Category: swimming

USU Meet

I’ve been a bit delayed in posting about the meet on Saturday because I’ve been super busy and they didn’t release the results until today.  This was my second US Masters Meet and it was a good experience.  I really debated whether to attend or not because it required a lot of driving, but I decided that I need to take advantage of every opportunity I can to improve my swimming and test myself physically.  The meets don’t happen very often so you can’t let one slip away.  (I wish they would advertise the meets more.  It would have been so nice to carpool.)

Compared to all of the open water/masters meets I’ve attended previously the USU meet felt very collegiate, young and competitive.  Indeed, when they released my scores I was the only swimmer in my age group (women 30-34).  This means I technically finished first in all my races!  🙂

It really felt more like Utah State’s swim team and 10 of their friends and while I don’t participate in the meets to win, it is more fun when things are a bit more casual.  My friends Josh and Sabrina came and Josh posted good times, but aside from them there was nobody else to really talk with or get to know.

Anyway, it was still a fun experience.  I swam in 4 races the 200 meter freestyle, 50 meter freestyle, 500 meter freestyle and the 50 butterfly.  The latter two were the most difficult.  The 500 was the longest meet race I’ve done (last time was the 400) and it was tough!  It’s funny you wouldn’t think swimming 500 meters would be hard after swimming 1.2 miles but the pace is faster at a meet and the flipturns drain a lot out of me- especially towards the end when I am gasping for air.

However, I am proud to say I finished all my flipturns and made it under my goal time of 13 minutes with a time of 12 min 22 seconds.  This was particularly satisfying as my swim cap kept riding up my head until I ripped it off and threw it on the pool deck.  Thankfully I had my hair in a pony-tail underneath my cap or the situation would have been bad!   Still, I was proud of myself for maintaining my focus and not letting the cap incident rile me.

It was also funny at the end of the 500 I was at least 2 laps behind anyone else in my heat.  It seemed like the whole pool deck started cheering me on.  I felt like the underdog in a sports movie.  Never mind that they were cheering me because I was last- I’ll take what I can get!

Once I finished the 500 I felt spent and wondered if I could get through the 50 fly.  The meet went along at a fast clip and it seemed I was always rushing to make my heat.  (They didn’t have a loud speaker to announce which heat was going when and that would have been very helpful).  I just wondered if I would have time to regroup and get through it.  It had been since high school that I had competed in a butterfly competition and I knew even a 50 meters was going to be tough.

Never wanting to back away from a challenge or give up, I just had to do it.  Into the water I went and I pushed through the pain to complete my 50 fly.  I know I have tons of work to do but I was proud of my 1 minute 9 second time- only 3 seconds slower than I had done in practice.

My other times are 200 m at 4 min 31 seconds (better than my 4 min 57 sec at the last meet) and my 50 free was a personal best at 49.2o seconds- first time under 50 seconds!

If anyone is reading this and is interested in participating in meets look up the US Masters swim team in your area.  I really wish there was some way I could promote or advertise the masters/open water swim programs in my area.  I know there are people like me who would love to participate but simply don’t know about it.  If anyone has any ideas I’d love to hear them.

In the meantime, I will have to promote events from this blog- sending the word out in the best way I can.  My only wish about US Masters is that they had some kind of participation award or medal- like maybe something for a person who participates in all of the seasons meets? I like looking at my medals for the open water swims and wish I had something for the meets.  Plus, it is fun to show them off to friends and family! Oh well!

ah the self portrait.
Finishing a race
Before the 500

Progress!


in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.

Theodore Roosevelt

Well certainty this year I have been doing many things and amidst the continuing struggles it is very rewarding to see genuine progress and growth in my life, particularly satisfying with the physical fitness/health goals.  I share this not to boast but to include you in my achievements.  I am so excited!

Today I had my ‘boot camp’ with my trainer.  This is a meeting we do every 6-8 weeks to diagnose my physical conditioning is improving, staying the same or getting worse.  So far I have seen improvement in every area except for the stairs (I hate those stairs!).  I won’t bore you with all of the routines but it was so satisfying to do more than I did before, to see progress. I am also not nearly as sore today as I was anticipating from a tough work out.

Things are improving and that makes me smile!

After the ‘boot camp’ I weighed in at 261.  That’s 3 lb lost since the end of August.  I am picking up the pace on the dieting through the tough holiday season and hopefully the weight will come off.  (The more it does, the less stress on my muscles which is important for the fibromyalgia).

