OWS Clinic Lessons

By: C.Lewis

It’s 6:00 am on a humid August mid-week morning. The sun hasn’t appeared on the horizon, but the pre-dawn light shows promise of another spectacular day in the making. Cherry Beach is populated with the most dedicated of dog walkers who have learned that showing up early guarantees a parking spot, and a peaceful start to the day. A few camper vans are parked off in the far corners of the lot, hoping to escape the notice of officers who might enforce a ‘no camping’ by-law.

A small group of CL Performance Training athletes gathered on the sandy shore and began pulling on wetsuits in readiness for an open water swim clinic. Coach Cindy – in the full bloom of pending motherhood – dragged her kayak to the waters edge and laid out the plan for the next hour.

Warm up out and back – then a few sprints to get the heart racing. Next…practice swimming in a tight group. Over each other, if we can, just to get comfortable with the inevitability of a race start scenario. Finally, drafting behind each other to get comfortable with proximity and how stroke, breathing and sighting change when doing so.

For the athletes training for upcoming Ironman races, it was an opportunity for both coach and athlete to affirm their readiness, race strategy and tweak any stroke weaknesses. Athletes newer to the sport, or new to coaching, had the opportunity for some immediate feedback, and a boost in confidence from swimming with more experienced athletes in a non-competitive setting.

Perhaps just as important was spending time with other athletes just interacting, listening to their questions, watching how they manage their logistics, and learning from their gear tips. There are so many levels to training and racing in triathlon that go beyond workouts and performance that can only be understood through immersion.

As we stumbled over the rocks and back to the shore, the sun was rising quickly in the sky. We all felt reluctant to get back to our daily lives. But wetsuits had to be stripped. Sand rinsed. Gear stowed. Furtive changing in the car accomplished. Hair unraveled. Farewells offered. Drive to work with the windows open hoping to blow dry hair, and a quick drive through for coffee and a bagel. Back to ‘real life’ – until the next workout.

We all agreed that we’ll have to get together and do this more often.



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*Chiropractic services provided by Cindy Lewis Professional Corporation

Burlington, ON



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