Category Archives: Cale

Coach-less in Singapore

One of our biggest fears and concerns about our two year stint here in Singapore was wrapped up around our swimming.

Maria has been swimming competitively since she was 9, and Shane and Cale since they were 8.

Cale holds the Minnesota state record for 9/10 year old boys short course 50 Backstroke, and Shane holds 13 Minnesota State records (two of which have been since broken), and several Central Zone records. They have put in hours and hours practicing, sacrificed weekends to swim meets.

HASA (Hudson Area Swim Association) has a dynamic swim coach duo, husband/wife team of Bob Young and Jen Ridge. We were so happy when they decided to move to Hudson Wisconsin to take over our team.

Bob&JenPosingAt States

They changed our little team in one short year, changing the workouts and adopting the USRPT method of the Andrew family. To say that the thought of leaving Coach Bob and Coach Jen was the hardest thing we had to do is an understatement. They are not only our coaches, but have become our family as well.

MariaShaneJenSwimPink

BobYoung

For the last year we have trained under the famous David Lim and Swimfast Aquatic Club, but we have recently made the tough decision to leave the team and go independent. We are coach-less.

Since August, Shane and Cale have been training independently, using a workout that is emailed to us daily by Coach Bob. We have a wonderful training pool that we go to, and the boys have found their own motivation and discipline to push themselves. It’s remarkable really, to see these two young boys work so hard without a coach to push them.

To keep their technique in line, we use a device called Blue Core Swim.

Maria no longer swims competitively. She didn’t have a great experience with the high school program at the Singapore American School, and has decided not to swim this season, her sophomore year. I think that when we get back to the states and our coaches that she will get back into the water. For now, she comes to the pool with us two or three times a week and works out with the boys. She is a huge distraction to the boys, with her silly conversations, jokes, and her contagious laughter and goofiness. That girl brings joy and sunshine everywhere she goes.

I am so proud of and impressed with my three kids. This transition to living in Asia, trying to navigate the swimming world here … well, they have really stepped up to the challenge. We have so much to be thankful for, so many blessings. But we just cannot wait to get back to Hudson to be with our coaches and get things back to normal for the kids and their swimming.

http://blucoreswim.com

http://www.HudsonSwimTeam.org

Advertisements

Swimming in the USA, Summer ’14

This past summer, the kids and I traveled to back to the USA for eight weeks, our plan was to visit family and friends, but our main goal was to re-connect with our Hudson Wisconsin coaches and compete in some competitions. Our transition to swimming in Singapore has been difficult, and the kids were desperate to get in the water with their coaches Jen and Bob.

With such a short time frame to work with, we decided to schedule in as many swim competitions as possible. We landed in Minnesota on June 7th, and the boys were at the University of Minnesota at 6:30 am on June 8th. They were exhausted, jet-lagged but thrilled to be back in familiar swim territory with their Minnesota teammates. I knew better than to sign up Maria to swim, that girl was all about seeing her friends, and me? well, I was so jet-lagged it was a miracle that I didn’t fall asleep in some random stairwell somewhere in the Natatorium.

UofMwithTheGirls

The rest of the summer went much the same way … early morning swim practices and afternoon swim practices as well. If the kids weren’t at practice, they were busy with friends. Weekends we were at competitions. It was a rush of busy-ness, and the kids were totally in their element. I loved every single second of it!!

Our second meet was at the University of Iowa for a “Swim Pink” fundraising meet for Breast Cancer.

Shane @ Swim Pink

Here is a selfie of Tina and I .. she is mom of Michael, and she is the ultimate swim mom, full of grace and humility, despite her son breaking 70+ USA National Age Group Records.

WithTinaAndrew

From there we went to Eau Claire Wisconsin,

20140629-083643-31003189.jpg

Shane and my dad chilling out poolside between races:
20140629-083453-30893689.jpg

My boys!
20140629-083028-30628444.jpg

then back to Iowa for Speedo Sectionals,

IMG_3883

Prelims100Free

back to the University of Minnesota for the State Championships,

FirstPlacePatch

and then to Oklahoma for a zone meet. Shane did well at all of his meets, but his 100 Freestyle win by out touching his competitor was the most exciting for me. It was such a close race!

100FreeOutTouchedToWin

Shane earned the High Points 2nd Place Award for the 13/14 boys, representing Team Minnesota.

ShaneWithHighPointsAward

TeamMinnesota

A couple photos of Maria ( who gave permission to post photos as long as you cannot see her face. Really Maria??) and Cale:

Fly3.2014

Underwater2.2014

Breaststroke8*.2014

Breaststroke7*.2014

BackstrokeStart3.2014

And finally, one last selfie! Wendy and I were supposed to be taking pics of our daughters posing together, but we were sneaky and took a selfie of ourselves instead. We’re like that!

