Don’t Quit! 10 Inspirational Quotes to Keep You Going When Training

It can be so tempting to quit. Not just for swimmers, triathletes and other athletes, but for everyone. The difference between success and failure often can be just the willpower to continue. When you feel like you’ve given it all, and you are considering giving it up, take a look at these quotes before you consider quitting. Here are 10 inspirational quotes to keep you going when training.

“If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit. Never quit!” - Michael Jordan

“Hard things are put in our way, not to stop us, but to call out our courage and strength.” – Anonymous

“Commitment is what makes us better people. It’s what makes the world a better place.” – Diana Nyad (first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage)

“It’s always too early to quit.”- Norman Vincent Peale

“The best way to guarantee a loss is to quit.”- Morgan Freeman

“We will all fail in life, but nobody has to be a failure. Failing at a thing doesn’t make you a failure. You are only a failure when you quit trying.” – Joyce Meyer

“Effort only fully releases its rewards when a person refuses to quit.”- Anonymous

“Don’t quit! Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise.” – Anonymous

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Elliot

“You don’t get stronger on the days when everything comes easily to you.” – Nastia Liukin

Tackling Negativity with AMANZI Athletes

AMANZI Girl Georgia DaviesThe biggest enemy most of us will ever face is ourselves. Negative self talk serves as a barrier that prevents many individuals from ever achieving their maximum potential. It is the job of us athletes to tame the real mean person that lives inside of our head, so we can focus on being the best person we can be.

Recently we interviewed all of our top AMANZI athletes, and we asked them how they deal with negativity. The following were some of our favorite answers that we thought would benefit swimmers and non-swimmers alike!  You can read how these professionals deal with mental negativity below. For bonus material, you can follow the link on their names to see the rest of the interview to really get to know what makes these Amanzi athletes tick!

What’s your best advice for dealing with mental negativity? How do you get out of your own head?

  1. A quote that my coach told me, something along the lines of “whether you think you can or can’t, you’re probably right” – always believe in yourself and your ability. Georgia Davies (Swimmer)
  1. Don’t think about the past in a bad way think of it as something you can improve on, as you can always better what you do if you keep going at it and doing the right things. Ellie Faulkner (Swimmer)
  1. “I use a method created by Dr Steve Peters (psychiatrist to British Cycling & Team Sky) in his book ‘The Chimp Paradox’. Basically, anything negative that comes into your head is classified as a ‘threat’ or getting ‘hijacked by your chimp’. I will go through my ‘threats’ with my coach before each race and counter them. For example, perhaps a threat for me would be, ‘what if I don’t have my run legs when I jump off the bike?’ This would be countered with, ‘that is just silly, you have been running really well in training/doing lots of brick sessions, there is no reason why this would happen.’ So each and every threat gets countered and you can go into the race knowing that you’ve dealt with all those little voices.” Gillian Sanders (Triathlete)
  1. “Control the controllable and focus on the processes rather than the outcome. Such as telling yourself to keep a high elbow and strong catch in the swim rather than just thinking ‘swim faster, swim faster’.” Tamsyn Moana-Veale (Triathlete)
  1. “The self-doubts and anxieties are hard to beat sometimes in competitive sport, especially if you are in a bad mindset. Firstly think to yourself, why do I do this sport? Why do I train hard every day? Your answer should be because you love it, not just to please someone, but because you enjoy it. I used to battle with this because I forgot about what I wanted, simply trying to please others and forgetting how much I love surf myself! If you enjoy your sport, your next step is to begin building your positive self-talk. Everything begins in the head, and if you can think it you can do it! Rather than being down on yourself after a race, think of what you can do better for next time. So enjoy your sport, think positive, and smile! The doubt you feel will be gone before you know it.” Brittany Jessup (Surf Lifesaver)
  1. “Don’t over think and just focus on what you need to do.” Holly Grice (Triathlete)

6 Tips on getting chlorine out your swimsuit

How to get chlorine out of your swimsuit

Chlorine is a nasty chemical that you may have noticed damages a swimmer’s hair, skin and swimsuit. To avoid the worst affects of chlorine on swimwear, it is imperative to properly maintain swimwear with basic upkeep. The following tips will not only help you get chlorine out of your swimsuit, but it will also help make your swimsuit last longer:

