Thursday, March 26, 2015

Adventures at Age Group State

As most of y’all already know, now that high school swimming is over, I train with club. Club practices are so much better than high school practices because we do a lot more distance and it is intense. This past weekend, I attended the 2015 Utah Short Course Age Group Championships. This meet has three age categories: 10 and under, 11-12, and 13-14. I’m one of the youngest in my grade, and it definitely has its drawbacks. It is never fun to be the last one to get your permit or license! But, I do get to graduate at the age of 17 and swim both age group and high school concurrently!

This year, the meet was held in Bountiful, Utah. If you ask me, Bountiful ain’t an interesting place, but has some pretty good places to eat. Because during swim meets, literally all I care about is food. I ate at Five Guys, In-N-Out, Paradise Bakery and Cafe, Texas Roadhouse, and Mikado. All of the aren’t the best nutritional choices, but nutrition is not, and will never be my forte. My challenge was trying to limit my fruit snack intake, but I averaged about six packages a session. Whoops!

The pool,  even though it isn't this pretty after sweaty swimmers!
Photo Courtesy of: Myrtha Pool
The swim meet began on Wednesday and ended on Saturday. I gotta skip school, so that was legit, except all the makeup work was boring. On Wednesday, I swam the 1650 freestyle (or the mile). Last year, I went nineteen minutes exactly in both my mile at short course and long course state. But this year I went seventeen minutes and fifty seven seconds! And I swear if I would have seen eighteen minutes exactly on the scoreboard, I would have questioned the meaning of life.

On Thursday, I swam the two hundred freestyle and four hundred individual medley in both prelims and finals, along with the two hundred freestyle relay. During a prelims and finals meet, you are supposed to swim fast in the morning and even faster at night. Unfortunately, some people completely ignore this idea, and decide to bag their races in the morning. This annoys me so much, put hey, I gotta go my own way! (Please take into consideration my extreme effort to give appreciation to High School Musical).

On Friday, I swam the one hundred backstroke, one hundred freestyle, five hundred freestyle, and two hundred medley relay. Friday was a rough day (mainly night) for me, but I had to move on quickly to prepare for Saturday! On Saturday, I swam the two hundred backstroke, one thousand freestyle, and four hundred freestyle relay. I did really well in these events, which was nice since I didn’t have the best races the day before.
Elise, Me, and Rachel.
There is something about the vibe that you get at age group meets. Maybe it is because there are really cute little kids, or that everyone knows each other because we have been racing for years! This meet was filled with inside jokes, competition, and the struggles shared among girls while getting into kneeskins. I can’t wait to see what Long Course Age Group will bring!

Thank you for reading this post! Be sure to comment below on your favorite event or stroke, and I’ll see y’all soon!

XOXO

Siena

Monday, March 23, 2015

Heatless Hairstyles

On my last post, my friend Alyssa asked, “What are your favorite no-heat hairstyles?” Today, I will tell you anything and everything ‘bout these hairdos. Being a swimmer, my hair is already really damaged from the chlorine, so I don’t wanna make it any worse. Also, I am pretty sure my hair is the thinnest in the entire world because my Papa decided to pass on his horrible genes. So, without further ado, lets get started! 

Warning: I usually look horrible when I wake up in the morning. But as far as bad hair days are concerned, ain’t nobody got time for that *insert sassy emoji here*! 

Literally me in the morning.
Photo Courtesy of: Travels of Yogi
Since sleep is bae, I like to get most of morning stuff done before hand and not procrastinate, like I do with my homework. My first no-heat hairstyle is sock bun curls. With slightly damp hair, take your sock bun and roll it up through your ponytail. After a night of flawless sleep, remove the sock bun and separate the curls with your fingers for a messier appearance. I have tried this look numerous times, and it doesn’t fail to please!

This next no-heat hairstyle is definitely my fav, mainly because it gives me a beachy vibe. All hope is needed, as PC has the longest winters. First, simply section off your wet hair and do two side french braids. In the morning, remove the braids and be prepared to be amazed. If you want to add a little volume and take your waves to the next level, spritz in a little bit of sea salt spray

Now, if you want to take a more traditional approach, you can use foam rollers. While your hair is moist, start dividing it. I prefer about one inch sections, but you can use different sizes to suit your needs. Foam rollers can be uncomfortable to sleep in, but they are totally worth it. I remember when I was little, for halloween I dressed up as a spa girl. I was such a dork back then!

