What are your thoughts about the death of the PAC 12?
What sports are you a fan of? Do you like pro or college sports?
What are your thoughts about the death of the PAC 12?
What sports are you a fan of? Do you like pro or college sports?
A view before sunrise during my morning walk.
Did you know?
“Exercise Before Surgery Slashes Post-op Complications”
That’s a headline I found for an article written by Lynn Allison. I’m having eye surgery tomorrow. Then in September some minor outpatient surgery. So the article caught my eye.
Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand say that intense exercise before surgery reduces the risk of postoperative complications as well as hospital stays by as much as 56%, says Study Finds.
“We have found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is safe and effective for surgical patients,” says lead investigator Kari Clifford, of the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Otago. “A HIIT program can meaningfully improve a patient’s fitness within four to six weeks, and this reduces postoperative complications and length of stay.”
The work analyzed 12 studies including 832 patients who engaged in HIIT before their surgeries. The training involved repeated aerobic interval exercises at about 80% of their maximum heart rate before going into active recovery.
The most significant result was the change in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) — a measure of how well the body takes in oxygen and delivers it to the muscles and organs during prolonged periods of exercise. The significant improvement in CRF lowers the risk of adverse postoperative events, says Clifford, in a university press release.https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/hiit-high-intensity-interval-training-surgery/2023/07/21/id/1128061/
If high-intensity interval training is good for post op recovery, that must transfer to everyday life. I reflected on my own workout routines. I realized that my slow and steady walks and swims are not getting the job done.
When I swam with my Master’s coach, he’d change up the pace. He’d have me swim 75s or 100s alternating “fast and slow.” Like swim 25 easy, 25 sprint, 25 slow for a 75 four times through. I was changing my heart rate. Without a coach, I leisurely swim laps not changing pace, because I’m proud to show up. Period. There’s nobody to push me. Not even my husband. I watch him sprint during his last two hundred yards and worry that he’ll have a heart attack.
We have an assault fitness bike gathering dust. Yesterday I got on it and sprinted for 20 seconds followed by 30 seconds easy a few times. Yes, it got my heart rate going. It’s something I’ll repeat each day and build on. When I swim laps, I’m going to throw in some interval training and sprint a few 25s. It can’t hurt.
What are your thoughts about high-intensity interval training? Is it something you incorporate in your workouts? Do you think you can be too old for HIIT?
Please check out my new blog schedule with posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Not to get too morbid, but the past two weeks have been hellish. I feel my last week’s posts have focused on death. But it’s what is happening in our lives. I feel raw from the sadness of losing our friend Mark, and then I got a phone call late Friday night from a fellow swim mom. It’s not like her to call me. We haven’t talked much since our daughters graduated college with our swim parenting days behind us.
She started the call by saying, “I have something awful to tell you, but it’s not about Kat or Megan.” Kat and Megan are our daughters who swam together at the University of Utah. It was about one of their former teammates. He committed suicide.
I was getting texts and calls. Everyone was worried about my daughter and how she’d take the news. She was at work, and I asked everyone to talk to her once she got off work. In the end, her coach from Utah made the call and they cried together. Then my daughter went to her brother’s house and sat with his girlfriend. I’m so thankful and grateful to have them so close.
I am devastated for the loss of this young man of 24. He was the type of person everybody wanted to be around. He was tall, good looking, smart, funny. He had a hearty laugh that was contagious. He was so polite and well-mannered that when we went out to dinner with him, he’d stand when I got up to use the bathroom.
I’ve heard from swim moms that his teammates are devastated. Nobody had a clue that life was less than perfect for him. Nobody knew that he was suffering. There weren’t any signs.
I cannot imagine how his family is doing. I enjoyed his parents so much and often sat with them at swim meets beginning in high school through college. His older sister is one of my daughter’s best friends and the three of them spent tons of time together.
I asked my husband, “How much pain are we able to take?”
This makes me worry about the mental health of our youth more than ever. I want to know if social media has made depression and anxiety worse? There’s a difference of three years between my son and daughter. Social media was only MySpace when my son was in middle school and early high school. By the time my daughter was that age, social media was so much more prevalent and popular. Is this a result of growing up on screens?
I had this conversation with my daughter before this tragedy occurred. We were talking about anxiety and depression. She thinks that people her age and younger are much more open to getting treatment. And that they are more open to talking about mental illness. She doesn’t think social media is causing more young people to have depression or anxiety. She thinks the numbers are going up because more kids are getting treatment.
