Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Intimidation Begins

Perhaps throughout my training I should spend more time focusing on my brain and all of its matters as a competitor. My level of intimidation is high, currently, and my muscles end up being heavily molded by those intimidations.

Today I had, what some may call, an experience of a lifetime. I had the fortunate pleasure of hopping into the 50-meter swimming pool at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and being coached by the Paralympic Team Resident Coach. From the very first moment I drove into the parking lot, my heart began to race.

After finishing my first lap, I told the (very gracious) coach that my heart felt like I was sprinting; which in fact my body had to disagree. My nerves were getting to me.

For one reason or another, I have let my confidence go by the wayside over the past few years. It has been quite unintentional and very regretful, but nonetheless, something that has occurred.

Although my main focus remains increasing my yardage in the pool and regaining a sprint quality race, I now need to resurface a confidence that has had pictures on milk cartons and in post offices around town, no doubt.

Have you seen my confidence? If so, please consult me immediately on this matter.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wear Your Support!

For purchasing information, please contact me directly or send an email to: inspiredshirts@gmail.com

TEAM RY ------- $10
(Available in both youth & adult sizes)

Description: Team Ry logo on front center. Back side has quote on shoulder blade area. Shirt is in hot pink only, preshrunk 100% cotton.

"OM" INSPIRED BY RYAN ----$10 white, $15 tye dye
(Adult sizes only)

Description: Front has "OM" symbol in middle. Back side has various adjectives covering the whole back. Available in white cotton or hand tye dye.

(Adult sizes only)

Description: Front only. Ryan logo is in the middle of the shirt. White cotton only. Sizes are limited.

It's Time To TRY

In hopes of spreading, not only the word of my training goals, but also something of far more importance: the concept of TRYING, I am offering t-shirts for sale to help propel these dreams of mine.

I am currently piled up with paperwork and processing to establish a non-profit for this new journey. I am accruing a multitude of expenses ranging from flights to swim meets, training gear, and various other items that strangely add up to a lot.

So here is the chance to help me foster a simple, yet not very well practiced, concept: TRYING.

The word TRY is a short syllable of a word, with a long and extensive meaning to me. The world is full of opportunity and disappointment; however, if you give it your all, you will succeed every single time. It is only now that I am truly understanding the meaning behind TRYING. All along, I thought I had been giving it my all, when I had just been too afraid to pursue anything whole-heartedly... until now.

Swimming has always been a part of my life, in one way or another. Swimming was something that I learned before learning basic words of speech or the movement of crawling. Swimming was something that gave me normalcy and a life back after a tragic car accident. Swimming was something that got me out of my wheelchair, yet still being able to move places.

Swimming IS something that can prove to me that in TRYING comes success.

I have never fully believed this within me until now. I am stronger than I ever have been, both physically and mentally. I am ready to prove all of my inspirations true and can't wait to share them with the world.

Please spread the word. TRY.

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." --George Eliot

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All From One Tiny Droplet

The race is on. Water is life. Power is felt when guided by such a force.

I have just a little over a month until I leave for Santa Clara. I have been swimming virtually everyday, sometimes at the wee hours in which certainly no one chooses to jump into a cold pool without true spirit of the sport.

Next week, I will begin my quest for 2-a-day practicing (only on Tuesdays and Thursdays). I will continue this only through September 15th, and then ease back down and prepare for the competition I've been waiting for all these months.

It's interesting how your maturity and wise-offerings start to pour into your athleticism as you age. I would have never had the drive and diligence ten years ago, or even two. I am constantly coaching myself and encouraging through every stroke and every turn. I don't allow myself to be defeated for too long. I rage with fight in moments where I feel weak (either physically or mentally). I force myself to challenge those things I'd rather not. I listen to my body and treat it with the utmost of care and concern. I spend hours contemplating the movement of the water and the reaction of my body underneath.

Although I haven't quite accomplished a true race up to this point, I feel like I have accomplished many tiny droplets along the way. These droplets certainly do add up and create quite a puddle as they link their little molecules of life together, combing to force waves and stir currents. To add beauty to the world and nourishment to all living things.

Those droplets are probably the most important part of this whole thing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Helen Said It Best

"Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
-- Helen Keller

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

My tongue is bitter and my fingers sore, outlined in paper cuts. BUT my spirits are high.

I have successfully created, printed, addressed, and prepared over 40 different sponsorship request letters to be sent out in the mail first thing on Monday morning. I am not holding my breath for much of a response; however, I feel really great solely about the attempt.

This is something I would have never considered in my past swimming life. New beginnings create new endings, every single time. I'm sure of it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sponsor-shots In the Dark

And now begins the most dreadful part of this experience... gaining sponsorships.

It isn't so bad telling people about my goals or explaining this journey, but it IS extremely hard expressing my need for financial (and otherwise) aid to make my goals realities. It sort of feels like I am selling myself, although rather appropriately.

Tonight, I just finished preparing 36 sponsorship letters to various establishments and people in and not-so-in my life. Twenty of those letters are headed to local fraternities and sororities in the community in the hopes of fulfilling a necessary philanthropy of theirs.

Some letters are extremely personal and specific, others a simple shot in the dark. Those shot-in-the-darkers are large corporations that may have something to do with either disabilities, sports, or both.

And I thought swimming was going to be hard...