Tuesday, July 31, 2007

burned out


pool'd out
yoga'd out

two days of unbelievable surf (see pic here)

shoulders shot

not even the threat of calling papa inspires me

increased meterage
pushing my limits with poses
spending every weekend in the water

the cute boy wisely points out that I had this problem at this same time last year


just get off your fat ass and quit complaining

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Tonight.....my mother told me....

"...You need to find a loft....and get back to your art."

A love/hate relationship.....occasionally....she floors me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

hard ass...

Coach Ron.

There is no fucking around on his watch. You do your job....and you do it well.

No whining.

No crying.

No quitting.

Wrestling, football, basketball, softball, track....swimming. Doesn't matter the sport...he can coach it....and coach it well. He often produced results...when others seemed to fail.

My Dad.

The consummate coach.

He no longer stands on the deck....stopwatch in hand...sunburned...whistling and yelling at me to "pick it up". (the only coach my twin & I would audibly curse while swimming...screaming back at him between breaths..."it's a 1500, you fucking 'pick it up'!") He has since passed the coaching stopwatch(es) onto my older brother and twin.

Doesn't matter...he still has that gift. That charm.

So....this summer....I've unloosed his coaching prowess onto the v-man.

He is now in control....once again.

v-man(...hanging on the wall): I don't want to swim! I'm not going to swim!

Coach S (my twin): How many laps did Papa tell you you had to swim?

v-man: Papa didn't say I had to swim any laps.

Coach S: Fine. I'm calling Papa... (calls our dad on her cell phone...from the pool deck)

Coach S: Papa's on his way down here to the pool...

Not another word out of the v-man. He got in the pool and finished his workout.

side note: Big Ron...Coach Ron...suffered a quintuple bypass almost 5 years ago. He was cutting stumps for 3 days and felt "fluish". This man...worked out his entire life. A minimum of two hours a day in the gym....not including his "projects" around the farm. A victim....of bad genes.

I took him surfing....for his very first time....ten months after his surgery. As he belly rode the white water in....he grinned at me and said..."I can see why you're addicted to this."

Maybe he's not so much....the hard ass.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007


The North Pacific Log Club came together for its annual Log Jam.

Two rules: nothing under 9 feet & no leash.

Water temps reaching 60 degrees (a full 7 degrees warmer than our summer average) found everyone foregoing the 5/3's, 4/3's & 3/2's.... for boardshorts & bikinis. Seeing this much skin in the water is a rarity around here. It was a day spent in the Garden of Eden for us Pacific Northwesterners.

Single fins, 2 + 1's, paddle boards.....a bevy of boards to choose from.

A sampling of the mix....

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Monday, July 09, 2007

beach boys

The V-man is not shy. Much like his mother, in that respect. We weren't on the beach for more than 10 minutes when A-rod & his dad wandered over to discuss the dismal surf conditions.

The V-man & A-rod sized each other up....then ran off to play war games in the sand. Four and a half hours later.....after killing all the bad guys....conquering the sand dune - twice....saving crabs & fish from the tide pools.....they slowly wandered back.

Yeah....being at the beach sucks.

sea critters...


v-man in the magic circle...

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Friday, July 06, 2007


Childhood heroes....

We all had them. Some of us...still have them.

I didn't grow up surfing. Thus....names like Woody Brown, Greg Noll, Tom Curren and the like....while quite impressive... are not the idols that stoked my dreams as a kid. Don't get me wrong....I'd give my left nut to surf half as graceful as Rell Sun. She was/is an absolute vision. Just the same.....I didn't pour over industry mags looking for a mention....a glimpse...of her name.

My hero....one of my heroes....was/is 4 years older than me. She doesn't carry name-dropping recognition. At least...not beyond a pool deck. In fact, mention her name....and most don't recognize it. A shame...really. She....was Wheaties material.

Cynthia "Sippy" Woodhead.

At 12...she was the youngest swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Time Trials. (1976)

At 13...she was the youngest member of the American National Team that competed against the East Germans and Russians in East Berlin and Leningrad. (1977)

At 14...she was an American record holder and world champion.

At 15...she was the World Female Swimmer of the Year. She was ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 every year from 1978 through 1983 except one. While every other 15-year-old in America was worrying about their Friday night dates....she had established 18 American and 4 World records.

President Jimmy Carter's announcement that the U.S. would boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow....would be one of the most defining moments of her swimming career. Sippy was 16, and had qualified to swim six events. Ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m free...she had it in her sights to win gold in all four events in Moscow, plus two relays.

Dashed. Dreams....all for naught. Years spent training....gone. No gold. No parade. Nothing. Not a surprise that she didn't bounce back after that devastating blow.

Still.....she was....and continues to be....one of my heroes.

Why? What's the connection? I mean....there's a shitload of swimmers out there to choose from. Why Sippy?

Her older brother....was my parents neighbor.

For a couple weeks each summer....(I was in my mid-to-late teens)....Miss Sippy would come stay with this brother....and grace our pool time with her presence. She'd share a lane with my sister and I during morning and afternoon practices. She was gracious. Encouraging. Inspiring.

This wasn't a case of the 10 minute meet & greet. Shake a hand....get an autograph....maybe a black & white snap shot. I shared a lane....workouts....with my hero. I was beyond honored.

Didn't matter to me that nobody knew who the hell I was talking about when I'd bring up her name. I knew who she was.

I still know who she is....

Monday, July 02, 2007


In all my years of competitive swimming...16...Nationals, Regionals and State...I don't ever recall being nervous before a race. Prelims...finals...didn't matter....it was just another race.

Surf contests...on the other hand...make me want to puke. Nerves of steel become frantic butterflies.

Regardless....I do have a good time.

Sonja doing her best to cross step through a short-lived left for the inside connection.

(Her very first foray into contests. The genius got a breather.)

photo courtesy Pamela Clark
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