Thursday, September 2, 2010

Recollections of the Rack

I have always, always, always been both a very light sleeper and a morning person. That is about all I am going to contribute to today's Tell the Truth Thursday entry other than as I have gotten older it has been harder and harder to justify the 5AM despite that being my FAVORITE time of day. It has also been hard to go to STAY up past 11 and get to bed before 10 on school nights. I am in my glory when there is no TV to distract me and when I am forced to live by the sun, which made this summer's Adventures with Pete even more incredible. I loved waking up to Lobster boats as the sun came up and having coffee on the rock in that gray of dawn until the sun actually gathered HEAT (8AM).
Yesterday as I was finishing up the post from the previous day, and reminiscing about the ICE CREAM MAN when I see this post on Facebook by a former fellow New Paltz swimmer (Stro) about "the Rack". All these male team members were commenting on the posting with their recollections. I found myself intimidated about commenting. There was a time in my Sophomore year that I saw the dungeon and the rack. It was when I was recovering from both a broken nose that I suffered in a triangle I had resolved but had no business being in and a serious case of mycoplasma pneumonia that I had pretty much let fester for a good month before allowing anyone to know I was sick. I remember thinking that I was being let in on a secret society as Tommy and Javier showed me how to use the coolest rag tag, watch your fingers, makeshift BUT sports specific equipment in a room complete with its variety of pin-ups and the very same posted poem located below the bleachers in the pool. I remember Perri being with me to keep me company and listening to Van Halen as the rest of my team swam their workout above. I also remember how my shoulders felt the next day. I felt like I had swam from NY to FLA and BACK all because of that "Rack". I felt honored that I had the experience.
I loved my time on that team, and looking back, I wish my head was as into it and appreciative of the training I was committing to. I say this as I watch my youngest train towards the lofty goal that involves 5 rings and lots of countries with the focus that I am in awe of. He lights up the ice on the 400M oval and works hard because he has learned persistence at an early age. I have learned through him that the 10,000 hour rule exists.
As I think about making my way back to New Paltz for the reunion weekend, what I remember the most about my swimming days was the camaraderie I felt by being a part of a community that represented my school. I was elated to hear that the guys team from 1981 was inducted into the Hawk Hall of Fame. To this day I still feel that bond. I owe a lot of my current character and coaching abilities to what I learned from the team I was part of and the alum that stuck around and supported them, to Coach Stockin, and especially to Tommy and Nancy Gillin who were tireless in their efforts to make us believe we were the best team in the world ( I am sure you are both awesome teachers!).
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ALL and maybe I'll see you in October!

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