Where I went: Gold Coast, Australia (Surfer’s Paradise, Southport, Broadbeach, Currumbin)
How I went: bus from Canberra to Sydney, plane from Sydney to Gold Coast
When I went: August 23-26, 2014
Why I went: Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and a quick escape from chilly Canberra
Where I stayed: Budd’s in Surfer’s, just blocks from the beach ($27AUD/night – 4 bed female dorm with free wifi and breakfast)
Where I ate: Peter’s Fish Market, Southport
Where I cuddled a koala: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Last week, while the kids were at swim lessons, I saw a mother introducing her daughter to the water. She didn’t cry; she didn’t scream. She looked perfectly at home in the water. She was FIVE MONTHS OLD. This tiny baby cooperated with every bounce and remained unfazed even when her mom dipped her completely under the water. I joked with her mom about seeing her baby in the Olympics someday. “That’s the plan,” she laughed.
Lately, I’ve been telling Z and M about my upcoming trip to the Gold Coast to watch one of my best friends and USA National Team Member Eva Fabian compete in the Pan Pacific Championships in the 10K Open Water (Their response: “She swims for TWO HOURS? Won’t her arms fall off?”). I also started teaching swim lessons at the local YMCA. With both of those events in mind, I’ve thought a lot about what swimming has come to mean to me since my competitive career ended in February. I still manage to get in a workout of my own on occasion, but swimming has become something I can enjoy as a fan and participate in as a teacher and a coach. And I love it.
Wow, it’s been a busy week! Since I wrote last, I spent a four-day weekend in Sydney while Host Mum took Z and M to Byron Bay and Gold Coast to see family. On Saturday and Sunday, I took the AUST SWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety course so that I am certified to teach swim lessons at the local YMCA while I’m still here in Canberra. Fortunately, I had a bit of background knowledge on swimming already. 😉 After two days of being cooped up inside the Seven Hills Royal Life Saving Training Center, I was finally free to do some exploring early this week.