It has, sadly, been 16 years since I left the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where I helped to coach both the resident National Swim Team, with USA SWIMMING and the resident National Triathlon Team, with USA Triathlon. What an amazing experience and I have long since called this my phd in coaching! Traveling the world and working with the most amazing athletes in both sports was an experience of a lifetime. I am writing an article on that experience now and will post it shortly here (insert link). This week I also traveled further back in time and met up with an old swimming friend of mine, Melissa. She and I swam together in Peoria, Illinois for a team called PAWW (insert link to their webpage). Melissa used to, and it appears she probably still could, kick the crap out of me in the pool, every time we swam. Everyday, at every workout, she was one of many who motivated me and pushed me to do things I never thought I could. Seeing her and speaking with her brought back all sorts of old memories, images and conversations and I’m so grateful for that. I’m also super happy for the chance to reconnect with people in my life who played such big roles. Thanks to social media making it easier, the past few months have been spent reconnecting with many of my old swimming friends. Much like going back to Men’s NCAA’s and reintroducing myself to old coaching friends and colleagues, it has felt like a period of time travel for me. Sometimes it really does help to reconnect and remember great times and great people in your life who, even if time has passed, still mean the world to you. Below is a photo of myself and Jonty Skinner, my old boss at USA Swimming who now coaches at Alabama. We still communicate regularly and talk technique, training and travel but this man is my mentor. Jonty gave a kid from a small town in rural Illinois the opportunity of a lifetime and has continued to be a mentor ever since. Calling him a friend now has made this relationship even more special.