Athlete diary: Alec Page

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Canada’s top swimmers are hard at work across the country – and even across the border – as they prepare for the Canadian Swimming Trials in April.

The road to representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow or the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia recently ran through Austin, Tex. Several Canadian swimmers, including a group from the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria, competed at the Austin Grand Prix.

Alec Page of Cortes Island, B.C., documented the experience. This is the first in a series of athlete diaries from the 20-year-old Olympian. In this edition Page discusses how to handle the rigors of winter travel, the experience at the meet, and teammate Eric Hedlin’s spaghetti-related security issues.

Approaching travel days with an open mind is the key to travelling smoothly. Expect the unexpected. Be willing to go along with delays or cancelled flights. This does not mean go into a travel day with a negative outlook, but to approach it with a relaxed and calm state of mind. Go with the flow or anything else that may come your way, because in the end, you cannot control what goes on around you. You can control how you react to those unexpected situations.

Awake and bright-eyed we set out to begin our travel day leading to the first stop on our month-long journey. Eric Hedlin, Will Brothers, Hilary Caldwell, Randy Bennett and I all came into the Victoria International Airport around the same time. Going through security was a breeze but in typical fashion they stopped Eric because of the two massive Tupperware containers filled with spaghetti he had in his bag. To those who know him this will come as no surprise. Arriving in Vancouver we saw that our flight to Denver was delayed. This was not a great concern to us because, as mentioned before, you just have to go with the flow. After a few hours, entertaining ourselves the best we could sitting in the airport, we ended up flying to Denver and spending the night.

The next morning we all managed to get on a flight to Austin. We were tired from an extended travel day but picked ourselves up knowing that the meet started the following day.

The meet in Austin was a new experience for all of us. Racing in a training suit versus a racing suit posed a bit of a mental challenge for us to overcome, especially seeing everyone else racing in fast suits. That being said we approached each race properly and professionally. There were hiccups of course, but at the end of the meet there was an overall positive feeling from the group about our performances.

After a good night’s sleep we headed out to start our first six-day training cycle in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and our next big training block.

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