumes for companies I’d love to be a part of…have I mentioned I’m excited to graduate and join the real world?

Okay okay it’s a country song but come on, with the weather warming up and summer plans falling in to place you can’t NOT love a little country! Last summer I was pretty obsessed with “Keep Them Kisses Comin'” by Craig Campbell, and Michael Ray’s “Kiss You In The Morning” is an easy 2015 replacement.

And my small victory of the week? Back squatting and dead lifting my body weight or more for the first time since my injury. Even if that’s only 65% of my max- two months ago I could hardly walk and three weeks ago I was squatting with a single 25lb dumbbell. It’s amazing to me the way my body has remembered how to be an athlete; I’m embracing the soreness and loving the early morning alarm (okay, at least it’s light out and not 30 below freezing anymore). I’m even adding in baby jumps and low impact cardio, no running or serious plyos for another week or two. I don’t even care about the running or the fact I’m not setting any personal records in the weight room right now- I am just so happy and thankful to be lifting at all. I am no where close to where I was before February 6th, but I KNOW I am going to get there and I am recognizing that it is going to happen sooner than I think.

A Flashback Friday for everyone…five days post break on the right and 24 hours post break on the left.

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Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend! If you need me I’ll be sleeping in, making waffles, and enjoying a (mostly) low-key weekend at home :)

What Now…?

The season is wrapped, Spring Break (and the two weeks after it) are over and I’ve got every weekend mapped out from now until my college graduation. The reality is it’s not even that many weekends left to plan (insert that total-shock emoji x100).

Despite all the reminiscing I’ve been going through I can’t help but look forward to the next six months! It’s going to be a whirlwind, no doubt about that, and I’m approaching the next six months with excitement, a whole lot of nerves, and one heck of an open mind. Withoutfurtherado

The Injury Update: I’ve been 100% boot-free as of Monday. My follow up X-rays Tuesday showed some bone growth but not completely healed, but I’ve been diving again part time training for a National competition in six weeks! I’m still not allowed to jump until next week and I can’t run until the week after that, but partial cleared is better than not cleared!

The Internship: Starting June 1st I’ll be starting a my first “real job” post graduation! This ten week internship is going to be a STEEP learning curve, with long hours and a lot of work and a whole new professional experience to help advance my career. While I never pictured myself working in baseball, I could not be more excited about this opportunity to expand my skill set and experiences!

The Obstacle Course/Mud Run: A 2015 Tough Mudder is STILL on the schedule, despite the fact I haven’t run for months and I don’t have a date/race picked out in the slightest. I’m open to doing a Warrior Dash or a Spartan Race, and I’ll pick a race once I determine my fitness level post-Nationals and am 100% cleared to do everything again.

The Job Search: Despite having the internship, a part time job, and my virtual job, I’m still hunting down positions and sending off resumes. Ideally I’d like to get something lined up ASAP for post-internship, so I can feel better about scaling back on other things. I’m too afraid to let something slip off my plate in case I need it as back-up come Fall, so here I am trucking away still.

Side Note: As of May I’ll have two undergraduate degrees, my High School State Coaching Authorization, and my CPR certification. I’m debating getting my Personal Training Certification at some point this summer, and I’d love feedback! Worth it as a side job? Not worth it? Is there something I haven’t considered? I figured a fitness side job without the restrictions of a typical shift worker would be great but I’m worried I have a romanticized view of the industry! Comment below or email me :)

A New Roommate: Same apartment, different team mate. It’s going to be a bit of transition but I”m still so excited to live with someone on the team and I’m SO happy I don’t have to leave my place! It’s like all the benefits and excitement of moving without actually having to move- I get to reorganize and redecorate and it’s like a brand new start minus the heavy lifting.

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As always, when life picks up this blog is the first thing to slip. I don’t stress over it as this blog is not a source of income or endorsements, but a release for me and great way to expand and report on my interests. A midterm after Spring Break kept me pretty busy and I had to pay catch up after that, but I’m looking forward to a chill but productive Easter Weekend! I’m looking forward to sleeping in (till like 8:30am) and then FINALLY catching up on the running, endless, To-Do list.

What’s coming up that you’re looking forward to?

Three Things, Third Month

My apologizes on giving you guys the update on Big Tens and leaving you hanging for over a week! Following coming home we hosted the Men’s Championship meet, so I was at the pool cheering 6 hours a day doing physical therapy every chance I could get. Contrast baths, towel workouts, resistance stuff…my foot felt totally recovered about five days after competing on it! Well in relative terms- it went back to how it felt pre-competing on it.

The good greatest news? There was no damage done diving on it, and it’s healing like it should! I got follow up x-rays last week and the bone is healing, slowly but surely. I’m still in the boot, yuck, but at this point it’s more to help heal the ankle sprain and to help it recover now that I’m going to try diving again.

Side Note: I didn’t even know I sprained my ankle until I saw the doctor again last week, but it makes perfect sense. I basically sprained my ankle so hard the bone broke. The bummer is that ankle will always be a little stretched out and a little weaker, but with adequate rehab and preventative measures it shouldn’t be a big deal from here on out!

So I suppose the first things to update you on this month is I DOVE ON IT YESTERDAY! I’m still in an outrageous tape job, doing therapy before and after, and am only allowed to train once a day, but practice went SO WELL! I actually got through all of my one meter dives, which took me two days and a lot of tears two weeks ago.

My jump is probably at 60-70% of my regular jump, and our athletic trainer did call me out for favoring it towards the end of practice. All-in-all however, optimism paid off and I was very pleasantly surprised  with how my first day back went. Oh! And another bright spot! I didn’t wake up this morning feeling like I couldn’t walk or was too sore to function- I feel normal and that’s really the goal at this point.

Okay that was a long first thing. ANYWAYS

2. I was invited into the Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador Program! Obviously health and fitness has been a driving force in my life, but I’ve been more involved in sport than fitness itself. I couldn’t be happier to represent a community that encourages women to live a healthy, sport-filled life. It creates networking opportunities for support, cutting-edge content to make sure you’re receiving the best information, and is uniting people who LOVE to be active!

3. You’ve heard me complain talk about my job search anxieties, mention plans after graduation, and mull over what in the world I’m going to do with my life. Well at this point I’m thrilled to announce I’ve accepted one two three different job offers! One’s a part time position that I’ll be working at on and off, more so in April when the seasons over, one is a position managing one of the diving camps I worked out so I spend the majority of my spare time on that, and one is ten-week summer internship with a baseball tournament operations and scouting agency! The official resume titles will be Nike “Athlete”, Camp Director, and Tournament Operations Intern.

Clearly the year isn’t going as planned, but that’s okay. There’s plenty of amazing things to come.

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