Aloha from the Lions!
The LMU swimming program traveled to Hawai'i for a week of training and fun.
Jan. 14, 2010
ALOHA FROM THE LIONS!
The LMU swimming program will spend a week in Hawai'i from January 10-16. The trip provides an all-around positive experience for the swimmers, teaming training and business with fun and shared experiences. The Lions will also hit competitive water in Hawai'i, swimming against the University of Hawai'i in a dual meet on Friday. Head Coach Bonnie Adair has asked each condo of swimmers to write one blog entry apiece over the course of the trip. The blogs that follow are the result.
It has been an amazing first full day in Hawai'i on the Island of Oahu. Our condo in Waikiki has an amazing view of the ocean. The condo is in a perfect location - across the street from the beach, and close to great shopping!
Today we had 7:00 a.m. morning practice at Iolani High School for about two hours, and then we had a quick strength session in the school's weight room.
After practice we enjoyed a free meal at McDonalds, thanks to Mal's family. We also stopped by Safeway to pick up groceries to prepare dinner. Food and swimming go hand in hand. Our room is now well stocked with Greek yogurt, granola, eggs, dried mango (which we are all addicted to), mochi ice cream, peanut butter, and bananas.
After unpacking groceries it was time to hit Waikiki beach. We enjoyed three hours of tanning and swimming in the ocean, as well as delicious shaved ice from the beach snack stand. It was amazing to go from the cool weather of California to the hot and humid tropical weather of Oahu.
We completed afternoon practice by around 6:00 p.m. and had plenty of time to prepare dinner. The coaches decided to hold a cooking contest. Each room was asked to prepare a dish and deliver it to the coaches to judge on presentation, taste, and nutritional value. Our room prepared shabu shabu, which is a Chinese soup with noodles, beef, mushrooms, pumpkin, shrimp, and tofu. We cooked it in a large electric pot in the middle of our dinner table so we could cook and eat at the same time. Unfortunately, the coaches did not get the full dining experience because they did not get to eat out of the big pot. So...we got third place in the cooking contest.
We woke up around 6:25, having a different feeling than any morning before, because we had earned the title of Iron Chef in the cook-off the previous night - a big ego boost to Room 804.
Morning swim was hard, because we had to earn our afternoon off, and that came by making it through the hardest set we have faced. Luckily we all pulled through and were rewarded with an exciting, fun-filled day.
Our day of adventure began with a beautiful hike around the Makapu'u Mountain. The trail was not too challenging; however, after morning's swim set `del Diablo,' our legs were fried and made for a difficult summit. The views were stunning and we were able to take in panoramic views of the nearby valley, stretches of beach and several tide pools. WE SAW WHALES!!! Even though they were really, really far away, we could see small humpbacks breaching!
After the hike we drove to Kailua beach in the area. It was a little bit overcast but that did not hold many of the swimmers out of the water. Some swimmers went snorkeling, some constructed a human pyramid, some explored further down the beach to the rocks, and Clay, our coach, swam out to a small island. Still others expressed their inner creativity by building sand castles. After the sand castles were built and then destroyed, we were challenged by the local Hawaiian crew team to a swim-off around a buoy and back. It was originally going to be one representative LMU swimmer against their best guy, but soon it turned into a full team effort. After a few concerns were raised to our coaches about how we were going to be able to race in our bikinis and lack of swim caps and goggles, we gave the boys a 30 second head start and were able to win by blowing by the exhausted boys at the finish before a cheering crowd on the beach.
After a long day driving, hiking, soaking in the sun, and swimming, we were set free to roam around Waikiki for the evening. We shopped, dined, and lounged, absorbing the local culture of Hawaii.
WE LOVE HAWAII!!!!!
This morning's practice was short yet intense with a test set of 5X200s fast in your specialty stroke. This was followed by a "Bonnie Bonus Round" that consisted of an additional 200 from a dive and broken for time in that same stroke. After practice we returned to the hotel for a quick homemade breakfast. Some of the group stayed back for some shopping at Ala Moana or "R and R" at the local Waikiki beach.
The rest of us had decided to go to Pearl Harbor, but unfortunately we soon found out that the ferry to the memorial was not running. Therefore we voted as a group to head to Hanauma Bay, a famous beach for snorkeling. Upon arrival, we saw that the park had reached maximum capacity, so we continued on to find another snorkeling location. Fortunately, as we continued down the highway, we came across a whale-watching point that had a beautiful cove, just south of Sandy Beach. We trekked down the rocks and immediately set up camp. Grabbing our goggles and fins, we headed straight for the water. Below the choppy waters of the cove, we swam amongst several sea turtles and tropical fish. Assistant Coach Clay Evans, the adventuresome one of the team, discovered a good cliff-jumping site around the bend that was approximately 15 feet tall. While the jump was not too intense, the crashing waves below were quite intimidating. Nevertheless, most of us took the plunge and had a blast. The swim back to the beach was only about 300 yards, but a bit challenging due to the current.
With growling stomachs and practice looming ahead, we ventured into town to grab a bite to eat. There, we discovered a cute smoothie shop that made acai bowls, which we found were quite delicious. Most of us had never experienced the deliciousness of acai bowls and found the mixture of granola, soy, acai, fresh cut fruit, and honey to be very refreshing. After we filled our stomachs, we returned to the hotel to take a quick cat nap before practice. Dreading the pain that awaited us, we were not surprised when Coach Bonnie hit us with another difficult set that consisted of 2000 for the IMers and 2500 for the freestylers. Although it was very challenging on top of our afternoon activities, we got to mix things up a bit with an intersquad competition of dives, belly flops, and cannon balls (which were not exactly our forte).
After practice, we rushed home to cook for the team potluck, in which each room contributed a dish. Our room decided to make a meat sauce pasta dish as well as garlic dip with bread. The potluck was delicious, and we spent the rest of the night playing catch phrase with the team, which is always interesting and hilarious, allowing us to unwind and finish the day on a good note. We all called it a night early, as we were exhausted from an exciting day, and looking forward to an even better one tomorrow.
Thursday, January 14th, 2010 was a great one for the LMU Women's swim team. After a great night sleep at the Aston Beach Tower Hotel in Waikiki, we woke up around 6:20 and got ready for swim practice. We started off the last practice with a solid warm up, breath control set, kick set, and then our main set which involved 21x100s, this challenged the team as a whole.
After the pool, we headed back to the hotel for a quick breakfast and then trekked to the Dole plantation where we were able to explore the gift shop, indulge in fresh pineapple soft serve, examine tiny, premature pineapple plants, and feed monstrous coi fish. After roaming around the plantation, we did a driving tour around the island stopping at Waimea Bay on the North shore, where we were able to witness 20 foot swells. The conditions of these waves were so dangerous that the lifeguard used the loud speaker to warn the girls from getting too close.
After this adventure we grabbed some lunch and headed to a beautiful hidden cove along the coast on the way back to Waikiki. The team spent a couple hours on the beach, and some of the adventurous folk participated in cliff jumping, led by Clay. The water was crystal clear, and the team was able to snorkel, seeing an abundance of fish, sea turtles, and even a whale.
As the sun sank below the horizon, the team left for the hotel to clean up for dinner, hosted by the Lim Family at Heeings. After getting dolled up, we enjoyed authentic Chinese style cuisine with delicious mochi ice cream for dessert. As dinner came to end, we went back to the hotel and were free to roam Waikiki, as it was our last night in Hawaii.
Hope you enjoyed this blog and thanks for reading!