If you can believe it, I have only lost 10 lbs since the beginning of the year.  On first glance, this might seem like a disappointment but when you think of everything I have been through this year from meds, surgery, swims and everything else it is understandable.

What made me more excited is when I took my measurements for biceps, shoulders, abdomen and hips, there were significant changes in all 4 measurements!

Take a look at these charts.  I believe you will see a great deal of  improvement and much progress! Hurray!

Look at the improvement!!!!!


Down by 3 inches in that critical abdomen area.  Hurray!

Shoulders and torso down by 4 inches!

The hips show the least amount of change but that’s no surprise we Wagners love to hang on to those hips!

Slam the Dam

Today I am writing to you as a very tired, worn out swimmer!  As any reader of this blog knows I have been preparing for weeks to swim my second open water swim in Las Vegas called Slam the Dam.  It is held at Lake Meade near Las Vegas and this is the second year of the competition.  My first swim was at the much smaller Deer Creek Open Water Swim and I’m glad I got to ‘test out the waters’ in a smaller environment.

This swim was different in many ways.  To begin with I had sacrificed more of my time and money to get there.  For Deer Creek I had trained for about a month hard core and it was a 30 minute drive from my house.  For Slam the Dam I have trained for 2 months, taken time off work and spent considerable money on fees, bus tickets and other expenses.  Let’s just say there was a lot more than an afternoon of swimming invested in Saturday’s swim.

The weekend started on Friday when I caught the greyhound bus to Vegas (I decided to take the bus because I don’t like long drives by myself and I’m glad I did.  It was nice to rest and not drive- especially on the way home).

The ride took around 7 1/2  hours but eventually I made it to Vegas and met up with my Aunt Rose and Uncle Bruce.  They were nice enough to have me at their home for the weekend, take me to my race, and even stayed to watch me compete.  I really appreciate their hospitality and support (and all the good food!  There is always a feast when Rose cooks!)

My friend Josh and I before the race. Both him and his wife Sabrina were very encouraging and stayed to watch me compete.

Once I was settled I met up with some of my Utah Open Water friends for a pre-race dinner.  I became more acquainted with some people and made several new friends.  I can’t say enough good things about the people I have met through open water.  They have been so welcoming and friendly.  It is such a blessing in my life. (We should have taken a photo of us at dinner.  I always forget to do that at dinner gatherings!)

Fully loaded with Italian carbs (and a sleeping pill) I slept well the night of the race despite my stomach balling up with nerves.  I couldn’t help but feel anxious- a new lake, new course, new distance…with all I had invested the idea of failure was daunting and hard to ignore.

Finally the morning of the race came.  I was a little worried they might cancel the race because of lightning but thankfully the clouds abated and the race went forward.  My 1.2 mile swim was the last event of the morning and since they ran about 30 minutes behind I had plenty of time to stretch and prepare myself mentally.

this is me before the race

Eventually my race was called and we went off in 2 batches.  I had signed up for the race before I became a USMS Member, so I was in the second group.  It was kind of funny because they didn’t give any lead up such as ‘on your marks’ or ‘1,2,3’.  It was just a horn and go!

my racing group. You can see me in the middle with the purple swim suit.

Off we went!  The water was warm, around 80 degrees, but because of the wind and storminess it was very choppy.  I think you can kind of tell that from the above photo.  I had never swam in choppy water before and it was an entirely different beast.  As cold as Deer Creek was, it was not nearly as difficult as the water at Lake Meade.

The course was set up with a finish line path with green buoys and then four orange buoys to mark out to the half way point of the race.  Once past the fourth buoy the racers did a loop and headed the opposite direction back to the green finish line.

the 1.2 mile course

The choppy water meant the first half swimmers had to fight the current and it was very frustrating.  At times I felt like I was on s swimming treadmill and couldn’t make any progress.  It is a strange thing swimming in the open water because even in the best of circumstances it feels like you will never reach the target.  Even when you are yards away it feels much further.  (Kind of a cruel optical illusion if you ask me!).

When I rounded the 1/2 way and was heading towards the third buoy I honestly wondered if I could do it.  I kept swallowing water and the ending seemed so far off.  My lungs were burning and my entire body ached.

