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Hawaiian Training Trip Blog: Final Entries

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Collin Baker & Adam Johnston with their sophomore classmates in Hawaii.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Collin Baker & Adam Johnston with their sophomore classmates in Hawaii.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 10, 2014


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Sophomores Collin Baker and Adam Johnston as well as Tracy Glaser of the women's team are joining forces for a training trip blog here at PurdueSports.com as the Purdue swimming and diving teams spend their holiday break in Honolulu preparing for the remainder of their seasons. New blog updates will be posted at the top of this page.

Hawaii Photo Gallery | Baker's Hawaiian Hike Photo Gallery

Tracy Glaser, Jan. 9

Aloha!

Our last couple days in Hawaii were packed with fun adventures. Friday we visited Pearl Harbor, which was an amazing experience; we were able to see the USS Arizona Memorial and commemorate all those who lost their lives fighting for our country. The entire team learned a lot exploring the museums and looking at all the memorabilia recovered from Pearl Harbor.

Saturday we had a combined dual meet with the men's team against the University of Hawaii. Both the men and women were victorious and enjoyed racing in the outdoors for a change. Later that night, the women's team and the divers went to a luau. We ate roasted pig and tried other native Hawaiian foods. A majority of the team had the chance to go on stage and learn how to hula dance and in my opinion, we were definitely the most talented dancers from the audience! There were many different performances at the luau, my personal favorite being the fire dancers.

Sunday we had the entire day off of practice and many of us ventured up to the North Shore to visit the beaches and the famous places for surfers. We saw many sea turtles and got to eat shaved ice that was rated the best on the island! The North Shore beaches are different from the ones around our hotel because the waves are much larger and we were not even allowed to go into the water. It was amazing sitting on the beach and watching the surfers ride the 11 foot waves with ease, just to turn around and catch the next big swell.

Monday and Tuesday we spent more time on the beaches close to the hotel and working hard in the pool. We tried to appreciate and enjoy the warm weather as much as possible before coming home to a few feet of snow and freezing temperatures. I know I speak for the entire team when I say that I am so grateful that we had the chance to go to Hawaii and I can't imagine spending Christmas training in any better environment. The excitement continues in West Lafayette this weekend as both the men and women take on Michigan and Michigan State this Friday and Saturday, respectively. We are looking forward to two fun meets with great competition! Boiler Up and thanks for reading about our incredible adventures in Hawaii! Mahalo!

Collin Baker, Jan. 8

Hello Boiler fans, I'm writing you from the terminal of Honolulu International Airport, and obviously this will be my last entry for our Hawaii training trip blog. It's been a true once-in-a-lifetime experience spending three long weeks on the islands with my swimming family, and it has easily been the most exciting experience of my college career. During our time here, the team has forged countless memories and shared unique experiences with each other. We have drawn together even closer as a team, and as I have said before, as a family. We've celebrated many successes and triumphs and also weathered some failures and frustrations. In addition to all these steps we've taken from a team standpoint, we also knocked out 16 dryland sessions, took home a win against the University of Hawaii men (and women), and gutted out about 190,000 yards of training (about 108 miles, and our distance group easily put away 200,000 yards). I can say personally that this combination of fierce training and island fun, both spent with my closest friends, is about the most amazing thing I can imagine, and I'm sure I speak for the whole team on this matter.

If you were wondering, the reason I haven't written in 5 days (oops) is because I've been trying to soak up the last few drops of Hawaii these final days. With this time, I was able to master surfing (*stand up on the board in two-foot waves) after only three days at it. And that was just another unique experience to add to the list. For the final two days, I joined some of my teammates in exploring two of Oahu's "secret beaches." These are public beaches open to everyone, but it takes a bit of rock climbing to get to the beach, and it's not exactly a hot tourist spot when you get there. However, we got to see some awesome reefs with truly natural wildlife, some of us even saw reef sharks and heard whale calls from out at sea! At one beach, we also got to watch locals and tourists cliff dive from as high as 40 feet! These last few experiences were especially cool and enjoyable, and were a great way to wrap up the trip.

