The Houston Cougar Swimming & Diving team finally arrived at 3 pm after traveling an exhausting 10 hours to Hawaii! Once we landed Coach Taylor rented vans for transportation and allowed us to go off and explore the island for the rest of the day. Most of us went to the strip of shops that are lined across the street from the beach. A few of the swimmers, like Amanda Rutter, headed straight for the International Market Place to start a long awaited shopping spree. Other people, such as Kat Lau, headed straight for the sandy white beach and the bright blue ocean.
We met as a team for dinner at Chilli's as Coach Taylor briefed us for our upcoming plans. He gave us a little more time to look around the island before our 10 o'clock curfew. Tomorrow is the day we begin our very strenuous Christmas training program. We are not as stressed or worried about the difficult practices that are ahead of us because we are spending the rest of the time in such an incredible place.
Well, I need to prepare for the rest of the trip and will keep everybody posted about our progress.
Aloha from Hawaii!
We had our first full day of practice yesterday and swam about 15,000 yards (aka. about 10 miles). We are very, very, very tired today, but really excited about the sprint meet that we have later this afternoon. If we win the last relay we are awarded with 10 pineapples. It will be a nice change from the challenging practices that we have had.
The weather has not been too great over here. It's been grey and rainy the past few days. Coach Taylor announced that a tropical storm is headed towards the islands tomorrow and practice might be cancelled. We were supposed to go on an excursion, like a hike up Diamond Head Mountain to celebrate New Years Day, but it looks as though we might have to postpone those plans for a better day.
Like most of us, Tatjana and Alejandra, plan to ring in the New Year by watching the fireworks tonight on the beach at midnight. We were told that the strip will have many street performers that entertain the crowds that are walking by. We are still getting a feel for the island and are having a blast! We hope all is well in Houston and have a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Our early morning training began today at 5 a.m. today. We really could not complain because we only swam once yesterday due to the weather conditions. Most girls stayed inside and rested to prepare for the upcoming meet against Pacific and Arkansas tomorrow. We are very excited to swim them and are beginning to adjust to the windy outdoor facility.
The weather is good today and most of the team decided to hit the beach and work on our tans. A few of the girls boogie boarded and Vicki signed up for surfing lessons. She said that she had a fun time, but it's a lot harder than it seems.
We have another workout today, but it's not weighing heavily on our minds. Mainly because after the meet tomorrow we are going to a LUAU at Paradise Cove! We are really pumped for the meet, but are even more excited about the party after!
Hopefully, I will be able to send some pictures from my camera to show ya'll the great times that we have been having. We will be thinking about everyone at home while we are on the beach! Take care and Aloha!!
Yesterday the University of Houston Swimming and Diving team had a meet against Arkansas and Pacific. Our team really pulled together to battle and out race the Arkansas team. As a whole, it was the best meet of the season based on a team effort. We celebrated the win with a trip tp a Luau where we made all sorts of lei's for our wrists, ankles, and heads. The show was incredible and full of music, fire, and dancing. Paradise Cove is an amazing part of the island that is very secluded and beautiful.
We had one practice this morning for two hours and have just returned from climbing Diamond Head mountain. Everyone participated -including our trainer, coaches, and team manager- we all made it to the top and back in a very impressive amount of time. The view of the island up there was incredible and one of the best we have seen all week.
In a few minutes we are leaving to go to the North Shore because there are 20-30 foot waves. Coach Taylor said he would like us to try an open water swim while we are there, but I am really hopeful that he is just kidding. Although Kristen Bay and Randee Billips are crazy enough that they just might take him up on that.
Our assistant coach made arrangements for us to visit the Dole pineapple plantation if we have time later today.Tomorrow, we are to swim twice and day and see Pearl Harbor in between practices. We are going to be very busy, but I will try to keep everyone updated! Hae awonderful day and Aloha!
Alhoa! The team visited Pearl Harbor in between both of our workouts two days ago. The memorial was amazing and the stories that we heard were incredibly touching. The most interesting part was getting to walk over the sunken USS Arizona. There is still oil that leaks about 2 quarts from the boats tanks every day since that day in Dec 1941.
Yesterday, coach gave us the day off after a 3 mile run at 6 am. Kristin Bay, Randee Billips, and I decided that we wanted to take surfing lessons on Wakiki early around 8 a.m. due to the crowds around 10 am. Well, it was not 15 minutes into the lesson when our instructor sent us all off together on one wave. Randee was in the process of standing up when a native came up right behind her, lost control, and hit her in the head with his surf board. She had to be rushed to the hospital to get 6 staples in her head. She is doing alot better now, but says that she ' never wants to surf again!!
Today we woke up around 6 and traveled to Lani Kai to do an open water swim. After 30 minutes of ocean swimming, we divided up into 2 teams, upper classmen versus lower classmen. It was a relay that consisted of running on the beach, swimming a little over 100 yards out into the ocean, circling the bouy, swimming, and running back to the group to tag the next member of the team. It was a close race, but of course the upperclasmen prevailed thanks to our assistant coach Jen Browne who stepped in for Randee.
We are soaking up the sun today and doing last minute shopping for our family & friends because we leave tomorrow for home. We have an excursion to Hunama Bay tomorrow at 7 am to go snorkeling and kayaking before our last afternoon practice. This trip has been an overall success and we have made alot of memories. The team has pulled together and worked very hard both in competitions and during training. We have had an amazing experience and are very VERY grateful for such a wonderful opportunity. However, we are ready to come home and prepare for the next semester and upcoming CONFERENCE at our own HOME POOL! Please come out and support the lady cougars at one of the night sessions this february! For any information just click on the schedule icon on our swimming & diving website or email email@example.com. Aloha and GO COOGS! See you soon!