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Back In The Day

Last night I did something I haven't done in quite awhile: watch TV.

I saw a tweet from Lisa Congdon that there was swimming on TV and that was enough to get me to tune in and I'm so glad I did.

I loved watching the US Olympic swimming trials. Watching those swimmers make their dreams come true was super inspiring (especially the ones who will be making their first trip).

I even loved watching a lot of the commercials that were sport and Olympic-related.

When a commercial break came on I ran upstairs to look in one of my old photo albums and see what swimming photos I could find. I found the two above from 1989 (I was 14).

I probably think about swimming, or have memories related to swimming, just about every day. It was such a huge part of my life in my early years into my first year of college.

The Olympics were never a dream of mine, but I loved swimming all the same.

I remember what it feels like: the training, the breathing, the gliding, the kick, the reach, the pull, the bite of the cold water first thing in the morning, the mental work-out, the exhaustion, the highs, the competition, the friendships, the winning and the losing. I remember when it felt really, really good and when it was really, really hard.

And I wonder why in the heck I'm not pushing my body and my mind in those same ways anymore.

Maybe this will be the season I get back in the pool for real.

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59 thoughts

  1. Ilona says…
    06/29/2012

    Go Ali GO! :-)
    Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. dawn says…
    06/29/2012

    WOW Ali, these are great pictures!! First place, how awesome for you!! I love this story about you and how your thinking of getting in the pool FOR REAL!! Way to go, this would be awesome for you.

    Sadly I never had those kinds of swimming days as a kid. I had tubes in my ears for years and just never got to enjoy being in the water. I'm still the same way now, I get in a little with the kids to cool off but I dont' "SWIM". My kids amaze me with their fearless swimming and tricks in the water and I'm so grateful for that.

    Enjoy your weekend, how is the garden coming along?

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  3. Erin Reive says…
    06/29/2012

    You are a rock star. I just want you to know that I can float on my back, doggy paddle, and superman from one side of the pool to the other, but have never really "swam" in all my life. Silly, I know. :) Just thought you might get a giggle out of me superman gliding or doggy paddling in the pool. hehe

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  4. Susan C says…
    06/29/2012

    Ali you are always an inspiration, I too have many memories of swimming when younger, competitively and just for fun. My 3 and 4 year old are both taking swimming lessons this summer and I am so excited about it.
    I am a bit older than you (60) but this just may be the summer I get back in the pool for real too.

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  5. Tami says…
    06/29/2012

    I jus got home from the lake, I kayaked formy friend who is training for an ironman, 2.4 miles by 630am

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  6. Cathy Z. says…
    06/29/2012

    You lanky thing you. Damn. : ) Love seeing old swim pics. My mom took exactly ZERO of me. Sigh.

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  7. Bev Mascara says…
    06/29/2012

    I love the swimming olympics. Wow...a girl of many talents you are Miss Ali!!!

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  8. Lisa W. says…
    06/29/2012

    We were never lucky enough in our small school system to have a pool. It was a new school back in the 70's or a swimming pool. The school was voted in. BUT summers were ALL about our pool in the back yard. Loving still today to go to our friends pools!! Thanks for sharing...I had no idea you were a swim champ:)

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  9. Sharon says…
    06/29/2012

    Go girl!

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  10. Karen H says…
    06/29/2012

    Go for it Ali!

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  11. Susan says…
    06/29/2012

    Except for the competition I feel the same way about te pool. and wonder why, too, i'm not in the pool...i have a necklace that i wrote about in my 31 things...swimming makes me happy. and yet, i'm not in the pool. what's up with that?

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Liz says…
    06/29/2012

    Cool Ali - loved seeing these old photos! I'll come watch your next 'meet' for sure. :)

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  13. Janet K says…
    06/29/2012

    These photos are Great!!! I love watching the swimming and the Olympics. Though I never swam for competition...I love being in the pool & just never do it. I recently was visiting Portland for a few days,,,and went in the hotel pool...now I can;t wait to get in again!

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  14. Kristin Z says…
    06/29/2012

    I grew up a competitive swimmer as well- our team had those same suits! There was nothing worse than the cold water for 6:00am practice. :)

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  15. Megan says…
    06/29/2012

    so many of my memories growing up are tied up in swimming too. i used to say "i love swimming" when my mom would pick me up after practice in junior high. now i'm happy if i can get in a the pool a couple times a week. and have also been inspired by watching the amazing swimmers in the trials.

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  16. KristynKG says…
    06/29/2012

    We've been watching the trials too. I swam in jr high and high school - 200IM and 100Fly were my events. I told hubby last night that I would give anything to be able to swim competitively again. Sadly, there are no masters teams around, so I think my only option would be Tri's. Your Danskin recaps always light a spark in me to give it a go.

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  17. Becky R says…
    06/29/2012

    I love watching swimming too!

    I am originally from Federal Way too! :)

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  18. Nicole Prather says…
    06/29/2012

    Ali thank you for inspiring me to document our crazy life !! Your blog and pictures keep me going to create what will last forever. I always tell myself when things are bad or not what I planned on things always happen for a reason we might not know right now why but eventually god reveals in his own time. Got me through a lot of whys !! You are awesome and I believe God always throws us something to kick start what we have lost down inside !!! Xoxo

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Katie says…
    06/29/2012

    Love this!! Go Ali go!

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  20. aliza says…
    06/29/2012

    Thanks for sharing. This was fun to read. It is always interesting looking back at what we used to be good at, and how sometimes those things slip away. I often have this conversation with myself about dance. I loved it as a child, and was always stretching, working, trying new things. When I feel bad about losing that, I try to remember all that I do now that I didn't/couldn't do then.

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  21. Judy says…
    06/29/2012

    I, too, swam in high school. Thanks for a beautifully written walk down memory lane!

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  22. Debbie S. says…
    06/29/2012

    Cool photos! :)

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  23. Susanmcl says…
    06/29/2012

    Ali- you mentioned the mental workout? What do you mean by that specifically? What do you think about when you swim for so long at a time?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      06/29/2012

      I found it mentally challenging in lots of ways - sometimes I loved the quiet time to think and I'd think about all the things happening in my life (school, friends, boyfriends, daydreams) and other times I was thinking about my stroke or how much farther I had to go and that I probably wasn't working hard enough and I should work harder. I bet it's similar for distance runners or other people who participate in individual sports. Lots of time for thinking and mental games.

  24. char says…
    06/29/2012

    I love swimming too. I'm lucky enough to have (swimming) tickets for the London Olympics next month. I CAN'T WAIT!

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  25. Christine says…
    06/29/2012

    Love this trip down memory lane. I'm not much of a swimmer but I made sure all three of my girls learned to swim. All 3 were on a swim team and my oldest swam for her high school team. When she was 16 she swam across Lake Washington. She is now 26 and is planning on swimming the English Channel. I'm happy that I made learning to swim a priority when my kids were young.

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