Without sounding cheesy it was actually a spiritual moment for me.  I stopped and said a little prayer.  “Heavenly Father, I have worked so hard.  I have sacrificed so much to be here.  Please help me finish the race.”.  Then I rested, treading water, for 30 seconds to catch my breath and refocus.  I knew I could do it.  I had to do it.  Heavenly Father helped Peter walk on water.  Surely He could help me finish my race.

this is my favorite painting and I really felt like He was there for me in the choppy water. Ok maybe it wasn't quite that choppy but it felt as insurmountable to me.

Plowing ahead into the whirlwind of water I pushed forward reaching one buoy, and then another, till finally the green finish line was within my view.  I stopped for another second to take it in and went as quickly as I could until a man said ‘You are done.  Congratulations!”  I think I about hugged him and it took me several minutes to get out of the water.  I was also trying to figure out my time, which turned out to be 1 hour 14 minutes- slower than I wanted, but considering the choppy water, I was satisfied.  I had done my best.

You can see the moment in this clip

When I think back to the race it is hard to not contemplate my life.  There are sacrifices and tests and the water is often choppy, but when we need Him the Lord is always there, and with His help we can finish the race.

I, like Paul, can say  “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)

On that note here, I am with my ‘finisher medal’ and the Elvis impersonator (only in Vegas.  They called him the ‘El-fish’!).

me and the el-fish!

I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped me cross that line.  To my family and friends for all their support and love. To Bruce and Rose and all the volunteers at Slam the Dam for taking time out of their busy lives to make my dreams come true.  To everyone at Utah Open Water especially Erin, Kate, and Josh.  The lessons, pep talks and encouragement did more than you know.  Thank you for welcoming me into your group and helping me feel like I’m part of a swimming family.  Thanks to my trainers Michele and Dave for pushing and praising me in just the right balance.

Thanks mostly to my Heavenly Father for never leaving me alone, especially when the waters are rough and the course feels impossible.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now on to the next goal!  No more open water swims until June but there are  masters meets and a myriad of other challenges and opportunities.

My medals for finishing both races. Never was a medal more prized than these! I'm trying to think of a creative way to display them like a shadowbox or something. Any ideas?

Masters Swim Meet

I am a Masters swimmer!

Today was another landmark day in my fitness quest!  It was my first US Masters swim meet.  I have not been in a swim meet since 1998 when I was in high school.  What a great thrill to be back on the starting block again competing!

I feel so blessed to have discovered the US Masters organization which lists as its mission statement “U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) is a national organization that provides organized workouts, competitions, clinics and workshops for adults aged 18 and over. Programs are open to all adult swimmers (fitness, triathlete, competitive, non-competitive) who are dedicated to improving their fitness through swimming.”

Now the question is why did it take me 12 years to find out about this great organization? I guess you find out about things when you are ready to embrace them in life.

Anyway, back to the meet.  Since I had been sick all week I felt anxious about whether I would be able to participate.  Even this morning I woke up with a sore throat, phlegm and a lot of congestion.

However, anyone who knows me, knows I don’t give up easily!  I decided I felt well enough to at least go to the meet, and at minimum, swim the 50 free (for non-swimmers that’s one lap in a typical pool).

The meet was held at the JCC (Jewish Community Center) in Salt Lake- actually called the Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center- that’s right Wagner!  I didn’t know Wagner was a Jewish name- pretty cool.

Anyway, there wasn’t a huge attendance but those who gathered were wonderfully encouraging and fun.  I have been so impressed by the swimming community in Utah.  There were even some college-level swimmers there; and they were really nice and welcoming.  In fact, one group invited me to join in their swims (its about 25 minutes away but I may get there!).

Everyone cheered on each other and it inspired me to do my best.  Congestion and all I swam all 3 of my races and did as well I could.  (I probably finished last but I didn’t care.)

The hardest race was the 400 meters (or 8 laps). By about lap 5 my lungs were burning and I wondered if I could get through but I pushed onward.  It was really hard but I made it to the end.  I even got almost all of my flip-turns and starts in (the diving platforms were much higher than I remember them being in high school- I would say around 2 ft up!).  Since I have only done about 5 flip-turns in 13 years I felt proud in pulling off so many.

