"A year from now you will wish you had started today."
Yes, we know we're preaching to the choir here, but it's still a pretty good article...
You dive into the pool for a game of Marco Polo or to cool down from the hot summer heat. You love the calming feeling of being submerged in water and the fun factor of frolicking in the pool like you were 10 years old again. But do you ever just swim for exercise and for the array of the health benefits of swimming? Don’t be a fish out of water when it comes to knowing just how wonderful swimming is for your mind, body and soul…
At the 1972 Olympic Games, Steve Genter suffered a collapsed lung only days before his event. Swimming without the consent of his doctors he went on to finish with a silver in the 200-meter freestyle and a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle.
“The one thing I remember about Christmas was that my father used to take me out in a boat about ten miles offshore on Christmas Day, and I used to have to swim back. Extraordinary. It was a ritual. Mind you, that wasn't the hard part. The difficult bit was getting out of the sack.”
~John Cleese (English comic Actor (Monty Python), b.1939)
Merry Christmas, Dynoswimmers!
Cold? Maybe. Wet? Probably. Fun? Definitely!
Our 1st Annual Polar Bear Plunge will take place December 31st at 1pm. By the way, you won’t have to plunge to have some fun – support your cold and wet teammates. Feel free to just stop by and heckle your fellow swimmers. Grab some Hot Cocoa or the beverages of your choice and meet us at A1A and Highbridge.
Just be sure to RSVP by December 30th. Just call Coach Dean O. or send him an email.
We are literally guaranteeing your fun. Whether you swim or not, you are guaranteed to experience no less than mild entertainment as you bear witness to adult tears and crying. "Boo hoo, I hate the cold water..." Bring your cameras.
~By Liz Fry
Dave Parcells had a dream to set up a fund to support needy patients and families with expenses not covered by insurance as they undergo treatment for MS. Unfortunately he passed away before fulfilling this dream. I am creating an event to help achieve that dream and at the same time present a challenge that Dave would have enjoyed –to jam as much yardage as possible in one month. Those that knew Dave would agree he would love this challenge.
The January Jam starts January 1st and participants will track their yardage for the entire month. I will send out weekly results to all participants that email their yardage to me. Please send your weekly total yardage to me by 7:00 PM each Tuesday EST at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is included in the attached entry form.
The intention of the Jam is to promote fitness through swimming while raising funds for the Dave Parcells MS Fund. Have fun and please use caution and do not build up your yards too quickly.
~by Judi Rich, Dynoswimmer
“To plunge into the water, to move one’s whole body, from head to toe, in its wild and graceful beauty; to twist about in its pure depths, this is for me a delight only comparable to love.”
~Paul Valéry, French poet and critic
At 41 years of age, I finally found, once again, what had been missing for so long in my life—swimming. Not just going out back and wading in the pool or doing a few laps on my own; or going to the beach and doing a few dozen laps between lifeguard stands—but getting back on a team and doing “real structured workouts”. Being around others who also share my passion of swimming, who encourage me, and who love the water as much as I do. Swimming alone just doesn’t compare to being on a team and for 13 years I had been searching for just that—a masters team that is supportive, that competes and who would challenge my abilities.
It was a Thursday afternoon and I had gone to Frieda Zamba to look into a team for my 8-year-old son, Michael. I spoke to Eileen and after a few minutes of talking about youth teams and lessons—masters swimming came up. She told me that there was now a team in Palm Coast who swam right there at Frieda Zamba—Dynoswim. When I left the pool, I was so ecstatic that I immediately called my mom, my sister, my husband and a few friends along the way to the sporting goods store. It had been over 17 years since I swam on a team (my early to mid-20s)—but I knew that if I wanted to take control of my life and start living a healthier lifestyle, I would have to start swimming seriously again. I would need the discipline and encouragement that a team could offer to keep me focused enough to continue. The very next day—Friday, May 12, 2006—I showed up for practice. I introduced myself to Dean, founder/head coach of Dynoswim Aquatics, and my very first question to him was, “Do you compete?” When he said yes—I knew this was the team for me. I told him that I hadn’t swam competitively in nearly 20 years, that I was very out of shape (noticeably so), stressed out at work and a smoker. I remember him telling me that one of the first things I’d need to do was quit smoking—which I knew and was planning on doing. Then he asked, “When can you start?” I replied, “Now.” I had come prepared—my suit was on, my goggles and cap in hand and I was ready to dive in and swim. I will never forget my first practice. Oh my—I thought I’d die. Dean put me in a lane that I didn’t think I belonged in. He obviously had more faith in me than I did. I couldn’t believe how “out of shape” I actually was, gasping for air with every stroke and did my best to just make it through that entire practice. Well, I made it through that practice and the following day’s practice. From that point on, I knew that this is where I was meant to be. It took another 4 weeks until I completely quit smoking and when I did—the improvements were dramatic. This was awesome. A team built on a philosophy I totally believed in and could relate to. A team that believed that anyone, at any age and at any level could benefit from swimming and swim for life. A lifestyle.