I feel like I experienced Oahu fully and got to do everything that I was looking forward to on this trip. So I'm not sad to be leaving the islands. I feel positively worn out at the moment, and I will be glad to return to a bit of normalcy. But before I can get to that, we have a quick turnaround for our home meets against University of Michigan on the 10th and Michigan State on the 11th. I think we're all hoping to continue with the gritty determination we adopted for the training trip, and all-in-all it's sure to be a good fight. After those meets, I'm looking forward to a blessed 36-hour break before the spring semester begins! I'm honestly anticipating the rest of this winter break, and if it sounds unpleasant, know that most of us are accustomed to if not partial to the fast-paced, demanding schedule.

I want to say again, mahalo and thank you for reading, and thank you as well for your interest in our everyday experiences. I hope all of you have enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this blog. Be on the look out for more uploads to the gallery as we get that organized, and as always, meet results can be found at the team's site at purduespots.com if you're interested. On behalf of the team, have a great year and Boiler UP!

Collin Baker, Jan. 3

Hello again from Hawaii. As I'm writing this, the team has put away 22 practices, 11 dryland sessions and about 140,000 yards of swimming. With our workout tonight, we will be entering the last week of the trip. Coach Dan has been looking forward to this stage of the trip from the beginning. According to Dan, if we continue to take big strides and succeed in training as we have been, everyone will have to come together as a team on a more profound level. With our meet tomorrow and some of the toughest workouts still to come, I'm excited to see my teammates perform and round out the trip with a strong finish.

Our dual tomorrow against the University of Hawaii is an important part of the trip in terms of teamwork and performance. Action will begin at 11 a.m. local time (EST -5) and we will be swimming a 13-event order, which excludes 100s of stroke. Obviously, we want to win every meet we compete in, but some other important goals we have are to support each other as a team and give maximum effort. This basically means that we swim at end-of-season pace as long as we can, so there will be a lot of what I like to call die-like-a-champ swimming. This can be a little scary, especially for longer events, so it helps to have your team around you to get you psyched up and laugh with you if things don't go as well as you planned.

Outside of the pool, a lot of us have been surfing recently. Waikiki is actually a pretty good beach for beginner surfing; yesterday was my first time surfing and I would say it was pretty successful. I was only out in the water for an hour or so, but I managed to stand up on three waves and avoided hurting myself. Having never touched a surfboard before yesterday, I'm pretty pleased with that! Thanks for reading, and look ahead to results from tomorrow's meet!

Tracy Glaser, Jan. 2

Starting off 2014 in Hawaii was amazing. Tuesday night we ended practice at 7 p.m. and drank sparkling grape juice to celebrate what would be the New Year had we been in Indiana. Later that night, there were fireworks on Waikiki Beach, which could be seen from the balconies of our hotel rooms. Some of us ventured down to the ocean to see the fireworks up close, while others went to the hotel's rooftop pool to watch them.

On Wednesday, we were all very excited to have only one practice (I think it was a New Year's gift from John!). After practice, many of us hiked Diamond Head and were in awe at the beautiful views of the island from the top. It was a shorter hike, only taking about 30 minutes, but it was steep and we all began feeling the soreness in our legs as we ascended. Once at the top, we all stopped to take pictures to capture the exquisite views of the ocean and the city (Some of these pictures can be viewed on our Purdue Swimming & Diving Facebook page).

Ending the first day of the New Year, we had a team dinner at a restaurant on the beach. It was nice to be able to get dressed up and celebrate the start of 2014 with everyone. The dinner had amazing seafood and even better desserts! We are all looking forward to the New Year and can't wait to see what amazing things our team can accomplish! Boiler Up, Hammer Down, Hail Purdue!

Adam Johnston, Jan. 1

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great night! We certainly had a great time. Many of us ended up at the nearby beach watching a lot of fireworks go off in the night. I personally stayed in my hotel and spent my New Year alone with God. It was a very relaxing night of prayer and reminiscing. I'm really looking forward to the New Year!

