Table of Contents 1. Waterlog Profile: Lauren Au
2. Bosporus 2016 Cross-Continental Swim Race 3. CALM Advisory Board Candidates for election 4. Revised CALM Pool Etiquette Guide
5. CALM Advisory Board Meeting notes
Kate Coleman Sara Everitt
1. August Waterlog Profile: Lauren Au
The True on-deck Love Story of Lauren Au
by Kate Coleman
Lauren Au, the tall, willowy Chinese-American beauty with the long straight black hair, apologizes to me on the phone for having to decline lunch at my house as the setting for our profile interview. She’s just too busy: jammed with work, but more important right now, with her impending wedding plans. The nuptial affair on the fourth of September and is fast approaching.
Instead of my place and lunch, she suggests I show up mid morning at her office at the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) on nearby Milvia. And if I had any doubts about her hectic current doings they were quickly dispelled when she rattled off her mad dashes across the country over the last few weeks.
She’d just flown back from one of her frequent job-related jaunts that included regular trips to Washington DC –and elsewhere around the country–for meetings, delivering reports on her work which is the tracking and evaluation of nutritional programs for children; their comparative efficacy, implementation, and success, across the U.S. As such she deals with reams of data, analyzing the disparity rates of childhood obesity in income levels, race, regions, food culture, and so on. Along with colleagues in other states, she is continually pressing for Federal funding for the programs that work best. (I forgot to ask here if she had any inside evaluation of the Clinton Foundation nutritional programs of children which I read about in the New York Times over the weekend…hmmmm).
So, on Wednesday 8/1, after her confab in DC, she abruptly flew to Denver on Friday where she hopped a red-eye shuttle to Reno, then a cab to Truckee and to the cabin rented by her swim pod in anticipation of swimming Donner the following morning on Saturday. Whew!
Was she tired? Stressed, I ask, sitting opposite her in her cozy bright office? This sounded only a tad more arduous than her usual: “I’ve been to DC three times in the past three months,” Lauren says, “each for less than forty-eight hours.” Worse, she groaned, was her absence from swimming for the whole week before the race.
But Lauren, nevertheless, managed to take the bronze in her women’s age group (she’s 31). Not bad. Momentarily, a shadow of a grimace of annoyance crossed her face. “Last year I took second.”
And what about her husband-to-be? How did he do? Justin Brinkmeyer, by name and a CALM Golden Bear swimmer only manages to come to workouts about once a week, Lauren reports. “He works in San Francisco [as a graphic designer],” she explains, “not enough time to swim during the week before his commute.”
But swimming is both the circumstance and, apparently the glue that has bound these lovers–if not from the get-go, at least over time.
She was working on her PhD at Tufts University in food and applied nutrition (her dissertation was on Vitamin D absorption in kids); she met him on deck when she’d joined Harvard Masters–aka Cambridge Masters. “It was September 2nd, 2009.” The specific date she recites resonates pleasurably. She smiles as she points out that their wedding is almost to the day, seven years hence.
Before that Lauren, then a Cal under-graduate, had swum with SCAM from 2003 to 2007 when Kevin Williams was head coach. “I was slower then–in the 1:25 lane–than at Harvard where I was swimming in the 1:15 lane and had hour and a half workouts. Recently I’ve started doing double workouts.” Lauren is pretty darn fast.
The relationship with Justin was not, however, smooth sailing despite her description that she and Justin “hit it off almost immediately.” In just one year, she says, “we became close friends. He’d been in Boston five years. He became her guide, showing her his preferred cafes, where to shop, which bar was cool. She soon joined him for so-called “Thirsty Thursdays”, but not as his particular girl friend: “There were two guys and two girls–all of us single!”
“For two years,” she shakes her head, “I was very confused by Justin: he wanted to hang out with me but….” He told her he didn’t want to date swimmers. “He said he didn’t want ‘the drama’ of dating where he swam.”
So whom did he date? “Graphic artists.” She laughs at the irony of feeling okay about dating girls from work, but not from the pool. “Sooooo, I started to date another guy in Boston, and Justin got jealous.” She is full of merriment relating the craziness of her situation, rather straddled in her mind between Justin–“my really good friend and my new boyfriend.”
It was her birthday. Her new boyfriend’s present was a much coveted pizza stone.
