Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Also, as another surprise, my sister flew one of my best friends from college in for labor day weekend. I hadn't seen Lisette for 3 1/2 years, and it was great to reconnect to such a good friend. We had a fantastic weekend full of fun, relaxing and girly activities. (Thank you Holly!)
I've been working out (sometimes), getting stuff done around the house, and spending lots of time with my husband. There's no place like home!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
My plan right now is to take about two or three or months off of diving completely. The longest I have ever been out of the water was for 6 weeks in 2006. I have some mixed feelings about it. Definitely ready for a break, and excited about that. But also a little apprehensive. What will life be like without diving? Without working out 5-6 hours a day?
I am excited about working part time for my sister as a “nanny” to my two nephews, Luke and Brock. They are 1 and 2 and so much fun!
I am also looking forward to putting more energy into the nonprofit organization International Cultural Exchange, or ICx. www.internationalculturalexchange.org The basic goal of the organization is to help international students by pairing them with a “friendship family.” This is great for both for the students and the families. The students get the opportunity to experience much more of American culture firsthand, and the families lives are enriched by learning about the students’ lives, countries and culture.
I am about to head out to Closing Ceremonies. I am looking forward to this fun concluding celebration. It has been an amazing month.
Monday, August 18, 2008
A few things I want to always remember about last night:
-How awesome I felt before the competition. I had a great warm up. I was “up” and full of adrenaline, but calm at the same time. I couldn’t have asked to be in a better place mentally. This was a stark contrast to how I felt going into the prelims, so it was that much sweeter to feel so ready.
-Knowing when I was done that my coach was truly proud of me. We’ve been in it together for a long time. Both of us were overcome with emotion. I am so thankful I have a coach who cares so deeply.
-Knowing my family would be waiting outside of the pool (and on the phone!) when I was done. And there they were, full of love.
My performance was far from perfect, but at the risk of sounding cliché, I really did give it my
all. I felt great, I went for it, I held nothing back. And I got 8th.
I’ve always been a firm believer in the saying, “The journey is more important than the destination.” And I believe that is true even when I find myself at a slightly different destination than I had dreamed.
I’ve got alot more processing to do over the coming days and weeks. But in the mean time, I plan to soak up every last minute of my time here, cheer my teammates on to their victories, spend some quality time with my family, and of course to do a little shopping.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
We left from the village as a group and went to the fencing hall--where we met the President! It was truly an honor.
George Bush Sr.
Laura Bush and I
We also got to meet the Basketball team!
We then walked over the Gymnastics hall where all of the countries were waiting for their turn to walk over to the stadium and march in. We were sitting high up in the stands as we were toward the end. It was very hot. I really enjoyed getting to see some of the other countries’ uniforms. While we were waiting, there were two pauses in the calling of the countries where they played a few minutes of live feed of the actual show. Although I couldn’t see all of it, what I saw was outstanding!
When it was our turn, we slowly walked over to Stadium. There were volunteers holding hands to form a kind of “wall” blocking off excited fans. Everyone was so excited—it was an electric atmosphere. One of my favorite parts of the evening was when we entered the tunnel right before we entered the stadium. It was so crowded and so exciting. All around me all I could hear were people chanting, “U-S-A!” It was overwhelming as we walked into the Bird’s Nest; it really hit me—I am here at the Olympic Games representing my country. I could hardly contain my emotion.
Once we circled the track, we came to stand in the inner field to watch the rest of the countries march in. Although it was very hot, it was incredible to be surrounded by so many thousands of people from all over the world. The roar was incredible when China was announced. I am from Houston, so I felt a little connection to Yao Ming when I watched him carry the Chinese flag.
The lighting of the torch was amazing. Everyone could see that the torch was high up, and we were all speculating on how it would be lit. My team and I were all thoroughly impressed at how unique, creative and well planned it was.
8-8-08 was truly a night I will never forget!!
Friday, August 08, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Although I really enjoyed my meals that day, I actually got pretty sick that night. It was a rough night, but thankfully I felt much better in the morning, and was excited for the day ahead. We were headed to the Great Wall!
After we got to the bottom, we did a little shopping, and I got a t-shirt. Then we went to a great little restaurant called The School House. They had great food, but also a shop with lots of handmade glass pieces. We got to see how they make it when they did a glass blowing demonstration for us. It was super interesting. Here is a video of it.
It was a great day and a half away from the village. However, this morning, it felt good to be back “home.” Practices are going well. I am SO EXCITED for Opening Ceremonies tomorrow. I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for this day. I really can’t contain how excited I am, and everyone on the team is feeling it too. Less than 24 hours!!
On another note, more and more countries are coming in. Before we left, the village had been pretty quiet, but now many more people are here and there is much more of a “buzz” in the air. I am glad we got here and were able to get settled before a ton of people came. I think I would have been overwhelmed a little if I had just walked into it the way the atmosphere is now. It really is exciting (I keep saying that, don’t I?) But it is!! : )
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Wow, what a few days it’s been! I am finally here in the village. YAY! The last several days have been filled with all kinds of adventures. On Sunday night we had a send off gala that was quite fancy. We started the evening with a diving show. It was a little strange because we were marched out in front of the crowd, and in many ways it felt like a meet, but with no warm up time, and lots of down time in between march out and when we did our dives. Afterwards, we got showered and all dressed up (the event was casual elegant). The highlight of the evening was receiving a new camera as a gift from Kaiser Permanente. I love it and have been using it a lot in the last few days!
