Diving In With Dani Milligan

Jan. 18, 2011

The Bruin swim team had a very busy holiday! While the rest of the school left after their finals, we got the pleasure of having the campus to ourselves. Staying in LA for Holiday Training for the first week was such a pleasure with some oh so cold 80 degree weather! We trained extremely hard, had the pleasure of rooming with our teammates, and had the support of our staff there to help us. Oregon State University came to visit the team for a combined workout and relay meet. We divided both our teams into two groups "The Bruisers" (black and blue teams) and "The Gatorades" (orange and yellow) to represent our respective team colors. It was such a cool experience to get to meet some other swimmers and to get competitive no matter what the race or stroke! Our annual holiday party was held in which we play a game of white elephant. As usual there were some interesting and popular gifts including (but not limited to) a crab, animal hats that were the most popular item of the night, and Santa Claus Snuggies! Our coach, Cyndi, ended up with one of the coveted animal hats and as a result the rest of the coaching staff got the animal hats! It was pretty funny looking up from the water to see all of our coaches with furry hats that have ears and long paws!

We then all got the pleasure of going home for a week to visit with our families and friends, and then it was back to LA for part two of winter training. For some team activity we went out to see the movie `The Fighter' and also went on a team bowling extravaganza. Watching a group of 30 swimmer girls attempt to bowl was pretty hilarious. Although there was some extreme talent on the team (apparently the Fitzgerald sisters used to be in a bowling league), the majority of the girls had some trouble adjusting on land. Watching legs fly, balls stop in the middle of the gutter, and other techniques was pretty funny. Some of us didn't even score 100 while announcements were being made that some club bowlers in the house were bowling 270! To end out Christmas training we were privileged enough to visit the Godfred's house for some breakfast and an amazing hike through the Brentwood Hills. We are so lucky to live where we do, and have such an awesome team family.

As a team we try and encourage and inspire each other every practice and I feel that we did a great job of that this past month. We had bags of encouragement throughout winter training where we told teammates what was inspiring or impressive about what they were doing. It is nice to be recognized and encouraged by your teammates and I feel that we were able to carry these attitudes into our swim meet against Boise State and Washington State. We all got to swim some different events but everyone went out to race and we even had some best times! To see people going best times after the hardcore training is extremely encouraging and lets us know that we will be even faster when rested and tapered.

As a senior this Holiday training was my last one, and the last one for the rest of my class. We were honored with a morning practice off to go get breakfast with Cyndi, showered with Martinelli's by our teammates, and were recognized at our final home meet. These bits of recognition made my class' standing as seniors so much more real. Being a Bruin Swimmer has been such an honor for all of us, and we are so thankful for all of the experiences that have made us so much stronger as people and as friends. As a class I know that we are ready to lead the Bruin's to the best that we are capable the rest of this season! GO BRUINS!

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