Justin also showed up with his birthday gift: a used (aged) pizza stone–“the same present,” she exclaims. It might have ended there, but the next day, Justin was helping Lauren unload her car. “Why is this so heavy,” he asked about a wrapped item that happened to be Lauren’s boyfriend’s gift. Justin was chagrined, but still he didn’t break his code of no swimmer-girlfriend. And Lauren says she stayed with the new boyfriend for another year, “but,” she admits, “I wanted to see Justin.”
After she broke up with the unnamed boyfriend, she and Justin got together.
At last, you say? No. “We dated nine months,” she says. It was one month before their planned trip together to Greece in the summer of 2011with the swim tour outfit, Swim Trek. They each had traveled home for spring vacation–she to Marin County, he to the Midwest. She tells me upon her return; Justin says he has something to tell her: “He told me he’d kissed someone on the swim team.” Lauren today says she felt sort of good that he told her this, and yeah, she admits to being jealous; not to be outdone, she kissed someone and told Justin. “It ended we weren’t talking.”
Yet the Swim Trek tour in Greece with its promise of swimming island to island beckoned. “Two weeks before we left for Greece, she tells me, Justin confesses he loves me.” ((Ululations of joy seem appropriate here)). “We had a great trip in Greece. The trials of the loving couple were not yet solved. “Back from Greece we tried to date but we weren’t ready to be serious.” In Lauren’s description, things turned a bit sour. In January of 2012 she says she came back from holidays and their swim love was, in her word, “tortuous.” “This was why he didn’t want to date a swimmer. He’d show up and if I was swimming, he’d leave.” Tellingly, somehow, they could never fully quit on one another. “We always came back,” she says, “because we were really good friends!”
And what else was it, aside from the fact that they both loved swimming, were two beautiful people and liked many of the same things? Lauren feels that despite the fact that she’s Chinese-American, born to Chinese immigrants, while Justin is Midwest with all that entails, the similarities in their background are striking: “Well, for one, both of our dads had the same jobs–they both were phone techs. We both are financially very responsible, with similar middle class backgrounds, and both of us want children.
Lauren perhaps has had a greater sense of purpose, a focus that perhaps was influenced not only by having immigrant parents (from Shanghai) but also the sobering and sad early deaths of her mother when she was a teenager, and her father by the time she was 20. Her elder siblings (her brother is 38, one sister 36, another 34) bore the brunt of the so-called “tiger mother” strict emphasis and school and accomplishments–learning Chinese, violin music lessons, etc.–Lauren as the youngest Au, escaped.
“No,” she laughs, “I don’t speak Chinese and no music lessons.” The reason, she explains, is that the family moved to Marin County when she was in the third grade. “There were all these swimming pools and classes around…” Her voice trails off.
Lauren dove into swimming and never stopped.
She is just as purposeful in her career: obtaining her PhD. landing the internship with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, working on nutrition policy issues, wracking up an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellowship sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, and was also the recipient of two grants by the National Institutes of Health and Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation to study childhood obesity. Obviously, she’s no slouch, going after what she wants and needs in a crisp, professional way.
Yes, her romance seemed to occasionally veer off in the thicket of typical lovers’ ambivalence, but from Lauren’s telling, she–and he–always came back to one another. Lauren wanted to move back to the Bay Area so she could be close to her siblings again. Rejoined her swim team, now CALM, and, their mutual love cemented and no longer subject to uncertainty, Justin came with her.
Only one thing seemed unsettled: Lauren says frankly, “I wanted to get married. We’d talked about it but I didn’t see him taking the initiative. On November twenty-sixth, 2015, he proposed.” No date was set, however. From one of her co-workers, Lauren had already learned about a wedding venue that was both affordable and rustic. The Piedmont Community Hall set in bucolic Redwood Park, seemed perfect, but it had to be booked a year and a half ahead of time. December first 2015 was the deadline. Despite their on-again- off-again romance, Lauren led the way and booked her wedding. All systems go.
Was she taking a risk to book it on her own so far ahead? She would lose money is–well, something not to contemplate.
Last year in the annual Donner swim, both she and Justin entered. She took off and never looked back. She did a great race (2nd place) and just as she ran up the finish chute, she felt a tap on her shoulder from behind. She turned, and in shock saw Justin right behind her. He’d drafted off of her the whole way.
