Master Swimming Is Fantastic

By David

Isn’t master’s swimming a great part of the sport? Our team has a prosperous and growing section. There are about forty swimmers, which isn’t too bad considering there were none three years ago. I enjoy coaching them. Swimming gets mixed up with healthy debates about politics: they know I support the US having its first woman President. We talk about NFL results and we all agree the Giants did well.

Our group is an interesting assortment. There’s Darcy of course. Swimwatch have already written about her. You may remember she was the one who went off to holiday in the Greek Isles the year she finished High School and fell in love with the heir to a Greek shipping empire. Darcy called her understanding mother and pleaded successfully for the holiday to be extended by a week. And things have never been the same since. This year Darcy has qualified as an Assistant Coach. It means both our Assistant Coaches are current national champions or record holders. I’m beginning to feel vastly under-qualified. Darcy is preparing for the summer’s open water championships and is shaping up well. She swam 10×400 on 7.00 minutes last night and was under 6.00 minutes for the lot. In 2007 she was second in that “distance-swum-in-training contest” run by the US Master’s Swimming organization. For those of you who want to beat her this year, you will need to plan on swimming more than 1700 miles.

Then there is Bob and Bonnie. They are husband and wife. Bob’s a retired doctor and has a lethal sense of humor. Bonny is very understanding. Bob’s a national champion. He won the 100 breaststroke at the Seattle Nationals in 2007. Bonnie was third in the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke at the same meet. Both of them are forever laughing at my effort to stay fit by walking the five miles home from the pool in the morning. Bob believes the walk would be best interrupted by breakfast at a local pancake bar. Any of you who have experienced American pancake breakfasts will understand the negative health effect of that idea; and from a doctor too.

Steve is an interesting and surprising master’s swimmer. He’s a very quiet sort of guy and could barely swim a length when he arrived a year ago. Now he swims confidently through 4000 meter sessions. It turns out this quiet, unassuming chap has a PhD in some form of chemistry and lower degree qualifications in all those similar and difficult subjects. His training is being interrupted all the time with trips to Washington DC to give advice to the nation’s law makers on what we should all eat. His IQ must be double the number of most mere mortals. He supports Hillary and Obama and is in love with a sporty rotary engine Mazda that he races at a local track on a Thursday night. The story of Steve’s very first airplane ride is interesting. It was the ride he did up to 2800 feet to jump out of the plane for his first parachute jump; unbelievable.

Then there’s Jeremy. He must be in his mid twenties and is already a deep sea captain for anything that floats and is under one hundred tons. Oh, and he’s also a commercial airplane pilot. His dad flew for Delta. Once again, he’s quiet. Isn’t it true? The really talented never seem to feel the need to tell you about their achievements.

I’d better not forget to mention Sherrill. She’d be the life and soul of any party. She was married to one of America’s largest dealers in exotic cars. In those days her Chevy was spelled Lamborghini, her Dodge was red and had a black stallion badge. Her sister has just been to New Zealand with one of the Cabot-Lodges. They visited native tree places down in New Zealand’s South Island. From what I’ve heard New Zealand is all the better for their sort of foreign investment; thank you from one of the natives. However, there is a problem with Sherrill’s swimming. She’s one of those very delicate lady-like swimmers; nice to look at but not all that effective. I’ve suggested everything, nothing seems to work!

That tells you a little bit about six of our forty masters. They are a great bunch. They make it fun to go to the pool in the morning. I’ll let you know about some of the others another time.