I tend to think it may be a combination of many factors, social media included, and her generation being more open to talk about mental health. I think I’m searching for a reason. Something to blame for the loss of this young man’s life.
What is your opinion? Do you think mental illness in teens and early 20-year-olds is increasing? Or are they more open to discussing it? What do you see as the causes?
I wrote this the second year of my daughter’s college swim career. It’s fun to look back on how much I enjoyed age group swimming and all that goes into it. I’m looking forward to getting back in the pool myself — after my two-month ordeal with eye surgeries end. I’m almost there! In the meantime, I miss swimming and being a swim mom.
We went to my daughter’s first college dual meet of the season this weekend. I loved every minute of the meet, but even more, spending time with her. She invited several swim teammates out to dinner. It felt like the sprinkle of rain after a long drought—listening to them laugh and talk about their meet and practices.
I didn’t realize how much I miss the little daily things about being an age-group swim mom.
I miss the kids hanging out. So many personalities, so many different families, all bound together by one common goal. Swimming.
I have a fierce loyalty to our team and the couple times when factions of parents split off to form their own teams, I was shocked and hurt. It felt like losing members of my immediate family. I’d always wonder why? I never thought we had a bad experience—maybe at times less than perfect—but I guess that’s part of the reason I didn’t understand.
Good times were sitting together in the stands cheering for all our kids. Getting the new team t-shirts, sipping Starbucks on a chilly winter morning under the pop-up tents. Chatting and laughing with parents while we waited to see what the day’s meet would bring. I loved working with our parents and officials under the admin tent, in awards, or in the snack bar at our home meets.
I loved having kids over to the house to hang out between morning and afternoon practices during long hot summer days. I loved cooking eggs, bacon and sausage in bulk for a pack of hungry swimmers. I was amazed at how much they could eat as a group. I loved having the team over for painting t-shirts for a big meet.
Most of all, l I loved seeing my kids smiling, laughing and enjoying their friendships. Throughout the years, my kids were surrounded by amazing kids, families and coaches. Just being in the background was a joy.
I miss those days.
Two years ago, my husband and I flew to Washington state to watch our daughter swim in the PAC 12 Swimming and Diving Championships. We were so excited because she felt so good about her swimming. As swim parents we were pumped up with the anticipation of watching our child shine in her element. But, life doesn’t always go as planned. Here are my reflections from two years ago:
It has been an exciting, disappointing, amazing and depressing meet. With one more day to go with PAC 12, NCAA and American records falling all around, I’m enjoying the show. But with my daughter’s mile this afternoon, I’m holding my breath.
I got a call last week from my daughter who said she had a tickle in her throat. I begged her to see a doctor and get on it, after all PAC 12s, her season’s championship meet, was less than a week away. She replied, “Mom, it’s just a tickle!”
So, if it was “just a tickle” why did she bother to tell me?
A few days later, she was sick. My husband and I told her to go to urgent care. She fought about it because she was so miserable she didn’t want to leave the warmth and comfort of her bed. A few hours later, she called to tell us she had the flu. They packed her full of meds and told her to return to her house for total bed rest. This was Saturday. She was leaving for the big meet on Tuesday.
She’s been scratched out of a few events, swam a single event, but mostly is lying in bed, waiting for today to be better and swim the 1650 free.
What I’m really impressed with is her attitude. She’s not showing us that she’s upset. She doesn’t appear to be down. She’s enjoying the time with her team. She’s proud of her teammates and shares in their successes and feels hurt when they’re upset and fail to meet their goals. About her own situation, she’s realistic. She said, “Isn’t this the craziest sport ever? What other sport do you train for eight months for one single meet and then you could be hurt or sick?” She also said that she’s tried her best and is content with that. “This isn’t in my control.”
Good luck today is all I can say. I may have my eyes closed, or peek through my fingers while she swims. I also wonder why am I the parent of distance swimmers? It would be so much easier to be the parent of a sprinter!
As for the exciting, fun wonderful stuff, we hung out with our fellow Ute parents. It’s once a year, we’re together for this long four-day meet. We send the kids off every evening during our pre-function with cheers and pompoms, which makes us laugh out loud together. We have fun watching other team parents, whether it’s trees on their heads for Stanford, blue wigs and a giant flag for UCLA or our own red mohawks. Rarely do we parents get to act so silly. It’s refeshing and fun, and gives us memories we’ll hold dear.
As for the meet itself, it’s indescribable. Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzel, Kathleen Baker, Ella Easton, Lia Neal, Katie McLaughlin, etc. The world’s greats all gathered together for a college meet. Records falling left and right. Shaking my head with disbelief at what amazing swims I witnessed.