It was a fun day and I think a day my young self would have loved. Its hard to explain, but I feel like in embracing swimming the way I have in the last few months I am now the best version of myself I’ve ever been.  I look great, feel healthy (I think I actually felt endorphins today!) and am having the time of my life!  It seems especially meaningful on a week where nothing went right and my body was fighting me all the way.  Hurray for completing goals!!!

Thank you to all who volunteered  their time to help put on the event on and all who cheered me on.

My times:

50 m- 51.18 sec

200 m- 4 min 57 sec

400 m- 10 min 24 sec

(One funny thing about my swimming is I’m remarkably consistent.  Despite my best efforts to go faster I seem to have about the same lap time no matter what.  The difference between my laps on the 200m and 400m is only 4 seconds!  Of course, the 200 was my last swim so that may account for some of it, but still consistency is my game!)

Here are some photos of the event:

My friend Erin and I

here I am coming out of a flip turn on the 400
swimming in the 400
some of the girls at the meet

A Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

When I was little one of my favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.  In the book Alexander has a string of bad luck including such tough events as slipping on his skateboard, being stuck in the back on carpool, losing his best friend, and no desert with lunch.  Alexander wishes he could go to Australia and be rid of his bad day.

The thing I enjoy most about the book is there is no happy ending to the day or ice cream cone to make everything better.  It simply says:

“My mom says days are like that…even in Australia.”

Isn’t it the truth? There are some days that just stink and where everything feels hard.  I think it is great to let kids know they are OK if they have a bad day.

Today was a bad day for me.  It actually started last night where my wicked sinus troubles turned into a full-blown ear infection.  My ears hurt like I was descending on an airplane and they were about to burst.  Luckily I had some old drops from a previous ear infection and that helped alleviate some of the pain.  Nevertheless, it was hard to sleep.

Naturally I woke up cranky and less than rested.  I had such visions for the week.  I was going to train every day and be a wiz in the pool for the upcoming meet on Saturday.  Then the meet was going to propel me towards glory in the Slam the Dam race in Vegas next Saturday.

I was caught up with most work projects and was looking forward to a productive, fulfilling work-week as well as a number of social activities.  Then Saturday, the sore throat came, Sunday the cough and by Monday I was a snot-filled, wheezing machine.

“Take the day off Monday.  You’ll bounce back”.  I said with great optimism.  Now Thursday is fast approaching and no training has been done. I am totally unprepared for the meet on Saturday (if I get to attend at all) and my work-week has been thin at best.  (Let’s just say its a miracle I work from home and have been able to squeeze my hours in. )

I also missed church, FHE, visiting teaching, voice lessons, 3 sessions with various trainers and anything else that would be uplifting or exciting during the week. Most importantly I went without crucial training time that I really needed to be ready for my events.  Instead, I’ve spent the last 5 days sniffling through a box of tissues until my nose is raw and sore and watching Toddlers and Tiaras and wondering ‘why anyone who isn’t sick watches these shows?’

So as you can imagine it was a cranky, sore and stuffy Rachel that went to the doctors this morning and as always they were thoroughly unhealthful, unsympathetic and ponderous but provided me with the most-needed prescriptions.  I was on my way.

This is where I made a fatal error.  Last week I had been to my OBGYN who had given me a medicine that is not covered by insurance.  She recommended I fill the prescription at Costco so I decided to fill all 3 of mine today, including the antibiotic.  After spending over $200 (I always do at Costco! ) and waiting over an hour (20 minutes my foot!) I finally got my prescriptions and $196 later I was out the door.  Did the Costco employees box my stuff up like they usually do?  No.  I had to find boxes myself.

Luckily I had some help loading my car which of course was a block away in the massive Costco parking lot.  By the time I got home I was exhausted but could I rest, no.  I had to lug all of the perishables up to my 2nd story apartment without any assistance (Downside to living alone…).

After 3 trips to the car and back I began to put items in the fridge and freezer.  Unfortunately in my haste to be done I inadvertently left the freezer door open and WHACK!  My head and the door met in a loud crack.  Let’s just say while there may not be a concussion, a goose egg there most definitely will be.  With a slam I packed the rest of the perishables in the door and cried.

I, like Alexander, wonder why does everything have to be so freakin hard? Why can’t I just lose weight like a normal person?  How come Jennifer Hudson can lose 100 lbs in a year and have a baby while I am still 262 with PCOS, pre-diabetes, a painful ear infection and a head that’s throbbing like one of those old Looney Toon cartoons after a character gets hit with an anvil?