Today being the first of the New Year, Dan and J decided to give us the day off! Praise! I spent my time doing absolutely NOTHING. I just ate some food and went to the beach. It has been an amazing day so far.

A couple days ago, my van went to a very secluded beach that we now call the "Secret Beach." We brought out our fins and snorkels for this beach, and it was an amazing choice. Unfortunately, I don't have any underwater pictures to show you. There were numerous rock formations and fish. So much mystery in the ocean! We ended up going out relatively far offshore too (Don't tell Dan). There were so many amazing things below the sea. We also climbed up a nearby rock formation to find a very steep drop off on the other side. Here's a picture of me sitting off the edge.

And so you can have some perspective, here's another picture of Bo Ilgenfritz and Austin Flager on top of where I was. I took this picture from the ground area! They're kind of hard to see so look close!

Overall, the holiday season has been very eventful; full of unforgettable memories, warm sun, and hard practices.

God bless and Happy New Year!!!

Tracy Glaser, Dec. 31

Aloha! We made it to Hawaii! After a nine-hour plane ride and a short drive to the hotel, we went straight to the pool for a short loosen practice on Friday night. Following practice, we were able to explore the streets and shops around the hotel and try out some local restaurants. Saturday morning started early with our first official practice of training camp. We were able to watch the sunrise over the pool, which was a great way to start off the day.

After practice, we took a team trip to Makapu'u Beach. It was a 30-minute drive winding through the beautiful landscape of Oahu with an ocean view out one side of the car and a mountain view out the other. Makapu'u had huge swells and after many failed attempts, most of us learned how to ride the waves instead of being crushed underneath them. The day went by quickly and it was time for our second practice before we knew it. The sun set during practice and we ended up swimming in the dark, which was a fun and different experience for us.

Sunday we only had one practice in the afternoon and we all enjoyed sleeping in, going to the beach, and continuing to try and get adjusted to the time difference! Monday was filled with more beach time and soaking in the beautiful weather and sun. Many of us have been visiting the International Market they have here on Waikiki Beach, finding great deals on Hawaiian souvenirs. More adventures are soon to come, hang loose!

Collin Baker, Dec. 30

Happy New Year's Eve Purdue fans, I hope it finds you well. Here in Hawaii, we are in the dog days of the trip, right in the middle with about 10 days and 15 workouts to go. Yesterday we had an important team meeting where Coach Dan gave us our "Midseason Review/State of the Training Trip." We touched on a lot of topics, the foremost being that everyone is doing very well with performance in practice. This is very important to hear, because I speak for everyone on the team when I say that elite athletes are obsessive about success in practice, and we hold ourselves to very high standards. I often become so preoccupied with my mistakes or struggles that I don't realize I'm succeeding on maybe 95 percent of what I'm doing. As well as reassuring us about practice, Dan spoke to the psychological problems we're dealing with. As you can imagine, no matter how much you love someone, after spending three weeks with them non-stop, you're going to get on each other's nerves. We acknowledged our feelings and went over the importance of communicating and staying together as a team. The last important item of business was to look ahead to our meet with University of Hawaii on Saturday the 4th. We are expecting it to be a tough meet since we are here to train hard, not to rest for a meet. However, the coaches are hopeful because U of H has a very fast pool, and because we have already handled the training so well.

One thing that has kept morale up is that Dan has changed up our weekly practice format. We are practicing once on Sundays, which would usually be our rest day, and letting our days off be on Christmas and New Year's Day. I think everyone has appreciated this strategy and it has been a part of our success. I've witnessed myself and many of my teammates throw down impressive times in practice while still handling a serious training load. At times I find it unbelievable, with everything that is going on, how well I am swimming.