Sometimes, the ends of your hair still will stay straight when you try these hairstyles. If so, you can touch it up a little with a curling wand or crimper. If your curls do not turn out how you like it, you can try a half up and half down or the perfect pony. Because these styles use damp hair, they tend to last all day. But, just in case, you can take a bit of hairspray for an extra hold.

As most of y’all know, I am absolutely obsessed with watching tutorials on how to do hair and makeup via Youtube. I mentioned this before, but Cute Girls Hairstyles is pretty much life. They have a lot of videos on clever no-heat hairstyles, and you can check them out on their channel here!


Paper Towel Curls
Photo Courtesy of: Cute Girls Hairstyles
That is all that I have for you fellas today. Please comment down below on if you have tried any of these no-heat hairstyles, or if you have any ideas for future blog posts. Your input is greatly appreciated! If want to stay up to date with my blog, follow me via email in the sidebar! Thanks :)

XOXO

Siena

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Conquering The Mental Battle

Every mind is complex. In swimming, the tough and the weak are defined through a series of brain games. When your body and your mind send you mixed signals, it can be difficult to know what is right. Swimming is a sport where hundredths of a second determine a winner and a loser. Swimming is a sport where waking up before dawn is the summer norm. But most importantly, swimming is a sport where dedication is a necessity.
One of my fav quotes
Photo Courtesy of: HD Wallpapers
On my team, we become mentally tough through our language. We are not allowed to say the word can’t, which is also known as the c-word. If we do say it, then we must do twenty five pushups and twenty five lunges. And boy, after dryland and a long practice, every pushup and lunge burns more than the last.

Right now, we are on taper for the age group state meet. Along with any taper comes the good ol’ pace set. By the end of pace, you are out of breath and all that lactic acid is building up in your muscles. Basically, your body feels horrible with a “capital h”. Yet, you know that if you give up, you won’t achieve your desired results. And later, you will know that you will regret it. In those last couple of one hundreds, you need to believe that you can. It all comes down to your attitude.

There are highs and lows in every sport, but the mid-season of swimming is notorious for being an ultimate. In the beginning, your body is fueled and you are excited to get back training. But after a couple of months, without any major meets, most people say practice is just a drag. How do you fix this problem? Think about the future. The final hoorah meet will come, and all of that hard work that you put in mid-season will pay off. 

Guess what, life isn’t perfect. Once in a while, you will have a disappointing swim. I can personally vouch for this, as basically every time I swim the two hundred butterfly, I drown the last fifty. But, you have to put those races in the past and learn from those mistakes.

Doesn’t everyone just love nerves? To a certain extent, pressure can be beneficial because it helps get the adrenaline running. I still remember how stressed I was for my first race at Zones. It was my first travel meet without my parents, and I didn’t trust my training. It was definitely reassuring knowing that my team was there cheering me on, but I still didn’t know how to focus. Sometimes all it takes is a couple deep breaths and a I can do it. And guess what, I ended that race with a personal best.

I am honestly not the most competitive person around, but it is important to focus on your race and not your competition. The only person that you are in control of is yourself, so you gotta make the most of it. Finally, the most important part is to have fun. You will never have dedication in the first place if you don’t enjoy what you are doing.

Preparing to warmup.
I hope you guys enjoyed these inspirational (and deep) words from me. As Ms. Alp (my Spanish teacher) would say, “It is okay to cry and go fart around in the field!” I recently gave a Ted Talk about how your attitude directly affects your performance in my leadership class, and it was the inspiration for this post. Be sure to comment below on how you stay calm before diving in, and I will see y’all soon!

XOXO

Siena

Thursday, March 12, 2015

All Those Famous People

As a child, everyone’s dream is to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal, or to become famous and known for excelling at a particular task. Unfortunately, as we look at those goals realistically, the chances are very slim, most likely non-existent. When I was younger, I aspired to become a professional swimmer, but later realized the possibilities and after having my hopes and dreams crushed, decided to plan a more practical future. In today’s blog post, I will be talking about the few that actually did it, the Olympians.

Michael Phelps

Even if you don’t know anything about swimming, you probably have heard about this guy before. Known for his eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps now holds the record for the most first place finishes in the Olympics. Phelps is the G.O.A.T, or the greatest of all time, not the animal. His diet might suggest that he is though, which is over twelve thousand calories. Due to his rigorous training schedule, he can pretty much eat whatever he wants. After a very short retirement, Phelps is back in the pool, and I guess we will just have to watch what happens leading up to Rio. 


