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THE CHAT

Actually, I don't consider it suffering. Everyone else considers it suffering, but I consider it character building. You become more aware of your emotions, and that makes life more exciting. It's the opposite of dulling your senses; your senses are more acute. . . . You are suffering for part of it, but in the whole it's worth it. I consider suffering what I have to do now, which is sit on the couch for a month. To me, that's suffering.

Can you explain what goes through your mind when you're approaching the third hour of continuous swimming?

_____ Monday Morning_____
 Winky Wright
A look back at the weekend and a look ahead at the coming week's action with a fresh new edge.

Norman Chad's Couch Slouch
Starting Lineup
The Chat: Former "Baywatch" actress and swimmer Alexandra Paul
Two-Minute Drill
7 Days

_____ The Quote _____
"I thank Shane Mosley. Without him, I'd still be fighting on ESPN, in West Virginia."

-- Winky Wright (48-3), after beating Mosley in a rematch and retaining his WBA and WBC 154-pound titles Saturday night.

_____ The Monday Morning Poll _____
With NBA suspensions handed down and criminal investigations proceeding, the Friday night brawl involving the Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Auburn Hills, Mich., fans is having major repercussions in sports. Who is more to blame for a melee that crossed traditional lines of behavior between fans and players?
Fans
Players

View results

Well, actually that's the best hour, I think, because you know you're almost done. I'd never entered a pure swim race before, and so I was nervous [before the 10K swim], because I didn't know how I would do with a three-hour race physically. So I started off very easy and swam comfortably the entire way. Next race I do, I'll have more of a sense of how my body can perform.

Your husband, he's a . . .

He's a triathlon coach. So we still have triathlon in the house; we have probably six bikes downstairs, and swim gear, and my husband coaches every day, almost.

Does this make him kind of an intense person?

He's much, more relaxed than I. I need to get some of his relaxation. One of the jobs of a coach is to hold back some athletes that might overtrain, like me. He actually gave me my training program for Bonaire. He's a much more moderate person than I, which works out great. . . . One of the other reasons why I like to train alone is I'm not incredibly competitive with other people. It's sort of like the joy of the journey for me instead of how fast can I get to the end. . . . You know, one of the great things about sports and why I really feel that it gives a balance to my life in Hollywood is that if you train hard for an event you will finish that event, barring an act of God. But if you train hard in acting it doesn't mean you'll get hired, ever. You could be a fabulous actor and never get hired, or get hired much, much less than a less talented actor. But you have more control over your sports life -- what you put into it you tend to get out of it. Whereas acting, there's so much left to chance.

Any other sports goals out there besides the 10-mile swim?

No, not right now. I have to get my knee set, so my goal right now is to be the opposite of who I normally am, which is, "Go, go, go." The goal is to stay off my knee and let it heal for the greater good of my athletic career.

-- Dan Steinberg


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