On the lighter side of things, last Saturday my van traveled to Kahana Bay, a more secluded beach on the East Shore with less traffic, and invented a new sport. We gathered up some L-shaped driftwood and beechnut-looking fruits, marked out the holes in the sand, and Beach Nut Golf was created. Despite many sand traps and broken clubs, junior Manuel Gutierrez was the winner of the 4-hole inaugural Hawaii Beach Nut Golf Open, narrowly beating senior Jacob McGough by one stroke.

Be sure to check out photos from the Manoa Falls hike on Christmas Day, and I'll leave you with this shot of Coach Jay wearing senior Matt Friede's now famous Speed Glasses during sprint practice on Sunday. Hope everyone has a great new year, and thanks for reading.

Collin Baker, Dec. 27

Hello readers. I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas holiday, I know I did. The day off from practice was fun and relaxing, but we still got our exercise. After taking the opportunity to sleep in, the team headed to to Manoa Falls in the interior of the island for a little hiking. We started out with a relatively easy walk to the waterfall that the area is named for, which made a great photo opportunity. From there we started the real hike went all the way to the top of the mountain Na Ala Hele. While this was more exercise than we were looking for on the day off, the views were stunning, probably the best yet, and it's a pretty amazing feeling to be standing on top of a mountain. [We're working on a gallery so I can show you all the pictures from the day.]

That evening we cleaned up and headed to the Waikiki Sheraton for Christmas dinner. Most of us were missing our families, but we managed to have a good time with some awesome food while we watched the sun go down. We were also happy to have Coach Dan and Coach Jay's families join us. And to top it all off, there was a little bit of live music from some of the locals. So while I wasn't all that excited about being away from home for Christmas, it turned out to be one of the best I've had. Thanks for reading, I hope everyone has a happy new year!

Adam Johnston, Dec. 25

Merry Christmas from Hawaii from Purdue Swimming!

Spending Christmas in Hawaii was a great, but different experience. I hope all of our readers had a great holiday! We had a FANTASTIC dinner buffet on the beach on Christmas evening. I'm so thankful for all of these opportunities that have been laid before me. The dinner was hands-down the best one I've ever had; very eloquent and featuring exotic foods, with so much to choose from.

Yesterday, we went on a hike up one of the mountains in Hawaii. Our coaches considered this a `day off,' but it was quite the challenge, and a rewarding one at that! Here's a pic from the top of the mountain.

It was a great experience.

As I said earlier, the Christmas dinner was a great time with great food. It was also a perfect opportunity to reflect and think about all of the people around the world who will never have the opportunity to do the things that we are doing. I am so thankful for where I am in my life, and that God has given me the strength and blessed me with his grace to allow me to continue down my path. With that said, here is a great picture of God's creation Christmas evening. God bless, and Happy Holidays!

Collin Baker, Dec. 24

Merry Christmas Eve to those of you celebrating! I hope you all are enjoying it with family. While it doesn't quite feel like Christmas here, we have some team activities planned that I'm excited for. Tomorrow we are taking a team excursion to one of the state parks, having a big Christmas dinner, and doing a gift exchange, all of which promises to be fun.

The first stage of our training is coming to an end, with one more practice this evening. It's going to be a lot of racing and all-out efforts to finish out the first week. It has been more difficult to keep ourselves going these last few days, but we've come together as a team to keep everyone's spirits up. It always surprises me how far I can go when I know that everyone around me is going through the same thing; all I can say to that is let's keep it up!

Like I said, everyone is feeling pretty run down right now, but once we finish off this last workout, we get all of Christmas Day off to rest and enjoy the island. Definitely looking forward to that! Don't think that we're all completely miserable here; we did have some fun at Sandy Beach yesterday afternoon, and we buried fellow sophomore Jes Stephens. Let me wish you a happy holiday again, and stay safe as I have heard there is some severe weather around the country.

Adam Johnston, Dec. 22

A lot has happened the last few days! One thing though that has really caught my attention is that we are here to train to progress as a team. Though everything around us can easily distract us from our goals, it's important to stay focused on the real reasons for being here. But of course, Hawaii is amazing.