1. Chlorine Resistant Swimwear
First off, one of the best ways to ensure your swimwear isn’t ruined by chlorine is to invest in chlorine resistant swimwear. All AMANZI swimsuits are made from AMANZI Armor Chlorine Resistant Fabric that helps keep the chlorine from absorbing into your swimwear in the first place. Read more about AMANZI Armor here or click on the image below:

AMANZI Armor

2. Rinse Swimsuit Before Swimming
As a rule, we should always rinse off before entering any pool. An added bonus to this is that rinsing a swimsuit before swimming reduces the amount of chlorine it absorbs as it has already absorbed clean water.

3. Rinse Swimwear After Every Use
When swimwear sits after it has been in the pool, the chlorine will stay in that the fabric and will continue to eat away at it. To avoid this problem just rinse your swimwear with cold tap water after every use.

4. Do Not Ring Out Swimsuits
Ringing out your swimwear does speed up the drying process, but it also breaks down the structure and fabric of the swimwear. Just allow your swimwear to air dry by hanging it up or laying it out flat.

5. Hand Wash Swimsuits
To avoid the fabric of your swimwear from breaking down, the recommended way to wash a swimsuit is by hand washing it. After you machine wash swimwear on a regular cycle the compromised fabric is more likely to absorb chlorine. Most washing machines have a hand wash cycle, but I recommend going the old school way of manually hand washing the swimwear yourself.

Hand washing swimwear is actually pretty easy. Just fill a sink with cold water then mix in some suit saver / tog wash. Let your swimsuit soak in this mixture for around 20 minutes. Once it has soaked massage the swimwear gently to get the chlorine and dirt out. Drain the sink. Next run the swimwear under cold water until the water runs clear.

6. Alternate Swimsuits
Alternating two or three swimsuits gives the swimsuits a chance to dry out and return to its original shape. Swimwear lasts a lot longer if we aren’t constantly keeping it wet and saturated with chlorine by using it every day. Besides, who minds having a couple different cuts and styles of swimwear for the sake of fashion?

Travel Nightmares disguised as Travel Tips and Tricks

Photo by Sean McEntee / CC BY

Photo by Sean McEntee / CC BY

Monthly Report by Tamsyn Moana-Veale

Travel Tips and Tricks
(For the inexperienced, from the slightly less, almost-but-not-quite hopelessly inexperienced.)

OK, so Travel “Nightmares” may be a slight exaggeration, but “Kinda Annoying Travel Moments” didn’t quite have the same ring to it. I’m sure all of you have had times when traveling, be it flying, driving, boating or train-ing, that firmly stick out in your mind as;

“Wow, that sucked. I hate this, I hate that and I certainly hate you; person blocking the only damn exit outta here. Seriously?! ‘excuse me, Sir, Please, I have to get through. Hello? Sir, excuse me. Sir? ….ah, MOVE.”

So, let I, a well-known Stress-Head, let you in on a few things I’ve learnt from my travels abroad. Please note, I haven’t had anything seriously go wrong so if you’re really in trouble when traveling and you resort to this as a guide, then wow, ain’t nothing going to help you now…

1. Keep Calm, be polite, patient and do things in steps;

  • What’s my next best option? E.g. Should I wait for the next train coming in 5hrs or pay an arm and a leg for a taxi to get me there in 20min?
  • Where are my bags? Preferably not in a different country. Has happened, will happen again.
  • What have I arranged that I need to change? E.g Transfers. Four phone calls to China and three emails in 10 minutes to the same person is a guaranteed way to make friends! Also, pronouncing someone’s name incorrectly multiple times is a good way to get disconnected. It, ah, happened to friend…
  • How long do I have to wait and if it’s overnight, where’s the nearest place I can sleep properly? Plastic airport seats? Um, no.
  • Where’s the food at? I’m hungry, and tired and grumpy and hungry. Feed me.

