This is the third blog I’ve tried writing about Olympic Trials. The whole meet does weird things to a person’s sanity, I’d say. The first time I sat down to think it all over I tried talking about my preparation for the meet but soon realized that no one would care that I ate tuna sandwiches, read the hunger games and walked across the street to the pool all the while getting to bed before 10:30pm. …sick life, eh? Round two was all about trying to put my thoughts together about the FS3.  In summery, I have no idea how I feel about it.  But again, who cares what I think. (If you do care… I’ll let you know that it was itchy and I was swimming in constant fear of it tearing down the back and my butt being on Yahoo or SwimSwam’s home page like Nathan Adrian.) (pps. He’s so hot omg.)

The best topic I could think of:

What it was like to come so close to my dream (AKA my 6 hours and 10 minutes of fame.)

Quickly, what happened the first 5 days of the meet for me. It started on Tuesday. I had no races that day but got in the pool twice to warm up and watch prelims/finals. The second day I raced 400 IM and got a best time in the morning and night. Emil’s comments: “If you could swim backstroke like a human I’d see a future in this event for you.” Awesome. But in all fairness my breaststroke split put my back split to shame. …again.  Thursday: 100 breaststroke was awkward. But that was almost expected.  Scratched 200 IM and endured long lecture from Emil about how you have to do things different if you want to be the best. Stood strong and stuck with initial decision to scratch 200 IM. Next day, 200 br. DUN DUN DUNNN.

I got to the pool and did my warm up. I feel like over the year I’ve cut it down to the simplest warm up ever. It consists of some free until I get bored, some kick until I get bored, talk to people at the wall for a bit, some pull until I get bored, and then 100 drill if I feel like it. Then Emil will make me do some sprints and if all isn’t well I go back to the least crowded lane and try again. Normally I’m all-good the first time through though.  I looked at the heat sheet after I wiggled into my suit on and was all ready to go. I was between Annamay and Hanna Pierse.  …A Pierse sandwich is not a comfortable place to be racing. ANYWAYS I won my heat, got a best time, and was tied for second going into finals. Emil was happy and I love that.  I warmed down and he walked back with me and threw around lots of metaphors that I didn’t understand. I remember something about the ultimate fighter and guns and for some reason I think he mentioned bagels? I think he knows that I don’t know what he is talking about because whenever I do I get really excited and yell “OH MY GOSH I GET IT!” All the other times when he goes into metaphor mode I have a blank look on my face and I’m thinking of…well…that time probably Nathan Adrian’s Butt. When I got to the hotel I went on twitter, then facebook and then checked my email. People were saying good luck that I forgot existed…and I’m sure they forgot I existed. The ones that really made me smile were from teammates whom I used to swim with when I was 10-15 who said they were going to be watching. They were the main reason I first fell in love with the sport and it’s such a good feeling to know that even though some of them live across the world now or just left the sport for social life reasons that they had my back. My grandma’s church in Nova Scotia held mass an hour early and then people headed over to Phyllis and Donald’s house to watch me swim because well…Phyllis and Donald have a big TV. After a few minutes of being on the computer though and taking a minute to think about the whole situation, my tummy flipped. And then it flipped again. So I sent out a quick tweet and then shut it down. I knew that a nap would be hard to come by, but I gave it a try anyways. At first I couldn’t stop giggling (which is a constant for the whole weekend. I think I laughed myself to sleep almost every night. It was my strange reaction to the pressure, we’ve concluded.) Then my mind would wander and I’d have to stand up and try to not be nervous. It worked except when I’d lie back down I’d start laughing again. It was the closest to my dream that I could be and people seemed to believe in me and I LOVED that. Who wants to sleep during times like those? After a difficult one hour nap I went back onto my computer was successfully calmed down. The butterflies that were about to burst out of my tummy before were gone and I was just excited to get back to the pool for my last race of the meet. Emil was there already; he stayed there all afternoon. I warmed up, got on my suit, and did all the other normal pre-race things no one wants to hear about. I could see my favourite lifeguard Katie, my Mom, Anne Marie and Aunty Heather in the stands and they made the cutest sign. They even got on the dance cam!!! I’d never been more impressed.  Before my race, talking to Emil, he said all the normal things he says. Then I asked him if he was nervous. He said no, but hesitated. So I asked again and he said we’d talk about everything after. I was a little nervous and I had to know that I wasn’t alone on that one so I got it out of him that he was. But it was excited nervous. I think we were both excited nervous. In the ready room I got really thirsty. Note to self: bring water next time. In the bus it’s dark and intense but I lovelovelove those pre-race moments, so as dramatic as it is in there I didn’t mind the wait. One thing Emil told me that stuck… that night I was part of a show and it was my turn to have fun so I should remember to smile. And I did. Normally before I race I look for Emil that moment before stepping on the blocks, but this time I did things a little different.  First I looked at the big screen and saw that I looked like a goofy 9-year-old kid so I stopped looking at that. I first made a point to smile at Katie and Family in the stands, and then I looked to my right and saw Taylor, James and Danica’s signs. Then my teammates, and then I saw Kelly and smiled at him until he smiled back HAHAHA. Finally I realized that I had no idea where Emil was but when found him I was ready to go.  I raced. I got a best time. It got me to Spain and France in May which I’m excited about. The past three days I’ve eaten everything I’ve wanted to. Today I am really thinking that I could use some cheesecake…but not just a slice of cheesecake. I want to drive to save-on and buy the whole cake then come home and eat it all by myself. AWEEEYEAAAH.

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This is the thi…

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2 thoughts on “This is the thi…

  1. Emil says:

    Very Impressive and sweet. Well done!

  2. Shawna says:

    Great blog Kierra…but more importantly great job, us crazy Maple Ridge Norbergs are and were very proud of you!!!!

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