We recently attempted to go to the Pearl Harbor memorial. There happened to be quite a long wait so that will come another day! I'll be sure to include pictures when we get the opportunity to go.

I was at Waikiki beach yesterday and I saw a huge sea turtle. I thought it was fascinating because it was literally huge. No other way to put it! Other than that, my week has consisted of training, sunsets, beaches, and great food.

I'll send you off with a great picture of last night's sunset!

Collin Baker, Dec. 22

Since the first day, we have been able to see a lot more of Oahu, and all I can say is wow. Thursday the team went to Makapu'u Beach, which is on the southwest point of Oahu. The landscape was beautiful (of course) and the waves were great for body surfing. Having the whole team and the coaches and managers was a lot of fun. Some of us got crushed by a few waves, but I think everyone has managed to avoid getting sunburnt so far.

I expected training to be challenging, and I haven't been disappointed! So far we've done about twenty miles in total, plus a few dryland sessions. I had to skip the beach and rest during the day Friday, but mostly the training has been manageable. And with everything else that we get to do while we're here, can anyone really complain?

After Thursday, we broke up by vans during the day. My van has been to Waikiki, which is more of a tourist beach, and Lanikai, which is shallower with sandbars and has islands that you can paddle out to, or swim to in our case. A few of the guys have already been, and they say it's a lot harder than it seems. Still, I'm planning to do that some time, and possibly bring a waterproof camera so I can take some cool pictures.

I think I'm actually starting to get annoyed by how beautiful everything is here. As you'll see, even when it's cloudy and even the developed areas make breathtaking landscapes. But like I already said, who can complain? Thanks for reading!

Adam Johnston, Dec. 18

Aloha!! Day two has brought so many wonders I don't know where to begin. Well first, we took off for Hawaii this morning and after a solid eight hours or so, we touched down in Honolulu safe and sound. The plane ride was a very long one, but ended up not being too bad. I've heard plenty of stories about how gorgeous and perfect this paradise is, but I still could not believe my eyes once we got here. I've never had the opportunity to travel somewhere as exotic as this, which makes the whole experience that much sweeter.

Here's a pic with the view from my room.

This picture barely does this place any justice. It's simply stunning.

We were able to make our way over to the pool this evening for a very short loosen swim, just to get a little more comfortable with the area. Hawaii is a bit different than Indiana after all. I'll be sure to snap a pic of the pool tomorrow so you all can see where we are at.

It's getting close to 8 p.m. right now as I'm typing this, which I believe is about 1 a.m. back home. So, chances are you'll be reading updates from the previous day. But regardless, Collin and I will be sure to get all of our activities to you when we can!

Goodnight!

Tracy Glaser, Dec. 18

We've spent the last few days in West Lafayette working hard and swimming fast to kick off Christmas training 2013. We started the week with a team dinner, where we were able to fully embrace our swimmer appetites as there seemed to be an unlimited amount of wings on the tables. On Monday, we had two hard practices followed by dry-lands and a team meeting about Hawaii! Tuesday included two more practices, weights, and another team dinner at John's house where we celebrated his birthday and had a secret Santa gift exchange! Everyone was looking forward to Wednesday morning's recovery practice and working on our team music video that will be shown next semester at the home swim meets! Feeling energized after a short recovery practice in the morning, we came to practice Wednesday night ready to swim fast with a dive set off the blocks. Two of our girls (Francesca Marr & Nika Karlina Petric) left for Hawaii this morning along with the men's team and we are all looking forward to meeting them there in just over a week!

Collin Baker, Dec. 18

Hello again to all of you out there. Today was definitely a long day, most of it spent traveling. The flight from Chicago to Honolulu alone was nine hours, and with all the driving and waiting around, most of us spent close to 18 hours on the road before arriving at our final destination. But, we made the journey with no major troubles, which is a significant accomplishment with over 30 people converging in Chicago all from various places.

