Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Streamline Launch Party

Streamline Launch Party

Major thanks go out to Megan for joining the Launch Par-tay and for serving as an early beta for this story!

Megan asked me to share what it’s like to prepare for a swim meet. If you read Streamline you’ll know  I’m obsessed with swimming. I love sharing my favorite sport with readers, so I’m more than happy to oblige.

First, competitive swimming is a weird sport. Instead of gearing up for each meet, we focus all our energy on one big meet each season, known as the “taper” meet. We swim many miles each week and are often quite tired for dual meets, but before our big meet we rest (taper down yardage) so that we can swim faster than ever. We also shave our bodies (yep, even our arms and back!) to be more hydrodynamic. There’s nothing like the sensation of diving into the cold water with a sleek, shaved, powerful body, feeling the water tingle and caress our skin, popping up to take strong, effortless strokes. I LOVE taper.

My specialties are the 200 breaststroke and the 200 Individual Medley—races that take a little over two minutes to complete. Yet we train about four hours a day to prepare for those races. Our training schedule is typically 90 minutes of swimming and/or strength training in the morning and about 150 minutes of swimming in the afternoon. Enduring adversity together can create a tight bond among individuals, so you can imagine how close a swim team gets with this rigorous schedule. Toward the end of the season we taper down to about 30 minutes a day. Now do you see why I love taper?

But there’s not only physical preparation to consider. There’s also the mental side—the head games. What if you have personal drama right before a big meet? What if your archrival intimidates you? What if you’re feeling sick during the preliminary heats? None of that matters now… it’s time to bring it ON!

We strive to conquer pee-in-your-pants anxiety behind the starting blocks by taking deep breaths and focusing on the task at hand. Hopefully we can quiet our minds and let our well-trained bodies take over. We step up to the blocks and crouch down for the start, then explode off the blocks in a tight streamline to slice through the water with minimal resistance. Swimming a personal best is an amazing feeling—an accomplishment that makes all the hard work worth it.

Leo Scott and Audrey Rose go through all this and more in Streamline as they navigate all the tortuous obstacles I throw in their way. I hope you decide to take this journey with them! One of my happiest moments as a writer was when my friend Lorne read this story and started swimming for fitness a few days a week. I’m proud to call myself her coach.

Thanks for joining us today, Jen! Be sure to fill out the form below for your chance to win some prizes and here's a little description about Streamline:

 Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.

Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.

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1 comment:

  1. Megan, thank you for all of your help with this story and for indulging my love of swimming. I cornered you at this party and talked ad nauseum about my favorite sport, ha ha.



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