I also have no relationship or even a dating life (although how one develops a dating life is beyond me! What does that even mean? Please someone tell me what living in a dating life is like? How does anyone actually get together, and even more so, how do all these plus size girls I know meet people?  I find it so difficult and losing the 50 lbs hasn’t helped one bit. In a way, it is easier to be fat and single because at least they aren’t rejecting me for my personality or so I thought…)

In addition, I’m going through money like it is candy (Whoever said exercise/healthy living is cheap is insane. Since the beginning of August I have spent at least $750 on my 2 trainers, equipment, entry fees, and that doesn’t include my gym membership or medical expenses. Not to mention the added expenses healthy eating adds (most of the time at least)).  I don’t have debt but I never seem to be able to save!

Its like I’m a cliched character at the beginning of a romantic comedy except without the sarcastic best friend or the  boy who secretly likes me but ‘we’re just friends’.

I just want to swim in my race and do my best.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m reminded of one of my favorite books by Norah Ephron called I Feel Bad About My Neck.  In one section entitled Exercise she says:

“I would like to be in shape.  I have a friend who gets up every morning at 5 am and essentially does a triathlon.  I’m not exaggerating. She is Ironwoman…A few summers ago I decided to do some swimming, and within a week I had swimmer’s ear.  Have you ever had it? It’s torture…My own theory about Van Gogh is that he cut off his ear because he’d made the mistake of taking up swimming…”

She goes on

“I myself swing between two universes.  I spend time getting into shape; then something breaks, and then I spend time recovering and then something new breaks.  So far, in the breakage department I have managed the following:  I pulled my lower back doing sit ups; I threw  out my right hip on the treadmill; I got shin splints from jogging and I entirely destroyed my neck just from rolling over in bed. ”

“A few years ago I made the mistake of confusing the movie Chicago with an exercise video.  It was, without question, the greatest exercise video I have ever had.  I could lift weights forever while watching it.  For the first time in my exercising life, I was never bored….But after 3 weeks I woke up one morning in horrible pain and I couldn’t move my arms. ”

“Millions of dollars in doctor’s fees later, it turned out that I had not one but two frozen shoulders, the result of lifting too many weights for far too long.  It took 2 years for those frozen shoulders to mostly thaw, and in the meantime, I had pretty much resigned myself to the prospect of never being able to scratch my own back…But I am now exercising again.  I have a trainer.  I have a treadmill.  I have my TV set over the treadmill.  I exercise almost 4 hours a week and I would rather be in Philadelphia (although not in labor!).”

There is something cathartic about reading her words because while I (knock on wood) am not prone to broken bones, it seems the pantheon of other illnesses is awakened when I set a goal or try to push myself in my training.

When I was in college two of my friends entered the St. George Marathon and upon proudly finishing they had to be sent to the hospital for an IV and treatment.  I always found it such a hollow victory when they would say ‘at least we made it to the end’.

Now I get it.  If I am in that race October 1st and they take me to the hospital after I finish it will be a victory- at least I will have ‘made it to the end’.  All of Satan’s minions could try to keep me from that race, but I will swim if it kills me.  Ok.  Maybe not kill me, but still, I get the victory of their hospital-lain achievement and it’s certainly going to take A LOT for me to give up.

Setting and keeping goals is tough because life gets messy.  People have no idea how hard it is to get into shape and on days like these I wish the ‘fat haters’ could walk in my shoes, and feel how I feel especially when they are prone to criticize the obese and heavy.  It’s really hard and the days of agony far outweigh the days of fulfillment.  That’s the way it is.

As Alexander’s mom says “Some days are like that”…

To having a better day tomorrow, to antibiotics working, and to being able to complete my goals somehow, someway.  Thank you everyone for your friendship, love and prayers.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I am going to watch Survivor and the premieres of Modern Family and The Middle- yeah!  Premiere week! On days like this I love TV!  (Except for Toddlers and Tiara’s- it will only make you feel bad about the world!)

I also understand that in the scope of human travails mine are at the bottom of the totem pole but as my aunt Chris once said in a prayer ‘Our problems are small but they are difficult for us and we need help”.

Watching Sports Inspires

The other day I was talking with a man and he said:

“You probably hate talking about sports”.

I said, “No, I like sports. I am a bit wishy-washy in my following but I have always liked sports- especially the Olympics.”

