Splash - May/June 2012 - (Page 16)

stARtiNG blocKs GARReTT weBeR-GALe: AtHlEtic FooDiE™ sWEEt REDEMptioN fter missing the Olympic Team by one place in the 100 freestyle in 2004, I was ready to redeem myself in 2008. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2008 was the meet of my life. I felt unstoppable. So what led me there? How did I groom myself to achieve such great success when it really mattered? First off, after the heartache and disappointment of missing the team in 2004, I promised myself I’d never let myself feel that kind of disappointment or pain again. Every time I was dying in a set, when I didn’t want to wake up to go to morning workout, or I was tired in the weight room, I would remind myself of that feeling in 2004, and I would push through whatever pain I felt. I made a promise to myself, and I was going to keep it. My coach, Eddie Reese, says, “The beauty of swimming is that generally the swimmers who work the hardest go the fastest.” I made a list of all the things I could control, and I worked to the best of my abilities to maximize everything I could. I DonaLD miRaLLe/Getty imaGes A realized I had to be stronger, so I became a mad man in the weight room. I worked every day with two-time Olympian Neil Walker, Eddie and Kris Kubik to refine my freestyle. I revamped my diet so that no one was eating better than me. I went to sleep earlier. I needed a better kick, so every kick set we did, I made my legs scream. I worked to gain more flexibility, and the list goes on. Once you begin taking more responsibility and control of your actions, it’s amazing how the racing and competing takes care of itself. Of course there are still times when you don’t swim as well as you may want, and get frustrated, but those are fewer and further between. In March of 2008, I had a great meet where I swam best times in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles. I went a half second faster in the 50 and 100, and two seconds faster in my 200. This meet gave me the last push of confidence I needed to reaffirm everything I’d been doing was working. When something’s work- ing, keep refining it to make yourself even better. The 2008 Olympic Trials came, and I was more confident and excited than I had ever been. I knew all the things I had done to put myself in a position to swim superfast. Yes, the Olympic Trials are nerve-wracking at times. I remember feeling sick to my stomach the afternoon before the finals of the 100 freestyle. However, the Trials were where I got the opportunity to fulfill one my life’s greatest dreams. Instead of being afraid of a big meet like Trials, be excited. See it as the most happy place in the world. Harness the excitement and energy from the experience. Believe in the fact that you have prepared yourself as best as you and your coaches know how. Now is your time to shine. There are no guarantees that you are going to have the swim of your life. But remember, you have an opportunity to do something never done before – swim a best time and fulfill your dream. to read more from Garrett Weber-Gale, visit his Web site at www.athleticfoodie.com. 16 splAsH • May/June 2012 • The TRIALS ISSue http://www.athleticfoodie.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - May/June 2012

Splash - May/June 2012
Contents
About Trials...
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/Justin Case
Top Ten Tweets/Point-Counterpoint
Keys to Success
Training With
Athletic Foodie
Olympic Trials Preview
The Swimmers
Rank & File
Third Is No Charm
Repeat Performance
Trials Pressures
Behind the Scenes
The Venue
Alex Meyer
Making the Team
Interactive
Swim Nut Zeke
Ultimate Pump-Up Song
Best Race Ever
America’s Swim Team Athletes

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