We marched back from Camp Buckner a day before the plebes returned from Lake Frederick, and in no time, my classmates and I settled back into Academic Year rhythms. I watched my own plebe struggle through Reorganization Week, eventually pulling him aside that Friday afternoon as my own team leader had done with me the previous year.
“Cangolosi! Go take a shower right now! That’s an order!”
Long workout today as we enter the final training period before the Swim Across the Sound. We raised a lot of money this week, but we could still use your support to finish strong.
Today's workout was a monster, and just because I'm feeling generous, I'm going to adapt it to the track for my running friends. Working this hard makes me a little emotional at times, so I feel like I need to share that pain.
If anyone actually tries this adaptation out on a track, please let me know how it went. I think you could use it as a key workout during half-marathon training, but I'm hardly an expert.
I went back and forth this week on how many serious articles I should run. The news has been so grim, though, no matter where you turn, so I decided to keep it light. I mean, I don’t know that I’m any more optimistic than you are, but I will say that I don’t want to dive any deeper into the garbage pail than I have to through my writing.
If you’ve been following this blog, you will already know that I’m swimming across Long Island Sound with a few friends on August 4th. Before you ask, yes, we could still use your support. We’re a little more than $2K away from our fundraising goal with less than a month to go. A few good-sized donations could put us over the top. That would be very nice.
“Duty-Honor-Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, and what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."
― General Douglas MacArthur
Swim season ended with the Patriot League Championships, and suddenly I didn’t know what to do with myself. A handful of swimmers also played on West Point’s water polo team, and although I knew that my playing polo might raise eyebrows with the swim team’s coaching staff, I found myself wanting to throw the ball around more than I wanted to participate in the swim team’s anemic offseason training program.
This felt like a slow news week up until yesterday afternoon. But as much as I'm personally happy that Scott Pruitt is finally leaving the EPA, I don't have anything to add to the story beyond the basics. I searched for additional stories of relative importance but still didn't find very much. So this week’s post is a lot of college football and a bit of D&D. Yay?
I was surprised to the point of shock when I got to West Point and found Layne, the object of my ill-advised affections from my halcyon days with the Vista Swim Team, ensconced as a yearling on the Army Women’s Swim Team. Though she’d once been one of my very best friends, indeed an object of true adolescent adoration, Layne and I spoke maybe two dozen words in the three years we were together at the Academy. The Army Men’s and Women’s Swim Teams just weren’t close when we were there, and whatever romantic affections I’d once felt, they weren’t strong enough—on either side—to pull us back together against the tide of our teams’ mutual animosity.
I gave little thought to this as a plebe because plebe life offered little time for self-reflection. As a yearling, however, I mourned the loss of Layne as a perfect ideal. In time, however, I realized that whatever I’d once felt for my first crush, those feelings were of a piece with a part of myself that lived only in memory.
I showed up on the pool deck later that afternoon for the first Captain’s Practice, one of the early unofficial workouts organized by the our team captains before the start of the NCAA’s official swimming season. This felt very much like coming home. A tall man with short-cropped red hair introduced himself as “Rocket.” He was our captain and one of just two firsties on the Army Swim Team that year. He was also a sprinter, hence his nickname. Beside him stood Rob and Flip, both cows, whom I knew from my recruiting visit and from the handful of “mass athletics” swimming sessions the team had held during Beast Barracks. Beyond them stood the rest of the team, a handful of their cow classmates and a very small number of yearlings.
I stood with my own classmates while Rob and Flip introduced us to the team, and that’s when I met “Toad,” Army’s incumbent butterflyer.