This year, she lost him; or rather, he lost her, coming in 30 seconds after Lauren. (He only swims, after all, about once a week)
But he’s holding tight to his fearless leader for their up-coming wedding; and, in keeping with the couples’ shared eschewing of prodigal spending that they cannot afford (they’re both footing the bill for their nuptials) following their swim, on their way home, they purchased over a dozen Ikeda delicious unbaked frozen fruit pies that are de rigeur food stocking up for Donner-bound visitors in the know).
They’ll be defrosted, baked and served to their wedding guests by her caterer at their wedding party.
Viva Lauren, and Justin too. No drafting or dragging anymore. ((Well, except, maybe, in Donner Lake))
2. The Bosporus Swim Race
Bosporus Cross-Continental Race 2016
by Sara Everitt *
In January 2016, I successfully registered to swim the Bosporus, the waterway in Istanbul Turkey that separates the European continent from the Asian continent. The cross-continental race was to be held July 24, 2016. Little did I know that right before the race there would be a terrorist attack at the Istanbul Airport followed shortly by an attempted governmental coup.
Four days before I was to go to Istanbul, all flights between the US and Turkey were suspended because of the coup. Two days later the suspension was lifted. After some deliberation, I decided to toss caution to the wind and go rather than wait to see if I would get into the race next year. I don’t regret it.
I flew out on Thursday and arrived Friday afternoon. The race was Sunday a day later. The morning of the race, walking through security to the race organization and activity area I was struck by how out of my comfort zone I was. First I was in a foreign country that had just gone through a coup. The people around me spoke a language that I could not come close to understanding. I knew no one, added to that there were few women swimmers (about 20% of the total) and only a handful of Americans. Lastly, this was to be the
longest swim I had ever attempted, 6.5 kilometers. That said I had never seen a more organized swim and all 1500 swimmers were excited, pumped up and friendly.
I had a hired tour guide, Ahmet, to assist me with the registration and more importantly, moral support. He was wonderful. He took charge, making sure I knew where to go before and after the race. He took pictures and was as excited about the race as I was.
Athletes’ Zone and Boarding the Boat
I went into the Athletes’ Zone to first check my things and then to board the ferry that was to take us to the start of the race on the Asian continent. I saw a group of women that appeared European so I went up to them to ask where to take our things to be stored during the race. They looked at me as I was asking questions and gestured with their hands. After a couple of minutes of frustration I realized they were deaf. So I looked around and saw a line where swimmers were handing their things to volunteers in a storage area.
After I checked my things I sat under a tree and started chatting with a man from Holland. We talked about the race. He had done it before and was supportive. I was hoping to pick his brain for tips on the race but within a few minutes the organizers called our group to board the ferry. I tried to stay close but lost him in the confusion of boarding the ferry.
As I was boarding the officials were stopping the swimmers and requiring that they remove their watches and bag them with their swimmer number so that they could be put with their things. I was a bit disappointed because I had bought my watch especially for the race. It could track me as I swam and record the time and distance. I believe banning the watches was related to the heightened security, which under the circumstances seemed reasonable.
Once I was on the ferry I wandered around a bit looking for my Dutch friend. Since I couldn’t find him I struck up a conversation with some handsome European men thinking they would likely speak English. I started talking about the race to two good-looking Russians that were fluent in English. They asked if I had taken the preparation cruise the day before to help understand the currents and objects to sight during the swim. Of course I hadn’t heard about the cruise, so I had spent the day on a tour of Istanbul. The Russians were concerned because the currents were tricky. They tried to explain how to swim the race. Lucky for me, a Turkish man had overheard our conversation and offered some guidance. He insisted I follow him out on the deck of the ferry so he could show me the course and objects to sight.
As we wandered around the ferry he pointed out the course and explained the currents and the waterway. He stressed that it was important to stay in the center of the waterway in the cool water to ensure the current would assist you in the swim. If you got too close to shore in the warmer water, you would end up swimming against the countercurrent.
When he finished up and we were close to the start I noticed that I had lost one of the gaskets on the eyepiece of my goggles somewhere along the way. I frantically retraced my steps to find it but couldn’t. I asked an official for a spare set but it was not to be. My Turkish friend was very sympathetic and helped me look but in the end there was nothing to do but tighten the goggle strap and hope for the best.