The flight had some great views of the snow-covered Midwest and the Rocky Mountains. Also, it was very surreal to be flying over the Pacific with no land in sight. The best view by far was the approach to Hawaii, watching these beautiful green islands come up over the horizon. From the first moment walking out of the terminal, the landscape has been just amazing. The warm humid weather is so welcome, and everywhere it is green.

After arriving at the condos where we will be staying, we sorted out roommates and made a quick turnaround to the Iolani School, where we'll be training mainly. We had a very brief workout, mostly to loosen up and get things moving after being cramped in the airplane. The facilities there are great and I'm sure will accommodate us well.

To round out our first day, we also explored the city around our condos. Honolulu has a cosmopolitan feel that some of us compared to New York City, but combined with the easy-going island attitude. As we all get settled in here, I'm looking forward to hitting the beach the next few days and also getting some serious training under my belt. Overall, very excited for what Hawaii has to offer. Thanks for reading!

Collin Baker, Dec. 16

Hello readers, this is Collin Baker from the Purdue Men's Swimming Team. My teammate Adam Johnston and I are blogging the team's training trip as we head to Hawaii on Wednesday. Everyone is really excited for some fun and down time after a long semester and a lot of competitions. I'm looking forward to just having a chance to relax, as well as getting out and exploring the islands. There's a picture of what the weather in Indiana is like right now (It's dark by 5 p.m.). The snow might be pretty but I'll take a beach over that any day!

One downside is that most of us, me included, won't get to see our families for the holidays. This will be the first year I haven't been home for Christmas, although we had everyone home last week and celebrated it early. On top of that, I get to spend Christmas with my Boilermaker family. And that may be cheesy, but I'm truly grateful for the second family that I have in this team. I know we'll grow closer over the training trip, and by the end we'll have some great memories and stories to tell. Thanks for reading and Boiler Up!

Adam Johnston, Dec. 16

Hello! My name is Adam and this is my first of many posts about our trip to Hawaii! The Purdue swim team will be taking off on Wednesday the 18th. This is a trip we have all been looking forward to, as you would expect. We will be spending 21 days in Honolulu where we will be training extremely hard, competing, and of course enjoying daily warm weather, beaches, and a number of other activities. I will be updating this blog on a regular basis to keep everyone up-to-date on what we're up to on our training trip get away. Below is a picture of Waikiki Beach. Needless to say, I'm VERY excited for this trip. See you soon!

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue swimming and diving teams will celebrate the New Year in the Hawaiian Islands, traveling to the heart of the Pacific Ocean for their annual winter training camp that will feature multiple weeks of two-a-day practices.

The Boilermakers will be traveling to Hawaii for the first time since the 2006-07 season. A dual meet against the University of Hawaii is tentatively set for Saturday, Jan. 4 at UH's Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex, an outdoor facility.

The Purdue men depart for Honolulu Dec. 18 and the Purdue women are scheduled to join them Dec. 27. Both teams are scheduled to depart the Islands Jan. 8. Co-ed dual meets at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center against Michigan and Michigan State are set for the weekend of Jan. 10-11.

The Boilermakers will be staying only two blocks from Waikiki Beach. They'll be training at the Iolani School's Dillingham Pool, an outdoor facility located just across the Ala Wai Canal from their condominium accommodations. Daily practices are set for 5:40-8 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. Dryland and weight training sessions are also part of the daily itinerary. With the fall semester curriculum commitments complete, the swimmers have an opportunity to focus strictly on training over the winter break.

The annual winter training camp helps the Purdue student-athletes gear up for the second-semester portion of their schedules, highlighted by the championship season (mid-February through March). This year will mark the third time since 2002-03 that the Boilers have had the opportunity to hold their winter training camp in Hawaii. The coaching staff has worked the Purdue athletics administration to establish a rotating schedule for the winter training camp, alternating trips to warm-weather locales like Florida and Hawaii with years in which the teams stay home and train at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.

The swimming and diving Twitter accounts -- @PurdueMSwimDive and @PurdueWSwim -- as well as the teams' Facebook page will feature periodic photos and other highlights of the Boilers' stay in Hawaii.