WithWendyGirlsThoughtWeWereTakingTheirPicture

Happy Birthday Daddy!

So blessed to be with my dad on his 75th birthday!

20140629-082910-30550192.jpg

He’s been the Mayor of Zelienople Pennsylvania since 1996! And for years prior to being elected Mayor, he served on the town council. 100% volunteer, no perks, no benefits. For a few years he was President of the Pennsylvania Mayors Association. He knows everyone in that state, oh yes he does!!

Here’s my sweet momma selfie, because behind every great man, there is a great woman!

20140629-083303-30783920.jpg

Of course we spent a good portion of the day at a swim meet.

20140629-083453-30893689.jpg

This is Shane in 60 years …

20140629-084214-31334197.jpg

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!

Cales IT Media video

 

My creative Cale made this video for his IT Media class at the Singapore American School.   I was super impressed when I watched this!!!  Here’s what he wrote:

“After a long couple months, I have finally completed this 5 minute long video. It is about a bank robber… but will have to find out the rest… I did this project at SAS in IT Media. Enjoy!”

 

 

Two Broken Noses

Two broken noses in two weeks.   It really is a good story …

 

In gym class, Shane was swinging his long arms, I think because his arms get tired from swimming so much, and also because the kid cannot sit nor stand still.  Ever.  So he’s in  gym class, swinging those long arms, when BAM!! Morgan runs right into his outstretched arm, her nose getting smacked by Shane’s hand.  She gets a bloody nose, which won’t quit, and goes home from school.  When the kids got off the bus and told me this story, I immediately call Morgans mom, who answers my call from the ENT’s office.  Yes, Morgan had her nose fractured and will need surgery to repair it.  Yikes.  Morgans mom was so nice about it, saying over and over that accidents happen, no worries,  it’s okay.  Shane feels terrible, he’s a mess over this, and we learn that her surgery is scheduled for the following week, on Thursday.

So … fast forward to Thursday.  Cale gets off the school bus in the afternoon, and tells me he ran smack into another boy in gym class, and his nose hurts real bad.  Cale’s nose on his forehead.  I’m thinking, no way.  No flipping way.  So I take Cale to the ER for X-rays, and sure enough, Cale has a fractured nose.   Karma hit the wrong Blinkman twin.

So that night I call Morgans mom, to check on how she is recovering from her surgery, got the name of her ENT, and next thing I know, Cale is scheduled for surgery.  I mean, you cannot make this stuff up.  Does this ever happen to anyone else?  Or just my family??

The day of Cale surgery, Morgan is in for her post-op visit, exactly one week ahead of Cale in her broken nose journey.  The Dr. Adrian said that he rarely does nose fractures repairs, and to do two in two weeks is unheard of.  Oh, and to find out that the two patients know each other, and the story behind it, was just too much.

Image

Image

So both Morgan and Cale are out of sports for a while.  I think she is wearing a face mask to play softball, and Cale is not allowed to swim at all for a while.  And both kids are prohibited from playing dodgeball in gym class.   Dodgeball!!

 

http://www.entsnoring.com/aboutdradrian.htm

http://www.areasontosmile.com.sg/usr/home.aspx

Western Australia Long Course Swimming Championship

Last week I took the kids out of school so that they could compete in Western Australia’s Long Course Swimming Championships.

IMG_1847

All three kids qualified, and since I am THAT mom, you know, the one who thinks swimming is as important as school, (if not more important)  we took off Sunday morning for a 5 hour flight to Perth Australia.  Trent couldn’t make the trip because he was headed to Hong Kong and then Bangkok instead for work.

The kids haven’t been training regularly, as they missed 12 days of practice for our Christmas vacation,  they weren’t tapered, and honestly, I wasn’t even sure if their coach here in Singapore knew they were competing, so I wasn’t expecting too much at this meet as far as times go.  I was hoping that the kids would gain valuable racing experience, and make some new friends along the way.  When we lived in the states, I could say that we were in a swimming routine.  We knew most of the kids at the meets, we were familiar with the pools, were feeling pretty comfortable.  I was thinking that this would be a great learning experience for Maria, Shane & Cale, by getting them out of their comfort zone in a foreign country, where they don’t know anyone, are unfamiliar with the Australian rules and ways of doing things, didn’t know the pool, etc.

To say this experience far exceeded our expectations  would be an understatement.  My kids stepped up to the challenge, and loved every second of this adventure.

Cale is the only one who was nervous, which in turn effected his races.  But while he didn’t have any standout swims or massive time cuts in any of his six events, he was right on where he should have been, at or about his previous times.  Couldn’t ask for more!!