The ferry reached the Asian side of the Bosporus and the race officials attached the dummy start barge. When the race started, I was pretty much in back of the pack. Stepping on the barge, I tried to get my bearings. It took me awhile to find a place to jump into the water without hitting anyone. But once I was in the water, I was in my element. The water was refreshing and inspiring. As I immersed I was enveloped in an old familiar friend. I tightened my goggle strap once more for good measure, I put my head in the water and started towards my first sighting the middle of the first bridge.
The water was brackish. My goggles were uncomfortably tight but they did hold the water out. I moved along at a good clip and before I knew it I was under the first bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The next sight was some high voltage wires. I needed to go under their lowest point as they crossed the Bosporus. It was a challenge seeing the wires because my goggles were fogged up, so I stopped occasionally to adjust them and check on the wires. I was hoping that the goggles were not so tight as to give me a black eye.
As I passed under the wires I found my third and final sight, the center of the Bogazici Bridge. The finish was just before the bridge identified with a big balloon banner. I was to start turning towards the finish after I passed Galatasatat Island on my left. Before I knew it I was there, turning towards the finish line and climbing out of the water on to the finishing barge. I felt great. My goggles had held and I had swum the race exactly right thanks mostly to my Turkish friend. He had described the race and the strategy to complete it spot-on.
The Finish and Awards
Ahmet, my tour guide, had suggested I go straight to get my things and then my completion certification before the lines got too long. He was right. After I picked up my things and went to get my certificate I looked at my time and was floored. I had completed the 4-mile swim in just under 1:04. I was expecting it to take at least 2 hours. I guess I’d stayed in the middle and caught the current after all.
I found Ahmet and we decided to check to see if I had placed. I found an official and to my surprise I had come in first in my category. I received my award on the winner’s platform and had my 10 minutes of fame.
The swim was everything I had hoped for and much more. I got to talk with swimmers from all over the world; all were supportive and loved the sport. So I will end by saying BOSPORUS 2017!
(and here’s the linke: http://bogazici.olimpiyatkomitesi.org.tr/Anasayfa)
* And special thanks to fellow CALM teammate, Elke Petersen, for her help on my story.
3. Candidates for new CALM Advisory board:
2016-2018 CALM Board candidates: Board Chair
• Conny Bleul-Gohlke
• Sandra Ramos • Mehmet Sevinc
• Jerry Jimenez
• Kay Van der Have
Newsletter editor • Alasdair Cohen • Kai Stoeckenius
Membership Chair • Patrick Murray
Social Chair • Jann Ronis
• Kate Coleman
• Ben Swiggett
Asst. Meet Directors (2 positions) • Jeremy Cohen
• Pamela Waxman
4. Revised Calm Etiquette Guide
Call for Help
If you have a medical emergency while swimming, BE DRAMATIC; get noticed. If you see someone who might need help (e.g., stopped in the middle of the pool, coughing badly) verify there is/is not a problem – don’t assume everything is okay. Lane Etiquette:
Swim in the Correct Lane
Select a lane that is the right pace for you. Repeatedly getting caught or repeatedly catching swimmers means you need to try a slower or faster lane.
Note: The workout coach has ultimate discretion on lane assignments, and the last word on who swims in what lane.
Five Seconds Rule
Give the swimmer ahead of you five seconds before you push off the wall at the beginning of a swim.
Circle Swim Counter-Clockwise
As is the case in open rec swimming, counter-clock direction circle-swim is the rule for workouts. In team practices it promotes cooperation and builds team spirit. Swim on the right side of the lane; don’t swim down the middle (be extra careful doing backstroke). (In rare cases if there are only two swimmers in a lane and the Coach deems it appropriate you may agree to split the lane.)
Stopping / Resting
Stop/rest at the extreme right side of the wall (as you face the wall); the left side is for turns. If you can’t complete a swim, move to the extreme right side of the lane and continue to the wall at your best pace.
Passing Another Swimmer
Try to wait until the end of a swim to change places with another swimmer. To pass in the middle of a swim, tap the preceding swimmer’s foot twice as you approach the flags (one tap might be an accident). S/he will stop at the next wall (on the right) to let you by. Note: If you pass someone, be prepared to stay ahead for the rest of the set, and preferably the rest of the workout. If you feel your foot tapped twice, allow the swimmer behind you to pass.
