The team has now been in Puerto Rico for roughly four days, and we have completed five practices. The day of our arrival was designated for relaxation and recovery, with no scheduled practice taking place. However the next morning we were up at 6 am in preparation for the first of two consecutive practices. While here on the island, the practice schedule goes as such: double, double, single, then repeat three times over the course of 10 days. Today marked the completion of the first double, double, single cycle. Here are a few notable events.
The first two days of training were met with great effort across the board. Russ challenged us with difficult sets, and the team rose to meet his expectations. Here in Puerto Rico we have the pleasure of training outdoors under the sun, which warms us as it rises in the morning and chills us as it sinks in the evening. The pool complex is surrounded by palm trees and lush ferns, which constantly host a slew of iguanas, parrots, and other tropical creatures. I have always found the natural environment to be a distraction from difficult practices, many of which would be downright miserable within the confines of Boyden.
Blanketed in the warmth of the rising sun, our team assembled this morning to undertake the annual three-kings practice. This practice is always a high point in the trip, and it corresponds with the Puerto Rican national holiday, Three Kings Day. Following warm up, Russ randomly divided the team into five groups. Then, in each of six consecutive rounds, each group gambled with several quarters, the currency being swims. In a somewhat simplified explanation of the game, each group flips the coins and races either a 50 or a 200, depending on the accuracy of their call. Sprinters were mocked when they rolled 200s, and distance guys were booed when they rolled 50s. Today’s practice was boisterous and lively, and proved a great way to lighten the mood return a smile to everyone’s face.
After the three-kings practice Russ took the seniors, along with sophomores Ryan Bobianski and Hao Luong, to Rincon. The six of us spent the day exploring and surfing one of the Caribbean’s best surf spots. Although the waves weren’t great, the water was crystal clear and the sun hot, and each of us had a blast. Hao even rode a few waves on a massive yellow long board. Russ followed up our surf session with dinner at a beachside restaurant, which stuffed us with fresh seafood.
The next 3-day cycle and more great times begins at 6 am tomorrow.