I got up this morning, packed my bag, and ate breakfast just like it was a competition day. Our team did our usual meet day warm up in the pool, we warmed up certain hybrids (leg moves) and strokes (arm moves) that need particular focus, and we had our 15 minutes of scheduled music time. Then we put up our hair, which we call "knoxing" because we use knox gelatin, put on lots of make-up, and put on our newly-finished competition suits for the first time. Finally, we got in to kick out our legs, visualized the free routine all together, and walked out on deck. Then it was SHOWTIME!!!
The only difference was that it was practice, not the real thing. Our coaches wanted everything this morning to be just like our competition so we could feel what we're going to feel like so nothing is a surprise on competition day. I was just as nervous today as I am in competition, which is exactly what they wanted us to feel. And I was just as excited swimming the routine through as I am during competition. Of course there is no real comparison to the feelings and emotions we'll be feeling in another week and a half, I mean this is they Olympics!!! But it was a good start and good preparation. We had a pretty good swim. Not our best so far (which the coaches said was our last swim last night at 7:00 pm), but that's why this was still practice!
We're heading back to the pool this afternoon to do a little work on tech, and then we'll be packing up all our stuff to head back to Beijing tomorrow afternoon. It's been such an exhausting and difficult few days, but at the same time we've improved so much that it has definitely been worth it. I'll be sad to leave South Korea and the helpful and wonderful people we've met here. But it will be fun to be back in the village to feel the excitement of the competition that seems so far away right now!