On Monday morning we had a media training and then left for San Jose State. This is where Team Processing is held. We got there Monday evening and got settled. The next day we got to train at Stanford for a few hours in the morning before all of the afternoon activities. We started about 1:30, and I was busy until about 11. There were a bunch of different stations for us to go through; some were: picture taking, ring sizing (and possible upgrading), the option to buy an Olympic leather jacket, a Chicago 2012 promotion station. By far the most exciting, though, was where we got our outfitting!! We had to wait a long time because there was a limited amount of space and lots of people. We each got a shopping cart, and then proceeded to go around to different stations where we could try on all of our apparel. There was so much great stuff by Nike and Ralph Lauren, the USOC Olympic apparel sponsors for this year. It was so fun to get so much awesome USA gear.
After this, we got alterations made on our Opening Ceremonies outfits (which look really good). Then we had a team picture in our Nike track jackets and a Team Briefing where we got some info on what to expect in Beijing and in the village. Now it was time to pack and get ready to go! We were able to ship a box of items home that we wouldn’t need in Beijing. It took awhile, but I finally got all squared away and ready to go. We left bright and early the next morning for the airport.
After a long flight (which was considerably easier since I didn’t have a domestic layover before the SF to Beijing flight), we finally arrived! It was such a great feeling to touch down in Beijing. When I went through customs, my customs officer called someone else over, handed my passport to them, and told me to follow them. Talk about a little disconcerting! This happened to quite a few people. The problem stemmed from a difference in the names on our credential (which also serves as our Visa) and our passport. Everything finally got figured out and we went downstairs to catch a bus to the village.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Laura, my teammate and her mom and I are getting ready to go to Santa Monica Pier for dinner and a nice relaxing evening away from the hotel. Pictures to come soon!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The last week has been a good week. No doubt about it. A fantastic week.
However, I can’t help but think: What if things had gone terribly a few days ago? What if I had been injured? What if I had not been chosen?
I have been there before. I know that feeling well. So many times it has not gone the way I wanted it to. Many teams not chosen for. Times of injury, of failure, when it just didn’t happen. There is so much uncertainty in sport (and in all of life, for that matter). Everyone works hard. Everyone sweats and sacrifices. But not everyone “succeeds.”
I want to rejoice in this mountaintop experience and feel it fully, even as I have fully felt the pain of failure so many times before. And I know had the failure not been such a real part of my journey, the mountaintop would not be so sweet.
I know this, too: God was still there loving me and in control when I was hurting and feeling like a failure as when I’m rejoicing and so excited. I want to remember also that I am still me—the same me I would have been had I not been able to go to Beijing.
I found this quote by Jen Abbas that sums up just how I feel. I think she was talking right to me!
"I wonder if you’ll come to a point, as I did, when you are so frustrated with you inability to control your circumstances that you’ll finally run, exhausted and overwhelmed, to the God who willingly took your hurts and sins upon Himself on the cross, who loves you unconditionally, and who provides a peace you can’t explain." Jen Abbas, Generation Ex
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tennessee did a really great job of hosting the meet. For July the 4th, they catered a dinner for us in the new club room in the stadium. It was so nice! Here is a view of the city and the stadium.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
The morning started early, when I woke up early and couldn’t go back to sleep in anticipation. I got to see my mother and grandmother in law for a few minutes this morning before heading to the pool. My teammates and I decided to meet at the pool to hear the team announcement together. It was bittersweet. So excited for my first Olympic birth, and devastated for my teammates who were not chosen. I have been there so many times before. I know that feeling well, and my heart really breaks for them.
My teammate, Laura, who just earned her 3rd Olympic birth, brought her Olympic ring from 2000 for me to wear until I get my own.
Although sadness mingled with excitement, the excitement grew as I got to tell my friends and family the wonderful news. So many people have been with me on this long long road, and it was incredible to be able to share in this with them.
Tonight I went to dinner with my family that was in town (one of my sisters and my mom were unable to make it) for a night of celebration. We went to P.F. Chang’s (fitting, don’t you think?) and had a fantastic time.
I really am so blessed and so humbled. And ready for bed. : ).
Monday, July 07, 2008
I can hardly even believe it. What a long road it’s been. But God has been faithful every single step of the way. And so good. Even when things were so hard and so painful, God was so good and faithful to me. And, if this venture hadn’t turned out quite the way I’d have hoped, God still would have been so good and faithful.
I really was happy with how I dove this week. I was very consistent, as all four of my lists were within 7 points of each other. I even got my personal best on the first list with 353 points.
I am so thankful and happy I don’t even know what to say. And so very humbled.
We will be home for about 2 weeks, then go to nationals in CA. We will leave from there to go to Beijing. I will dive in Beijing on August 15-17.
I am so excited!