We have a world class master’s swimmer on our team. She trains in lane three with some very good age group swimmers. Lanes one and two are reserved for an Olympic gold medalist, a Florida State Champion, a US National Finals qualifier and several Florida State finalists. Darcy, that’s the name of the master’s swimmer, is hugely impressive. How’s this for a resume?

She’s in the 50 to 54 years age group. She swims around 70kms (42miles) per week. Three times a week she bakes oatmeal and chocolate cookies for the whole team. She was recently flown to New York by the prestigious Harpers Bazaar magazine to represent her generation in one of those glamour make over shoots. She has a successful real estate practice, drives a sporty Mercedes, has a son who’s about to graduate from Duke; oh and by the way, in both the last two years she won the US National Master’s Open Water Championship. In “down under” vernacular, Darcy is bloody remarkable.

She’s one of those gifted few that can comfortably move from concluding a Palm Beach real estate deal to selling Judith Leiber handbags at a Lady in Red Gala to dining with Harpers Bazaar at Masa in New York and can still mix it at practice every day with any competitive swimmer one third her age.

I have occasionally wondered whether some event in Darcy’s past led to her life long attachment to swimming. Was there a memory that kindled her joy and ambition? This week I may have found the answer.

Thirty four years ago Darcy graduated from high school. She convinced her mother that the maturing effect of travel was important before beginning the grind of earning a college degree. The Greek island of Mykonos was carefully chosen and Darcy and a high school friend set off for three weeks in one of the world’s leading millionaires playgrounds. You see, Mykonos is not just any old island; this is a place of legend and dreams; a place of history; a place that has changed the course of human life for nine thousand years. On this island Hercules and Poseidon destroyed some of the Giants that opposed the God Zeus. Even the island’s name honors the Greek God Apollo’s grandson, Mykons.

It is not surprising that in her first week Darcy met Andrew. I understand Andrew’s birth certificate says he is the son of a Greek/British shipping magnate. To Darcy however he was a direct descendant of the union between Hercules and Euboea. I am told Darcy and Andrew spent idyllic days on the beach and nights at a Mediterranean disco. I like to think their first kiss, at the water’s edge, was just like the one made famous by Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach in “From Here to Eternity”. Certainly from here to eternity well describes the importance of this moment.

After three weeks Darcy’s high school friend left for home. Darcy rang home asking for more money and three more weeks. Both requests were granted. Sadly and inevitably Darcy’s stay came to an end. Andrew stood on the wharf as the ferry pulled away taking Darcy back to Athens; to her Pan Am flight across the Atlantic and her degree course at the University of Miami. For three years Andrew recognized every anniversary with flowers.

Darcy joined the University’s swim team and came into contact with David Wilkie, another mortal God. Without any doubt the tall, quiet Scot was the world’s most charming and best looking swimmer. His soft highland accent could charm the birds out of the trees. He was also good at his sport and won the 200m breaststroke at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games in 2:15.11.

So there you have it. At life’s most impressionable age Darcy had fallen in love beside the sea with a Greek God and swum with a Scottish one. Is it any wonder she formed a life long relationship with the water. At least that’s my theory. Whether it’s true or not, only Darcy knows. I tell you one thing though; it’s certainly produced one hell of an athlete.