2. Recovery is key
Keep hydrated, find somewhere to lie down, get wifi and sit your butt down. Running around like a headless chicken in compression socks, helmet flinging wildly from a backpack and dragging around a bag with wheels that doesn’t roll properly just looks stupid, and is only amusing for everyone else. Again, it ah, happened to a friend…

3. Pack essentials with you.
Toothbrush (or go buy an overpriced plastic gum stabber), spare clothes, essential training kit; shoes, goggles, cap, race suit and watch, wallet, phone, phone charger and hair straightener.

Tamsyn Moana- Veale
4. And if all else fails…
Look distraught and panicked. Works best for young females but your average male could probably make himself look pathetic enough. Umm… yeah, so this last one is terrible advice. Has been known to leave you alone, at midnight, on a bus in the back lots of Charles de Gaulle airport trying to figure out, that if it came down to it, how effective a bike shoe would be as a weapon (conclusion: probably messy and unreliable). And it goes without saying, that happened to that, um .. friend…

So that’s my travel tips for you! Would love to hear other people’s stories, even if it’s about the time you used a perfume sample at an airport after a travel ‘nightmare’, dropped the lid under a display stand and then tried to casually (and beautifully smelling) stroll away.

Brought to you from Hong Kong International Airport terminal after a misread flight table,
unplanned overnight stay and the lingering smell of a now, missing- presumed broken- lidless
perfume.

Tamsyn xx

How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries

How to prevent shoulder injuriesOne of the most common issues swimmers experience involve the shoulders. If you’ve been swimming for a while, the chances are you’ve probably heard of someone who has experienced a shoulder injury, or you may have even experienced a shoulder injury yourself. During the opening day of London Olympics, FINA released a video entitled “Prevention of Shoulder Injuries in Aquatics Sports” to raise awareness of shoulder injuries in swimming.

The goal of the video is to show swimmers various exercises that can help prevent debilitating shoulder issues. By choosing the Olympics as a medium, FINA really wanted to get this message out to a global audience to raise awareness.

The video explains the basic anatomy of the shoulder to show swimmers where the most common injuries in the sport of swimming occur. Then FINA video goes on to show detailed visuals of dry land exercises that can help swimmers avoid these injuries all together. Some of these exercises require extra equipment, but some you can just do with a ball, water bottle or no equipment at all. Just taking a little time doing the dry land shoulder exercises really can go a long way to help avoid injury, but they can also improve your strength and flexibility to improve your stroke.

The video was compiled by top experts that included physicians, trainers, physical therapist and coaches, and you know FINA wouldn’t do a second rate job at anything they do. If you are swimmer or new to swimming, this video can help you build strength and flexibility in your shoulders. In the long-run you can maintain the health of your shoulders, because there is nothing like a shoulder injury to really put a damper on your athletic or fitness swimming goals.

5 Easy Ways to make a Bag of Nuts Gourmet

Photo by DewFrame / CC BY

Photo by DewFrame / CC BY

Bags of peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc are a quick, easy and healthy snack for any swimmer or athlete. It provides a huge calorie kick with healthy fats and fibers that can keep us full without overfilling our stomachs. The only problem with this perfect snack is that it can get really boring, really fast. The following are simple ingredients that you can add to a bag of nuts to make it a lot tastier. Keep in mind some of these ingredients could interact poorly with your stomach, so make sure to just test out with a little bit of the ingredient first to make sure you don’t end up with an upset stomach.

1. Sprinkle with Cayenne
If you love spicy food, cayenne is the perfect spice to add a bit of heat to any snack. It also just happens to be really good for you, and you can read about it here. Just add a sprinkle to your bag of nuts then shake it around. Make sure to not add too much, because a little bit of cayenne goes a long way. Start with just a pinch of cayenne then add more to match your spice preferences.

2. A Splash of Hot Sauce
This is another option for people who love spicy food. Hot sauce contains capsaicin (belonging to the genus Capsicum), a natural appetite suppressant. If you find yourself hungry during practices or workouts, this may be a great way to stave off the hunger pangs. Just add a dash or two to bag of nuts then shake it around. Make sure not to overdo it, because hot sauce is also high in sodium. Just a dash or two is enough to pump of the flavor of any type of nut.