It’s a special meet, and although things in life don’t always go as planned, I’m proud to be a small part of it.
The following to videos are exciting races I was privileged to see, the 50 and 200 free.
P.S. She did great! The 1650 was ok!
I can’t believe my daughter’s first PAC-12 Conference swim meet was in February 2015. All four meets were great experiences for the most part–exciting times spent with great families. It wasn’t as much fun the year she got the flu, or her senior year, when her “shoulder wouldn’t shoulder.” This year, my daughter and I are going together as spectators. She wants to cheer on her friends who will be swimming in their last conference meet, plus a distance swimmer friend, who she thinks will qualify for NCAAs. We’ll be able to visit Mom, too, who lives near the meet. I’m looking forward to a mother-daughter-grandmother visit!
Here are my thoughts after my first PAC 12 championship meet:
I couldn’t believe the conference meet was here already. What happened to my daughter’s first year of college swimming?
I was surprised by how easy it was to find a seat. Coming from age group meets that are crawling with kids and parents and you have to squeeze to get a seat, it was a pleasant change. However, it did get more packed as the days passed and always at finals.
I still get nervous before Kat swims. Maybe it’s even worse than before. Especially at prelims. I thought I’d get over that queasy feeling, hand-shaking, palm-sweating attack. But, no I did not.
I wanted to spend a little time with Kat. But, she’s on the deck with her team, and we’re up in the stands with the parents.
I have met some great swim parents on our new team. Don’t get me wrong, there are great families on our club team that I’m life long friends with. I’m thrilled to meet parents on the college team that are friendly and fun, too. I guess that’s what swimming parents are like.
It’s fun to cheer at the PAC-12 conference, hold up signs, and wave pom poms. Kat would have killed me if I behaved that way at an age group meet!
Now that it’s the last day of PAC-12s, I’m shocked at how fast the days went by. Do I really have to wait an entire year to experience this again?
Looking down from the bleachers at my daughter, I’m amazed at how much she’s matured this year. She’s happy and comfortable with her new family, her college team. She has grown independent from us and she’s doing really, really well. I’m happy and proud, but I’m wiping a few tears from eyes, too.
I wrote this article a few years ago and I think it still resonates today. If you’re a swim parent, your kids can swim in college and it will add to their experience most definitely.
I read an interesting article today on my favorite website, SwimSwam. It was written by a college swimmer encouraging high school swimmers to swim in college. It’s very inspirational you can read it here. His story reminded me of my own kids. I wish he was a few years older and could have talked to my son, who also thought he wasn’t fast enough to swim in college.
My son, who is now in is fourth year at college, refused to talk to any swim coaches while we were looking at schools with him. We tried to encourage him, but he didn’t think he was good enough. Or, that he liked swimming enough.
In our opinion, as parents (what do we know anyway, right?) he had a beautiful stroke and he had always loved swimming. It seemed natural to us that he’d want to continue with his favorite sport. We also knew swimming could open doors for him. It couldn’t hurt for him to communicate with swim coaches at some of his dream colleges, right? We had looked at swim times and he would have fit in nicely at a lot of them. No, I’m not talking about Cal or Stanford, which he applied to, but are in the higher echelons of D1 swim teams. His other top schools that are very selective academically had men’s D2 or D3 teams.
But, no. He did not listen to us. His senior year, he received rejection letters from all of his top schools. It’s really a numbers game and there are millions of talented, smart kids competing for those college spots from not only the USA, but from all over the world.
He is enjoying the school he landed at. But, it was an adjustment at first. He wasn’t happy being there. He was all alone. Now, in his fourth year, he loves it. He’s swimming again, on his own at the student rec center. He missed swimming.
In contrast, my daughter who’s a freshman, was recruited for swimming. What a difference her entire college decision process was. She loves her college team. The entire team knocked on her door with goodies for her, while we were moving her in. They had team activities during the first few weeks, like barbecues, and volunteering to hand out balloons at a football scrimmage. The team made sure that the freshman felt the love.
My son told me recently that he sat alone in his room watching Netflix, too shy to join in the freshman welcome activities.
Last July, he came with us to watch his little sister swim at a big meet. His eyes opened when he saw coaches from all across the country there recruiting. He saw some of his top school choices. It was like a light bulb went off.
He did what he wanted to do at the time, though. One thing about swimming or any sport — it has to come from your child. We may think we know best, but in reality it has to come from them.