The Night The Lights Went Out In San Diego

Journal by Jeff Commings, Swimming World associate producer

PHOENIX, Arizona, September 10. SWIMMING World associate producer Jeff Commings, who will be the second oldest man to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials next summer, is journaling his daily training regimen on his personal blog. We are reprinting those articles here:

Date: Friday, September 9, 2011
290 days to Trials

As you may know, the power went out in San Diego on Thursday afternoon. I was working at the Swimming World booth at the ASCA clinic there when it happened. We thought at first it was just the exhibit hall, then we found out the entire convention center was dark, and finally discovered all of San Diego was affected. The city was without power for 12 hours. It was weird walking around the hotel and having only the light from the moon guiding me after sunset. Most of us were betting that we wouldn't have electricity until 3 p.m. this afternoon, so imagine my surprise when the power was restored at 2:55 a.m.!

Because I figured the power would not turn on by morning, I decided to not try to get up early for swimming. I probably should have swum today. Because my work schedule will keep me from doing a morning swim tomorrow, I will be out of the pool for two days. I try not to do that, because the next pool workout is often spent getting back into the swimming groove. I will swim on Sunday morning in Phoenix. The Sunday workouts at Phoenix Swim Club are brutal. They run for 90 minutes instead of the usual 75, and they usually involve lots of repeats with very little rest.

Since I did not swim today, I did some abdominal exercises in my hotel room tonight. I didn't do the typical stuff. I laid on my bed with my legs suspended off the edge. I held my legs straight out for 60 seconds, and did that five times. It's a good exercise to do while watching television or talking on the phone.

Before I go, I want to share with you two great experiences I had today. First, I got to meet the great John Moffet. I will not go into much detail about what makes him legendary in my eyes, because you can do a Google search and find out how awesome he was. Though he said he doesn't swim, he does stay active through track cycling. That was very interesting to me. I was so in awe of meeting him that I could think of nothing else for about 20 minutes. Thanks to 1980 Olympian Craig Beardsley for introducing us!

The second thing that happened was getting the opportunity to interview Michael Phelps. As a journalist, I was honored to do an in-depth interview with him about his swim school and training for the Olympics. As a fellow swimmer and major fan of the sport, I was having a few out-of-body experiences. I have interviewed him before after some of his races, but today was better because he didn't have to warm down or talk to other media waiting in a long line. I will say that even away from the pool, he still has that Michael Phelps aura. And Bob Bowman is never more than four feet from him.

And now to sleep! The beds in the Town and Country Resort are firmer than I like. Can't wait to return to my own bed tomorrow. I'm even looking forward to feeling the sting of the Phoenix heat.

Reprinted from Jeff's personal blog at commings.blogspot.com

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Author: Archive Team

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