“Really?”  He said in surprise.

We then talked about the Utah Jazz, Jimmer, BYU football, Olympics ect.  I am not trying to say that I am an expert or some kind of die hard fan but I enjoy any good competitive match/race/game. I also pride myself on being well informed on a variety of topics including sports.  Unlike some girls, I can hold my own in a sports-related conversation.

I think the Olympics is particularly exciting because they only happen every 4 years- making the work that much more intense, the results more amazing.

There are some women who hate for their husbands to be interested in sports but I would way rather have that then video games. At least sports is something we can enjoy together.  I hate video games and am truly terrible at playing them (especially anything with the controllers I can’t seem to figure out). Just ask my brother.  He tried to teach me how to play Halo and it was a sorry site.

I also think there is an inspirational element to sports that doesn’t exist with video games.  Lately I’ve been reading Michael Phelps book entitled “Michael Phelps No Limits: The Will to Succeed”.  It is a standard inspirational sports book with cliched platitudes encouraging the reader to dream big, train hard and never shy away from bold goal setting.

Yet, somehow I am enjoying the book very much.  Michael Phelps is such an amazing story that I don’t know if he needs great writing accompanying his book?  I am getting exactly what I wanted when I bought it- a giant pep talk to get me  in the water- to push me forward in life. Phelps’ accomplishments at the Olympics were so amazing that he has earned the right to be an athletic inspiration.  That’s what I want from him and that’s what his book gives me.

Anyway,  I thought I would share with you the story of one of my athletic heroes which you may not be familiar with.

In 1992 I was 11 years old watching the Barcelona games when I heard about a swimmer named Pablo Morales.  His story has always impressed me.

Training his entire life he worked hard to get to the 1984 Olympics and won 2 silvers and a relay gold.

Then as a national champion and world record holder in the 100 fly he was heavily predicted to win gold in 1988. With weighted expectations he had what some say was the “worst Olympic trial swim of all time” and failed to even qualify for the Olympic games.  Devastated Pablo stepped away from swimming and went to law school.

In 1992 he decided to “unretire” and came back to swimming.  By this point he was 27 years old and had been away from competitive swimming for years.  The magnitude of his task was great and the likelihood of failure high but nevertheless he decided to make the attempt.

Can you imagine the demons that must have been going through his mind when entering the water at the Olympic trials?  Michael Phelps says that the “mental aspect of sports is just as important as the physical part.  There can be no doubt about that”.

By choosing to enter the race Morales decided to conquer the mental Everest that only past memories can make so exceptionally difficult to climb. A Sports Illustrated piece on the race describes the moment:

Where did he fit? He had fallen into the first category, the disappointments, in ’84 and again at the ’88 trials. Was it better to be in the second category, an unknown quantity, a question, a possibility rather than a probability? He could only wait to see where his story would fit in the string of stories. “I had no idea what to expect,” he said. “All I knew was I was going for the gold medal. That was the dream.”

Was there any swimmer on the team who did not know how difficult a trip he had undertaken? Gone from the sport for three years, retired, totally out of the water, he had traveled east to tackle law school at Cornell. He was eating cheeseburgers and reading torts. Gone. His decision to try a comeback had come upon him last summer in a growing rush. Could he do this? His mother, Blanca, was dying of cancer in Santa Clara, and then in September she was dead. He was thinking of her and he was thinking of himself and he was thinking of the Olympics. He went off on his own little crusade, perhaps riding toward a creaky windmill, off on a fool’s errand, but perhaps not. There were no shoe contracts or seven-figure deals being offered. He simply was giving a year of his life to see how well he could do.

“It was not unfinished business, trying to do something I never had done,” he says. “I never looked at it like that. I think all parts of your life are experiences. You experience one thing, then move to another. These were separate. I suppose you could say I was going toward the windmill, but I never thought that. I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to see.”

“At the finish I looked at the scoreboard, and it had such an unreal quality,” Morales said about his win in the 100-meter butterfly on Monday, completing a comeback at 27 years old that at one time seemed only a faint prayer. “Once something like this happens, you wonder if it really happened. You wonder the same way if you win or if you lose. Did it really happen?”

He did it! He won the gold despite all the odds.  It’s a great story!

This is why I like sports because it helps me remember the potential of the human body to perform and the power of the human mind to excel.

What sports moments inspire you? Please share. This is one of many I have.