Diary • 13th March 1994
• My first big meet was the Western Regional Championships. I was 12 years old. Leading up to the event I did 200 push-ups every night for six months, to get stronger. I remember building up to 4×50 pushups, which was my limit before the lactic acid was paralyzing and unbearable. Attendance required qualifying times, so only a few swimmers from my club attended. I was swimming the 50 meter, 100m , 200m and 400m freestyle and the 100m butterfly. I made the finals for all of them. This meant a five hour wait till the evening finals. This was my first experience with competitive pressure. Morris prepared me by asking what my splits will be for the 200 freestyle. I looked at him as if, “I should know?” He coached me on the experience of the swimmers I’d be competing against. Their years of swimming exceeding my short one year career. He told me I couldn’t eat any hard foods before the finals, despite how hungry I was. I was only allowed to have a bowl of soup, or juice. In the end I won gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle, and bronze in the other three. That earned me the nickname “Champ” from Morris. This carried along for at least two seasons. I was growing and improving quickly.
• Swimming also introduced me to my first girlfriend. I was thirteen when I started dating Sandra Moore. My mom allowed me to go to her house after practice, once a week. We’d watch Barney Miller with her mom. Sandra was my first childhood love. We’re still in contact and remain friends till this day.
• By the time I was fifteen my passion in the sport began to wane. The psychological commitment was too overwhelming, and I made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t submit myself to such a strict regime. Our seven day per week swimming schedule was my limit, compared to the 14 practices a week typical of division A clubs. High school, girls, and karate became more important. My lack of effort eventually demoted me to “ex-Champ”, and that stuck until the end of my swimming career.
If you missed previous swimming posts, then click on these links:
AAAA Championship, Bruce Law, Burlington Civic Award, Burlington Ontario, Burlington Y Aquatic Club, BYAC, competitive swimming, Dave Darling, David Darling, David Murray, dusil.com, Eric Coulson, Eric Finstad, eurostartups.tech, Eva Dusil, Gabriel Dusil, gabrieldusil.com, Gareth Jones, Grant Reffell, Linda Weston, Mark Hopkins, Meg Midghall, Michelle Prendergast, Morris Vaillancourt, Roman Dusil., Sandra Moore, Sean Simms, Steve Babiak, Steve Belham, Swimming, Tracey Colson, Wayne Kot, YMCA