Thursday, September 27, 2007

U.S. Pond Scum Breeding Beasts

Have you heard the one about the boy who did a cannon ball into a pond and ended up dying a couple weeks later because some water got up his nose? I'd like to say I'm kidding, but I'm not. Read this.

As it turns out, there is a rare amoeba called naegleria that lives in the glop in the bottom of some fresh water sources (ponds, etc.). If it gets up your nose (such as from splashing), it can tunnel into your brain and well ... you'll be doing the high-dive from above the clouds after that. From the article, it sounds like this creature is rare. I just hope this doesn't spread. I can't believe it's right here in the USA. Sounds like something out of the Amazon, or some Steven King book.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Martin Strel - New Book Out + Update On His Health

I got an email today (weee!) from the AmazonSwim newsletter people. It had good news and some kind of icky bad news. I could never do it justice, so below is a good chunk of it - straight from the newsletter. I encourage everyone to pray for the Feeesh Mawn's speedy recovery. Meanwhile, I'll be getting my copy of the book real soon. PS I need to add Amazon River to my swimming goals (pool laps, of course).

"Hello to all of Martin’s fans. Martin had to seek medical care last week after he was diagnosed with parasitic flatworms in his bloodstream. It took five months for the little guys to set up camp in his veins and lay eggs before the symptoms were noticed. He’s been treated with some heavy antibiotics and is now feeling better.

The Man who Swam the Amazon, Martin’s book, is now available. If you enjoyed our website, you will hear many inside stories from the expedition that were never told on our website, including a lot of behind the scenes stuff.

The book is already climbing the charts in the outdoor adventure category and is now on sale at Amazon. They are doing a preorder special for the next few days, selling the book at $11.53, currently the best price available anywhere as it normally sells for $16.95 ..."

To find the book on click here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

About Some Future Posts

I got a new cell phone this week with a qwerty keyboard so look for more live posts soon!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mid-TN Olympic Trials Competitors Named

Congratulations to the eleven high school and college swimmers from Middle Tennessee who have qualified for the Olympic Trials. This link takes you to the Tennessean newspaper's web site where the article lists the athletes by name, their respective schools and their swimming specialty. Unfortunately it doesn't mention the teams that have supported them each in their development. Good luck everyone!

Monday, September 17, 2007

10 Meter Belly Flop - Guiness Record???

In the past I've ranted about the removal of diving boards from many swimming pools thanks to insurance premium increases. Future generations will never know the finer points of the cannon ball, can opener and the preachy. The technique is not forgotten by some however and so it is my pleasure to honor those who have kept up the spirit. Here is a video of an American guy on a Japanese television show who performs a 10 meter 7 cm belly flop into a 30 cm deep kiddie pool. Jump to 3:42 for the jump and 4:20 for the closeup splash. Also, be sure to check out the audience in their tuxedos. Did I hear "Guiness" mentioned by the Japanese announcer?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Is Cold Water Better for Exercise?

The seasons are changing and though the temps are falling, some of us are still lucky enough to be permitted to swim in an outdoor pool. I, for one, feel particularly blessed because this is the time of the year when I feel like it all comes together. For one, I swim faster when the water is colder. Sure, part of it is because I just want to keep from feeling cold. But a big part of it is that I CAN swim faster. All summer long I've been swimming in hot, sweltering summer heat. The air was hot and the water was hot. It made me lethargic and toward the end of a work-out, when I really like to see what I had left in the tank, on these hot days there was often little to none. With the cooler weather, and the cooler water, I've got energy to spare and can really pour it on. I haven't spent the past hour sweating out all my fluids and the tank is still a quarter full at the end. I love this time of year! Now if they could only get the lifeguards to stop quitting and going back to school.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Swimming Links I Promise You'll Enjoy

In complete violation of the blogger's code which says you should keep your visitors on your site, I've built a large collection of outside links which pertain to swimming. I've selected them based on their entertainment value and/or educational value. To see them, just scroll down the left side of this page. They are listed under the erroneous heading, "blog roll". Enjoy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

How O2 is Good for You

This past weekend, I took my family tubing down a rocky stream in the Smokie Mountains. Being a former lifeguard (and a dad), I tried to keep my eyes on the younger, less strong swimmers in our group. But as fortune would have it, I was the one tossed from my tube and thrown along the rocky bottom. Besides bruising my forearm, my torso slammed a well rounded rock. I didn't realize the problem until bed time when I felt pressure on my lower right lung. Things got worse as the week progressed and I was nearly doubled over by mid-week after doing a bunch of fairly aggressive flip turns. The painful sensation brought back memories of pleurisy which I experienced back in 1995 after a bought with the flu. Apparently the blow to my chest aggravated the lining on my lung. While it's quite painful, but I'm confident it will heal as it did more than a decade ago. Harking back on those flu days, I remember being short of breath - a sensation I'm not experiencing this time, thank God - and strangely mystified at the effect the loss of oxygen was having on my ill, but still youthful body. Time healed things and since then, I've built up my lung capacity significantly. I find that swimming has increased my ability to hold a lot of air and more efficiently process oxygen. Like many of the people I swim with, I can attest to the great feeling the body has when it has a lot of oxygen pumping through it, after a good workout. The body's cells get a surge of oxygen, giving your whole body a fulfilling feeling, almost like having eaten a good meal. If you haven't ever experienced this surge, keep up your workouts and build up the time in the pool (check with your doctor first). You'll be amazed at the natural high you can get from simple oxygen.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007