Training Trip 2013

January 12th update:

Hi there, Crimson fans! I’m Kyle Krueger, a junior breaststroker on HWSD. We just returned from our annual training trip, so we are adjusting back to Boston’s chilly winter temperatures. This year, the swimmers travelled to Puerto Rico where we trained in the sun at the University of the Sacred Heart, while the divers made the trip to Miami and trained at the University of Miami’s gorgeous outdoor facility.

Down in Puerto Rico, the sunny skies and inviting warm weather offered the perfect setting for HWSD’s 26 swimmers to fully commit to an intense week of training. While we were surrounded by a decidedly laid-back island vibe and spent our mid-day hours relaxing on the beach, training trip was also a time for bringing a laser-beam focus and a sense of purpose to practice each morning and afternoon. Practices are always tough. Our bodies always feel broken down. But just as constant is the unwavering support of each member of HWSD through every challenging workout. Most salient in my memory of training trip each year is the team point set, and 2013 was no different. Challenged to each step up and race in our best events, we took on the coaches’ 50-point goal with confidence, heart, and determination. Digging deep on that set with the encouragement and solidarity of all of your teammates really captures the essence of what it means to be a member of HWSD.

Our team’s cohesion can be traced to our fun activities away from the pool as well. From our team dinner out, to nightly team bonding activities, to our trip into Old San Juan, to a team outing to one of Puerto Rico’s famed bioluminescence kayaking tours, training trip was also a time of team bonding. Whether we were preparing with our roommates for the annual training trip talent show, or whipping up a “family dinner” in our hotel room kitchens, every moment of training trip, both in and out of the pool, allowed everyone from the freshmen to the seniors to become closer as a team. We all know that our deep-seated team unity is one of HWSD’s most valuable and defining traits, and it is sure to make us an even more unstoppable force when it comes time to compete.

While our stay in Puerto Rico had to draw to a close, we were not quite ready to return home yet. On our way back to Cambridge, we made a two-day pit-stop in Miami to join forces with our divers and compete against the University of Miami in a dual meet. Although we could have easily yielded to the aching muscles and tired bodies that come with the end of training trip, we instead found strength in all of the hard work that we had put in during the last week. Knowing that we were physically and mentally tougher than before, and more united than ever, we took the meet by storm. With a 175-86 victory, we capped off an incredibly successful training trip.

Without a doubt, this trip once again reminded me why I am so thankful to call myself a member of HWSD. Inspired by my teammates as always, I am looking forward to our hard work coming to fruition as we enter the home stretch of our season.  As was said on our training trip, it’s time for HWSD to define our legacy!

A Taste of the Tropics

My name is Catherine Zagroba, but everyone on the team just calls me Ziggy. I’m a senior distance swimmer on HWSD originally from New Jersey. Over Christmas break, the team had the chance to relax and hang out with friends and family for about two weeks at home. My favorite parts of being home are sleeping in a bed that is not a twin XL, getting to eat some good home cooking, and catching up on sleep. Then on New Year’s Day, the team traveled from far and wide back to campus for the most wonderful time of the year – J-term. While we only had about two weeks at home, the team was definitely ready to leave Christmas club training behind and return to campus. Since finals are now before Christmas and classes don’t begin again until the end of January, there is a month’s time when Harvard students have no responsibilities. As swimmers and divers, we are lucky enough to spend this month training, bonding with our team, catching up on missed television shows, wearing a comfy J-term outfit, and sleeping from practice to practice. J-term is also great because we get to go on training trip in the middle of it. On Wednesday, we left behind the frigid weather of Boston to train in a tropical locale for a week. This year the swimmers in Puerto Rico and the divers are in Hawaii. We are spending our time training twice a day, attempting to become a slightly tanner shade of white, and obsessively reading the Hunger Games trilogy. The swimmers have had a great training trip so far with people swimming really fast times in practice, even in the middle of tough training. Yesterday, we completed our annual 60-point set extremely quickly, with many people swimming far under the goal times set for them by the coaches. The coaches even let us have the afternoon off so we could go on a snorkeling trip. I’m looking forward to the 3rd annual training trip talent show on the last night of training trip, where the swimmers show off their singing, dancing, and acting skills. On Wednesday, we will return to campus and reunite with the divers so we can prepare for our meet against Brown this Saturday at Blodgett at 12pm. Sadly, J-term will end in a few weeks and we will have to look forward to the second most wonderful time of the year – taper time.

Training Trip Photo Album Coming Soon!