Cross to the left side of the lane to make your turn. If you get too close to the preceding swimmer, you might have to turn somewhat closer to the middle of the lane (Give the preceding swimmer a little more room in subsequent turns or pass the swimmer – see “Passing Another Swimmer” above).
Golden Bear pool
The outside (“wall”) lanes at the Golden Bear pool are narrower, which can make it awkward for groups of swimmers to circle swim
in them. To distribute the “burden” of swimming in these less desirable lanes, lane assignments at GB are regularly rotated. Also, on occasions where there is only one swimmer in a given lane, that swimmer should move to one of the outside lanes since they will not need to circle swim and there is sufficient room for a single swimmer in these narrower lanes.
If you arrive late, either pick up the workout in the middle (same stroke, same speed as everybody else) or, wait for “empty water” to begin your warm up and move out of the way as needed. Second Workouts
If there is space in the next workout, you are welcome to keep swimming. Be sure to start the next workout from its beginning (warm up, drills, etc.); don’t continue where you left off in your previous workout.
Changes to the Workout
You can’t change the workout for the lane (e.g., when you are leading) unless everyone in the lane agrees (e.g., 3 seconds between swimmers when the lane is crowded, shorter interval). If you want to make your own changes (e.g., swim a different stroke, use equipment when no equipment is specified), stay out of the way of other swimmers.
Scents and Perfumes
When possible, please refrain from wearing excessive amounts of cologne or perfume to practice. Some of our members have had allergic reactions to strong scents, and we’d like to do what we can to keep them comfortable.
5. CALM August Board Meeting Notes
Meeting held on 08/03/2016
Reports: Newsletter editor
- The August interview subject is Lauren Au Membership
- The roster is up to 145 paid team members.
• Caltopia is coming up Aug. 23 & 24; CALM will have a booth to recruit new team members; Tiffany-perhaps accompanied by some “youngish” team members will staff the booth; Jeremy Jann and Kai will also stop in. There may be give-aways provided by Pacific Masters.
• Kay and Jann will look into getting CALM publicized in the “Health Matters” drive targeted to UC faculty and staff.
• The annual team meeting and potluck picnic will take place at Strawberry Canyon pool on
Sunday, Aug. 21. Set-up at 5:30; meeting at 6:30 and inner-tube water polo to follow. This will be an adult beverage free event. Tiffany will see if Spencer can arrange to have UC contribute pizzas. Jann will put out a call for volunteers to help with clean-up. NOTE: PARKING FEES WILL BE ENFORCED.
• The coach appreciation gathering previously planned for Aug. 19 will instead be held in conjunction with the Board turnover meeting Oct. 5. The plan is to invite the coaches to a party after the joint (old/new board) meeting at Kjersten’s house. The old and new board will meet at 6:15; the guests could then come at 7:30 for an evening meal hosted by the Board.
Coaching Liaison • The Board position of Coaching Liaison will be eliminated; instead Head Coach Tiffany agreed to become an ex-officio member of the Board.
The Board agreed a second Assistant Meet Director position is needed to spread the work of running
• Replacing the Board ((see item 3 above))
A final slate with any further additions will be e-mailed to the team Sept. 1 or asap thereafter.
⁃ Kai will confirm the slate with all candidates before the end of August.
⁃ This slate will be published in the August Waterlog; a final slate with any further additions will be
e- mailed to the team Sept. 1 or asap thereafter.
⁃ We will ask Spencer to conduct an election via Survey Monkey for two weeks in September.
Open Water Events
⁃ CALMers participated on two separate teams doing the trans-Tahoe relay, and at Santa Cruz rough
water swim (Kate Coleman did the pier 1-mi. Took 2nd in 70-74 yr old)
⁃ Laura Au, Carol Ridell and Linda Williams swam Donner Lake Swim.
•The CALM workout etiquette code document will be amended to include an item about lane rotation at Golden Bear workouts.
•The etiquette code will be regularly re-disseminated to the team (at least twice a year). The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wed., Sept. 7; place TBA. 08/03/2016-Minutes
our team at the Donner Lake Swim.
• The CALM workout etiquette code document will be amended to include an item about lane rotation at Golden Bear workouts. The revised document will be included in the August Waterlog.
• The etiquette code will be regularly re-disseminated to the team (perhaps quarterly, or at least twice a year).
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wed., Sept. 7; place TBA.