Swimmer of the Week:
Hi. My name is Carol. And I’m a swimaholic.
They lured me in slowly. They let me try for free the first few times. The first time was bewildering, baffling, perplexing, puzzling. But I came back and tried it again. It was intriguing, challenging, exhausting. By the third time, I couldn’t wait to try it again. Before I knew it, I was hooked!
I started swimming with MAC in November, 2013. Almost 59 years old. I could make it across the pool, but never had a swim class in my life. I couldn’t even put my face in the water when I swam. MAC coaches taught me everything… stroke, kick, breathing, flips, starts… And believe me, that’s not easy because I am not a quick learner. I’m sure I have tested their patience to the breaking point…never did they imagine someone could find so many wrong ways to do a drill. But I stayed after class, repeating the drills until I was good enough to come back (and with more coaching) finally get it right. Our coaches have the patience of saints. And we still have a long way to go. By March of 2014, I found myself at the State Meet.
My pool swimming strengthened my lake swimming and I started “participating” in open water events. “Swim to the Moon 10K” is one of my favorites. I’ve done local triathlons and swims to Lake George, New York; Teal Lake swim from Ispheming to Negaunee; South Higgins Lake State Park to Rock Island with a TC swimmer; Pointe to LaPointe, Wisconsin; Provincetown, MA Swim for Life; Ugly Dog Tri. It’s made me a strong, safe, confident swimmer. I’ve swam in chilly lakes from mountain runoff with gorgeous views of snow covered mountains along the shoreline. MAC opened a new world of opportunities and adventures to me.
I’m the crazy lady swimming Dunham Lake in November! And I love every minute of it.
I love the challenge of new drills, 100 x 100, Brute Challenge. I love the friendships from MAC, the social gatherings, breakfasts at Americus, chatter in the lanes…I love the calm of swimming alone after practice, when I drift into my zone (I’m sure you’ve seen me, but I didn’t even see you). There are still times I HATE the anxieties and stress of meets, but I’ve come sooooo far in overcoming that….thanks to the support of coaches and teammates. I’ve DQ’d, DNF’d, finished last, but haven’t given up. It’s rewarding and fulfilling every time I reach a new goal…my first flip turn, first open water 5k, first 10K, first 200 fly, 400IM, first medal. Every time I overcome a difficult challenge or fear, I feel empowered. I hold the dubious honor at several events of “Oldest Female to Compete” That’s okay. I’ll take it.
Swimming gives me comfort. Keeps me fit. Burns calories. Relieves my arthritis. Motivates me. Challenges me. Improves my self-esteem and confidence. Teaches me perseverance. Strengthens me, physically and emotionally. Cures the blues. Empowers me. Makes me happy.
My quote for the year, from “Ford vs Ferrari” when race car driver Ken Miles is explaining to his son how he will maneuver a course…every curve, every gear shift, every acceleration…a perfect lap. When his son responds that every lap can’t be perfect, Miles says, “But we can try.”
MAC Swimmers are the greatest advertisements of all! We love how you share your stories on social media, with friends, etc. We would like to share your stories as well. Each week we will highlight a MAC Swimmer so we can learn more about the team.