Jan
16
This entry is part 13 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

For this diary entry I got inspired by the message board on The Race Club website. In these last days there had been made some very interesting posts like “The Art of Taper” or “The sprinter mentality”. And some great personal experiences had been shared.

I now start my 12th year in swimming (so still a rookie). And probably, like most of you, I have had moments of doubt where I was close to stop. Times where I worked so hard for success and earned so little and bad. But hey, I already knew that because one of my coaches once told me:

“Listen – Swimming is hard work and most of the time it pays badly (literally). But when it pays back for all the hard work that had been done, it will be a lifetime experience”

And he was right. Every time I reached my goals I forgot about the struggle before and was filled up with happiness. Although this is not the point of the story. I mean, why didn’t I stop in times where struggle and not success had affected my swim. Sometimes I had to wait 2 years to come back. How could I know that I would succeed again? What was it that kept me swimming?

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Jan
12
This entry is part 12 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

It’s a long time ago since I last wrote on this diary entry. When I first started to write about what happened with me and my swim on the Short Course National last December I was always getting so badly excited in front of my notebook that I stopped only thinking about it. The only thing a wanted was to forget about it and never talk about this experience anymore

I needed to get some distance before I was able to write something that can be published on The Race Club website. And that’s the reason why it took me so long to share with you what I think all of you have a right to know it. It would be just not fair to write such positive things about The Race Club and their training methods. I was asking myself how I would feel if someone is saying me that he went through the best training program on earth and didn’t beat anyone, anywhere, anytime.

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Nov
14
This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

Although I would have loved to stay longer, Friday, October 28, was the day I had to leave Islamorada, The Race Club and my new friends. My flight back to Switzerland was on a wonderful sunny and warm afternoon only one week after Wilma. By the time my plane took off, I knew that at home the winter season was about to begin and the “shorts and T-shirt” season was over for me. After 8 hours of flight time, our plane approached Zurich Unique Airport. It was so foggy that you could see absolutely nothing and I could only feel that the plane had landed.

But let me start a bit earlier and tell you something about my last day in Islamorada with The Race Club. My last day in Islamorada was a bit different from “the business as usual” day of which you have perhaps already read in one of my former diary entries. Besides, you should also know that almost every day in Islamorada is different from the day before even if there are some (nice) habits.

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Oct
19
This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

My time here in Islamorada is almost over. At the time I am writing this diary entry, there are only a few more days left and then I have to go back to Switzerland (in the winter!). I feel very much “at home” here and I know I will miss everybody and everything!

But before I leave, I want to tell you what’s about The Race Club and how it makes me feel. I found a good example to explain what exactly is going on when you may once be in Islamorada as part of one of the Fantasy Camps. You may or you may not know the TV-Show Pimp My Ride. So let me give you a short introduction to this TV-show.

Pimp My Ride is a TV-show originally shown on MTV. The concept is simple — they take a car which is old, thought to be unfashionable, falling apart, or some combination thereof and WWC (West Coast Custom) “pimp” it.

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Oct
17
This entry is part 9 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

Not a long time ago I was sitting on the coach and Michelle came through the door. And during these 3 weeks Michelle spent here in Islamorada, things were getting started

If you have followed my diary entries so far, you already know a lot of the things Michelle and I were doing together here in Islamorada. But yes, it was all about fun. Swimming with the dolphins, fishing with Mangrove Mike’s, going out with the boats to snorkel or watch the sunset. But that’s only one side of our Race Club life, don’t think that all days had been relaxed like these. We also did a lot of serious work!

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Oct
10
This entry is part 8 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

I really never thought that something like this would happen to me. But life goes its own way and it happened. Since last week, I’m not longer a stranger for the Islamorada District Sheriff!

I already told you that I went out with the Jeep to get familiar with the Keys environment and this time I got familiar with the American law. So let me start with a short lesson in American law.

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Oct
10
This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

When I decided to come to Islamorada, the only thing my mom told me was that at this time of the year, Florida was having hurricane season.

Never really thought about something like that and never really been scared of it, I didn’t even thinking about going through one of this tropical storms or hurricanes. But I did it twice and everybody told me that this is a great story. So I want to tell you the stories about these two hurricanes (storms).

The first, named Kathrina, went through the Florida Keys in the night. This was after my first week, when I lived with Anthony in the house near the canal to the sea. We didn’t even know that a hurricane was announced to hit the Keys. The day before the weather was still great (sunshine all over). And even in the evening the weather was ok. It started raining a bit, but none of us thought about something like a hurricane.

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Oct
5
This entry is part 6 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

Several things need to be explained so that you can follow this little “adventure”. Let me start with Mangrove Mike’s. This is a restaurant in Islamorada where Michelle and I (and most swimmers from The Race Club) use to have a good breakfast after the morning session. And as the name tells it, Mike is the owner of this restaurant.

So one morning like almost every morning after our morning session, we are having our breakfast at Mangrove Mike’s sitting at a table near the wall. And on this wall like on most walls in Mangrove Mike’s restaurant, you can see pictures of Mike and his friends and their catches from the fishing trips.

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Sep
16
This entry is part 5 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

There’s one thing, both of us (Michelle and I) always wanted to do. Swimming with dolphins. So we started to check the facilities we have in the Keys. After checking all possibilities, we decided to go to Dolphins Plus to have our swim.

Located on the ocean side of Key Largo, Florida, DOLPHINS PLUS, INC. operates a marine mammal facility involved in environmental education programs, in-water therapy with handicapped, and the study of inter-species interaction between dolphins and humans. Dolphins Plus is a member of the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network. It works closely with organizations such as the Marine Mammal Rescue Foundation, Inc. and the in-water therapy programs offered by ISLAND DOLPHIN CARE.

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Sep
16
This entry is part 4 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries
  • English

When Anthony left Islamorada, I moved to the Race Club house. As Gary left the house for a trip to the Bahamas with his grand-father and Bebe left for spending some time in San Diego, I was home alone.

This first day alone, I tried to get more familiar with the place where I spend my time. I went out with the Jeep to explore a bit of the Keys. When I came back in the early evening, I was still alone at the Race Club house. But not for long. Only a few minutes after I found a comfortable position on the couch and a good movie on TV, Michelle Engelsman came through the door.

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