Having safely returned from Puerto Rico roughly one week ago, the team is now working diligently to finish the season strong. Over the next few weeks we will gradually decrease the intensity of our training, including volume in the pool and work in the weight room. This is the beginning of the end. Russ calls it “pre-taper”, and if everything goes according to his secret taper formula, the next month of practice will leave us feeling invincible in Ohio.
Last weekend the team swam well against URI. Despite being exhausted, broken down, and fresh off the airplane, we maintained our energy and intensity throughout the meet, and the result was a win in nearly every event. URI is always an important meet because it is our first chance to send a direct message to competing A10 teams. Last weekend’s performance surely reminded La Salle University and George Washington University that the UMass boys still stand alone atop the A10 Conference.
Tomorrow’s meet against Bryant University marks our final home meet of the season and the signature Senior Day meet. For us seniors, tomorrow will be our chance to say goodbye to Boyden and thank parents, coaches and teammates for their support. I personally remember each Senior Day dating back to my freshman year, and I remember being uncertain that I would ever have the chance to experience my own. In light of that, I want to both congratulate my fellow seniors, and encourage the underclassmen to carry on.
Each season is a journey in and of itself. Stay in the day, the practice, the moment. Do not let your mind explore the vastness of it all, or you may become lost. Immerse yourself in the people around you; they will give you meaning and vitality. Then Senior Day will come, one breath, one stroke, one set, one day at a time.
Needless to say, tomorrow has been a long time coming.