Video From: Youtube
                                                        

Katie Ledecky

At a young age of 15, Katie Ledecky won her first international meet in the eight-hundred freestyle at the London Olympics. No biggie. Today, Ledecky holds three world records and is about to graduate high school. What’s next on her agenda? Katie has verbally committed to swim in college, Stanford specifically. One of the kids on my team, Jinwon, has a crazy fast sister named Schuyler. Schuyler swam the breaststroke leg on a national age group four hundred medley relay with Katie Ledecky. Schuyler and Katie both train together at Nation’s Capital.

Missy Franklin

This gal is a speed demon, which is where she received her nickname as “Missy the Missile”. Not to mention that Missy Franklin is also one of my biggest role models. She is so humble, positive, and just overall a great person. Despite her intense practices, Missy still finds time to give back to the community. The Missile is currently swimming for the California Bears, but most likely will turn pro after this year’s NCAAs. 

Rebecca Soni

I have met Rebecca, along with her teammate Ariana Kukors at my pool not once, but twice! For a little background information, Rebecca is the fastest two hundred breaststroker around. After retirement, she started a business with Ariana called Atlas Ventures. They focus on “crashing practices” to share their stories and also host several training camps. When Rebecca came to the pool, she emphasized nutrition, which y’all know I am not very good at. 

Ryan Lochte

It might seem hard to believe, but there is more to Ryan Lochte than just his body (mainly his abs). Lochte is one of those swimmers who can swim pretty much anything, which is why his best event is the two hundred and four hundred individual medley. He can also squeeze in a two hundred backstroke here and there. In his career, Lochte has won several events, attended the Olympics, and currently is training for upcoming meets.
His body leaves me speechless.
Photo Courtesy of: EOnline
Thank you for reading! Lots of Olympians are my role models, but I didn’t cover every famous swimmer there is around. Therefore, be sure to comment below on your favorite swimmer. Check back soon please!

XOXO

Siena

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Answer to Accessories

You can take any outfit to the next level by using accessories. Whether it is a simple ring or an elaborate purse, there can sometimes be too little or too much going on with a look, so it often becomes hard to find a balance. In this blog post, I will be giving you some of my favorite accessories, so let’s get started!

Rings, Bracelets and Earrings

As some people might say, it is all about the bling! Jewelry is the perfect way to add a bit of sparkle to your style. The BP line from Nordstrom offers some of my favorite pieces, especially these basic midi rings and this crystal wrap bracelet. As far as earrings are concerned, I blame chlorine for not being able to pierce my ears, as supposedly they can get infected really easily. :( Maybe someday I will become a rule-breaker rebel. 

Belts

Besides holding up your pants, a belt has many other uses. If you want to spiff up a plain dress, you can easily add a belt as an accent. H&M carries some of my favorite belts that are perfect for any occasion. Plus, they are all super affordable too!

Headbands and Bows

You can spice up any hairstyle with a headband or a bow. Recently, it has been cold, but there is no snow. I am currently adoring head wraps because they are stylish and keep my ears warm. Looking back at my childhood, I always wore a side bow. Therefore, I am a big believer in that there is no such thing as having too many bows! Remember, if you can’t find a bow, a piece of ribbon will always do.

Watches

Watches are handy dandy if you want to know how many minutes are left in your least favorite class. Being from a Swiss-German background, I am a swatch lover. Swatch offers innovative and trendy watches that are suitable for all sorts of needs and personalities. Be sure to check out their Swatch and Art collection.

My Current Swatch
Photo Courtesy of: Sasy


Wallets and Handbags

Wallets and handbags are the place to store your moolah or any of your other trinkets. There are the designer wallets like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, but for those of you who do not want to use your entire paycheck, I recommend purchasing a knock off. TJ Maxx carries brand name products, but at a much, much, much lower price.

Hats and Scarves

My dress code at school used to be really strict, but now it has been amended so we can wear hats! My next wish list item is a beanie from Zumiez. Also, one of the latest crazes here in PC is infinity scarves, but honesty I never wear scarves because I find them annoying and itchy.

Thank you guys so much for reading this post! Please comment below on your favorite accessory, and I would appreciate any feedback or ideas that you have for future posts. Finally, I just added a gadget where you can follow me via email, so check that thingie out! 

XOXO


Siena