Olympic Trials

I came about as close to experiencing nirvana yesterday as I think I've come in a very long time, if ever. The 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials are currently taking place just a few hours from my house. I cannot be this close and not go so I managed to get tickets for a day and The Girl and I drove up. The schedule for the day was as follows:

Morning Session (Prelims):
Women's 200m Butterfly
Men's 200m Butterfly
Women's 200m Individual Medley

Evening Session:
Women's 200m Freestyle (Semis)
Men's 200m Freestyle (Final)
Women's 100m Backstroke (Final)
Men's 100m Backstroke (Final)
Women's 100m Breaststroke (Final)
Men's 200m Butterfly (Semis)
Women's 200m Individual Medley (Semis)

It was quite a full day. We saw all sorts of big names swim: Michael Phelps, Katy Ledecky, Tyler Clary, Missy Franklin, and Natalie Coughlin. Just to be in the building with swimmers of that caliber was enough to about send me over the edge. I was like a 13 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

In addition to all of that - and even more exciting to me - was the fact that I was able to meet up with an old friend from high school. Mike was a senior when I was a sophomore and we both swam on the high school swim team - he just did it a hell of a lot better than I ever did! He's now the head coach for a Master's program back in SoCal and FIVE of his guys qualified for Trials. We were able to meet up briefly between the morning and afternoon session. I would have loved to have spend more time with him but I had a house to go check on and lunch to grab. More about the house HERE.

On top of all of that, I was also able to watch several swimmers from my former Colorado team swim in these Trials. That was also amazing in its own way - that team was a solid team when I was coaching there (not because I was coaching...just because it was a solid team) and to see what it is grown into and produced was wonderful.

The whole experience was simply amazing. I'm not sure I can even put in to words all of the emotions I experienced. It's a good thing I had a long drive home that evening - left me time to get my head straight.

The other side of it was that I was able to take my girl with me and watching her experience all of it was almost better than my own experience. Almost. It's really fulfilling to watch her fall in love with the sport I love so much.

The view from the mezzanine level.

Men's 200m Butterfly. Michael Phelps is in the red toward the center.

More Men's 200m Butterfly.

Aqua Zone had memorabilia from earlier Olympics.

American flag made from lane lines. And 66 states...

Left Shark!

Gary Hall, Jr. I was too impatient to wait in line for his autograph.

Opening of the evening session. Incredible light show.

A pillar of water with fire at the top. I am confused...

Traffic getting out of the lot was bad so we grabbed books and snacks and went down to the river to sit.

It was an incredible evening to just sit and enjoy.

I have been to Omaha twice in my life now and both times, I have left feeling so full. Not literally, but metaphorically. In April, I left after having spent 3 of the most incredibly fulfilling days of my life serving with Team Rubicon and Habitat for Humanity Omaha. I had found my tribe and I am still learning what that really means to me. This time, I left having felt more at home that I have in a very long time.

It was good to be home.

 - hfs

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