3. Roast in Olive Oil
Olive oil contains healthy fatty acids along with hormones that help promote brain cell health. You can roast the nuts in olive oil before putting them into the bag. Make sure that you let the nuts cool before putting them into the bag, so you don’t end up melting the plastic! Or you can just drizzle some olive oil on top of the nuts before putting them into the bag. Make sure not to overdo it, because a little bit of olive oil has a lot of calories and fat.

4. Add Wasabi Peas
If you love wasabi (the green hot paste that comes on the side of sushi) you’ll just love wasabi peas. These little crunchy snacks are high in calories and fiber. Just add a small handful of wasabi into your bag of nuts to add a bit of heat and extra flavor. Make sure not to overdo it, because wasabi peas can have a lot of extra sugar and salt.

5. Drizzle with Buckwheat Honey
Honey is obviously a sticky ingredient, but if you have a sweet tooth it is a healthy way to satiate your sugar lust before a workout. Due to the stickiness it may be wise to pack a napkin with your snack. Buckwheat honey provides sugar and antioxidants to help energize and maintain your body, and just FYI, buckwheat honey tends to be better for you than lighter honeys. Just drizzle a tablespoon or less of buckwheat honey evenly over the nuts in a bowl. Mix it with a spoon until the honey evenly covers the nuts. Then put the nuts in the bag for a sweet snack on the go.

Inspirational Quotes from Swimmers

Jodie Duff - AMANZI TriathleteHere are some great inspiration quotes from the best swimmers out there. These are great for days when you just don’t feel like hitting the pool.

“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” - Matt Biondi (US Olympian)

“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” - Mark Spitz (US Olympian)

“The water is your friend…..you don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.” - Alexandr Popov (Russian Olympian)

“It took a lot of guts to change it and say ‘I don’t like the life that I’m living and I don’t like the swimmer I am’, so let’s change it completely and say ‘Look, I’ve got to learn to love myself’. And that’s been a really hard thing to do because when you’ve done a performance that you’re not proud of and the public and the media have criticized you…..people are really quick to make judgements so it was tough to say ‘Well I don’t care what you have to say. I’m going to do this for myself and if you don’t like me after this, well then, it’s too bad’.” - Leisel Jones (Australian Olympian)

“When I go out and race, I’m not trying to beat opponents, I’m trying to beat what I have done … to beat myself, basically. People find that hard to believe because we’ve had such a bias to always strive to win things. If you win something and you haven’t put everything into it, you haven’t actually achieved anything at all. When you’ve had to work hard for something and you’ve got the best you can out of yourself on that given day, that’s where you get satisfaction from.” - Ian Thorpe (Australian Olympian)

“Never put an age limit on your dreams.” - Dara Torres (US Olympian)

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination.” - Michael Phelps (US Olympian)

“The things you learn from sports – setting goals, being part of a team, confidence – that’s invaluable. It’s not about trophies and ribbons. It’s about being on time for practice, accepting challenges and being fearful of the elements.” - Summer Sanders (US Olympian)

“It wasn’t so much, what did I want to do? It was, who do I want to be? - Diana Nyad (World record long-distance swimmer)

Want to read more? Take a look at what some of the AMANZI Girls have to say here.

Monthy Report: Tamsyn Moana-Veale Auckland ITU World Triathlon Series

Monthy Race Report by Tamsyn Moan-Veale

To say I was nervous going into this race is an understatement, I had already started getting butterflies a week out from race day; my first race of the season, first Olympic distance race of the season, second ever WTS and, it was in Auckland. I have a bad history in Auckland, I love the city and am incredibly lucky to have the support of the whanau, but in 2012, it was the site of the worst performance I have ever put together in a race. But this year, circumstances were completely different, and I couldn’t have asked for better preparation on the bike, yet it was the leg I had the least confidence in and in the end that affected my race significantly.

Race morning finally dawned and I felt surprisingly calm, still very nervous but in control and ready to race. Onto the pontoon and I was positioned between two of the best swimmers in the sport; Lucy Hall and Carolina Routier. Hell. Yeah. BEEEEEP – the horn sounded and I didn’t even have to think, I just put my head down and swam hard.