Maria had three events and cut time in two of them!  But only having three events over a four day meet meant that she had a lot of down time, where she was just sitting around, waiting for her brothers to swim.  At first, she used this time to do a little homework, do a lot of reading, do a little people watching, and do a lot of boy watching.  Everyone knows swimmers have the best bodies, but add to that the bronze tans, the highlighted hair, the accent, and super casual, laid-back attitude, and wah-lah, you have the Australian swimmer.

IMG_5333

On the third day she realized how nice the kids were, and began to make friends.  And since all the kids were interested and curious about the Americans at the meet, it was easy to make friends.  She left that meet with many new friends, and I am confident that she will continue to keep in touch with them.    And now I have a bargaining chip with her, since she desperately wants to return to Australia in April when we go for the National Championship meet.  She hasn’t qualified yet, and might not since she’s thinking of dropping swimming for a bit to try out for a school play.  Should I bring her with? I will use this April meet and work it best that I can, and then yes, I will probably take her with.   Remember, I am THAT mom, who believes that not all learning happens in the classroom.

Shane had 9 individual events to swim, and he swam fast enough in the prelims in the morning to qualify for the finals in the evening.  We would try to rest in the afternoon, between sessions.  He was pretty amped up, he was cutting time and doing well.   He quickly became the swimmer who everyone was watching, the 13 year old from America who swam fast.  The fact that he always wears a headband also makes him stand out, and at one point he was being interviewed for live streaming on the internet, and he was asked about those headbands, and why he does it.  He said, “Well, Ryan Lochte has his shoes, and I wanted something of my own”.   Love that!

Shane cut time in every event, achieved two more Speedo Sectional times (bringing the total to 4) and he broke a Western Australia All Four Corners Record in the 200IM.   He ended up with four 1st place finishes, two 2nd places, and two 3rd places, all in the 13 year old age group.  His 50 Breast stroke was classified differently since it was only a 50, and he made it to #14 overall, from kids aged 13 to 22.

photo

An unexpected bonus for us was that we got to meet James Magnussen, Australian Olympic swimmer and the current world champion in the 100 Freestyle.  Remember at the 2012 London Olympics when Nathan Adrian won the Gold medal in the 100 Freestyle?  Well, James Magnussen took the 2nd place Silver medal, he lost to Nathan by .01 seconds.  Yes, that’s the swimmer we met.

IMG_1375

Maria and I met him while the boys were swimming, literally in the water swimming.  Most of you know that at swim meet you will sit for hours and hours, waiting for a 30 second or 1 minute race.   Then you will wait hours and hours more for the next 60 second race.  Well, after waiting and waiting, my boys were finally up next, and heats right after each other, and I had to make the choice to watch my boys swim OR meet James Magnussen.   What do you think I did???

Of course, I met James!!  I was so excited and frazzled, feeling guilty for not watching my boys, that I completely forgot that I wanted to get a “selfie” photo, and instead got this one:

IMG_2220

Nice mention about Shane!
http://wa.swimming.org.au/article.php?group_id=546&id=2

Cales best photos ever! Plus a few other favorites from Bali

Cale took these photos from his phone while we were at Ubud Monkey Forest. We were told to keep all glasses, wallets, cameras, and phones in a zipped bag, but of course we had to take the chance that the monkeys would NOT take our items up into a treetop. These monkeys were crawling all over the kids, including one particularly brave monkey who sat right on a very brave Shane. These have to be the best selfie photos ever!

IMG_1840

IMG_1841

IMG_1842

These guys worked at the beach, and loved having their photos taken with us!

IMG_0308

IMG_1300

Here’s Trent coming down from his parasailing adventure:

IMG_0375

A cool selfie of me and Wayan with a nice photo bomb by Maria, and then another photo of me showing little Wayan my camera:

IMG_1179

IMG_1491

A couple selfies of me and Trent:

IMG_1391

IMG_1174

This group was headed to Temple, just before sunset.

IMG_1345

IMG_1334

IMG_0451

IMG_0435

IMG_1339

Maria bought some handmade dresses from these two ladies, they loved Maria’s blue eyes.

IMG_1321

These ladies were selling handmade jewelry and shawls along the beach

IMG_1449

This beautiful lady was selling fresh fruits from a basket that she carried on her head. She had the loveliest smile, and even let me try on her basket of fruit. I was shocked at how much it weighed, it must have been nearly 30 pounds. The second I released my hands and let my spine carry the full weight, I felt all my vertebrae compress together towards my feet. I cannot imagine the back pain she feels from doing this, all day, every day. Still, she smiled and was happy.

IMG_1420

IMG_1426

IMG_1439

Other random photos:

Image

IMG_1478

IMG_1476

IMG_1473

IMG_1229

IMG_0208