You can see what’s going on around you in a series of fugitive glances to either side and I saw there were already girls falling behind, but Routier and Hall were staying next to me. “What’s going on? Am I keeping up? OMG OMG OMG. Stay here. GOGOGOGOGOGO”. Up to the first turn buoy and I could see I was still near the front, but I knew I would have to fight to hold my position. I was gearing up to fend off grabbing hands, body slams and feet to the face and… I got nothing. Zip.

I love the front. Why don’t I swim here all the time? It is literally a different world to mid or back of the pack. Everyone is more concerned about finding the best way forward, which in a radical new thought pattern- doesn’t involve wasting energy fighting to swim in the exact same spot as 10 other people. From there it was “easy”. I say easy when what I mean was it was hard. Really hard. But it was easy to go hard and I was in a place where I knew if I needed to, I could cover attacks or bridge gaps. I came out of the water in the top 10- a massive improvement on nearly last at my first WTS in Stockholm.

Tamsyn Moana-VealeI would have been pretty happy if the race ended there. It didn’t. The positives? I lasted in the front pack for far longer than Junior Worlds in 2012- to the top of the first big hill. And I wasn’t terrified of the course. Epic win for me! I won’t say I enjoyed the course, but in last few laps I had brief and fleeting moments of enjoyment whilst cornering and descending. The negative? Everything else. I was hurting and I panicked, believing I wouldn’t be able to ride the entire 40km. Ridiculous considering I had ridden an average of 80km a day for a fortnight, only a couple of weeks ago. I was worried about the last hill whilst climbing the first. It was a very, very long day on the bike and it didn’t get better on the run. Flat and blergh.

Tamsyn Moana-Veale

And after all that… I can’t wait to race a WTS again! I don’t know when my next one will be and I’ll have to prove I deserve another start, so my next opportunity to do so will be at Chengdu World Cup in a month’s time. Look forward to it ?

Tamsyn

Emma McKeon, Madi Wilson & Paige Leonhardt 2014 Australian Swimming Championships

Our three Australian AMANZI Swimmers Emma McKeon, Madison Wilson and Paige Leonhardt are up for an exciting week of racing at the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane. The meet is also the trial for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games so make sure you tune into ONE everynight from 6.30pm local time to catch all the action. Or watch it live here: http://www.swimming.org.au/live

Want to know who and what to watch? Here’s a quick rundown:

Emma McKeon

  • 200m Free – Heat 1st Place 1:58:51 | Placed 2nd going into the Finals
  • 100m Fly – Heat 2nd Place 58.99 | Placed 3rd going into the Finals
  • 50m Free
  • 100m Free
  • 400m Free

Madison Wilson

  • 100m Back
  • 200m Back
  • 50m Back

Paige Leonhardt

  • 100m Breast MC – Heat 2nd Place 1:29:65 | Placed 6th going into the Finals tonight
  • 50m Free MC – Finished in 22nd place with a new PB time of 32.72.
  • 100m Free MC
  • 200m IM MC
  • 50m Back MC
  • 50m Fly MC
  • 50m Breast MC

Amanzi Swimwear

10 Fun Facts About Swimming

Here’s some swimming trivia that probably won’t help you lower your time, but will make for a fun read!

  1. The earliest record of swimming was from a Stone Age painting that was created approximately 7,000 years ago.
  2. Elephants can swim around 20 miles a day. They use their trunks as snorkels!
  3. The first ever recorded swim race was held in Japan in 36 BCE.
  4. Swimming became a popular competitive sport in England during the 1830’s.
  5. The first indoor swimming pool, St. George’s Baths, was opened to public in 1828.
  6. The front crawl was introduced to Western swimmers by two Native American at a London swimming competition in 1844.
  7. The first four Olympics were held in open water, not a pool. In consecutive order they took place in the Mediterranean, the Seine River, a manmade lake and the Mediterranean once again.
  8. The average person produces enough saliva in a lifetime to fill two swimming pools.
  9. Women were not allowed to swim in the Olympics until 1912.
  10. In 1910, the first filtration system for a pool was invented.