As a child, swimming was just that—my lifestyle. For as long as I can remember, swimming had been a very large part of my life. At a young age, I had taken swimming lessons, lifeguard and CPR training. Growing up at the Jersey shore and living on the water had made swimming accessible and an important part of my childhood. I was fortunate enough to grow up swimming, boating, sailing, waterskiing, crabbing, fishing—along with the many other joys of seaside living. Long swims up and down the lagoons (canals) were part of my daily (seasonal) routine. High dives off of the flying bridge of my dad’s 27-foot wooden boat or off the dock’s pilings were my starts. Hours upon hours of swimming, diving and doing flips were definitely my favorite past times. And I would race anyone who was up to the challenge. Any time, any place, any stroke (except fly). I wasn’t training for anything or even part of a team—I just enjoyed it and it kept me busy and feeling “alive”. I never thought of it as “working out” which kept it fun and interesting. It was a place where I could be one with the water. No rules, no pressures, no stress. A place where I could go and think; or just zone out.
In addition to swimming, I did a lot of sailing out in the Barnegat Bay. Sailing was another way of getting away from everything—it was peaceful, quiet and serene, and exciting. Many times I would start out on a beautiful sunny morning to get caught up in the typical Jersey shore lightning storms. When the wind and current would pull me away from getting back home—I would take down the sail and mast (the lightning rod), tie the line around my ankle and swim my boat home. Along with the many pulling sets of swimming my sailboat home—I would also do long swims throughout the lagoons. I would disappear for hours. My mom would send the boys across the lagoon out looking for me in their little motorized boat. They would throw me a life jacket, per my mother’s instructions, that I would either toss back at them or tie around my ankle and continue to swim. If I got bored of the lagoons, I would venture out into the bay. Not realizing it at the time—all this was gearing me up for a lifelong passion for swimming and a major stress reliever down the road.
It wasn’t until years later, in my early twenties, a family friend was visiting and saw me doing my daily ritual. Her name is Maureen and she was in her mid-thirties and swam for the Ocean County YMCA masters swim team. She said I was good and should join the team. I had only swam on a team for a very brief period in high school and was a little skeptical of my abilities. I didn’t even know how to do flip turns. Goggles? Who wore goggles? After giving it some thought, I decided to check it out. Well, that was one of the best life decisions I could have made. Quickly I started improving and, by necessity, quit smoking. It didn’t take me long to move up into one of the fast lanes. For once in my life, I was good at a sport—really good. A sport I could take pride in. I found competing fun and invigorating. A bit intimidating at first—yet gratifying. I remember being one of the youngest at the meets (most kids my age were away at college) and not having a lot of competition. So placing was almost inevitable—but was what I needed at that point in my life. A real confidence booster.
My swimming career was short lived once I took a job in NYC and joined the millions of other commuters. A few years later, I joined the team again while working part-time and going back to college. The college coach even let me practice with their team, although I wasn’t a full-time student and couldn’t compete. I was in one of the slower lanes there—but that didn’t discourage me. Actually, it was another motivator. A challenge. However, I ended up leaving the team once again when I began commuting.
It will be almost two years with Dynoswim and I feel great. Swimming has helped me regain my health, boost my confidence and rekindle my passion for life. It has “awakened” me physically, mentally and spiritually. I am eating better, feeling better, involved in other healthy activities such as running and biking and am surrounding myself with others who not only share the same interests but who also look at life in a positive way rather than the negative. Instead of seeing obstacles—seeing challenges to learn and grow from. It has given me the confidence and inner-strength to keep me from my self-destructive habits such as smoking. I have learned to deal with stress in a much healthier way and I feel more energized and alive. Swimming has also opened up so many opportunities and life challenges that I would have never thought possible. If someone would have told me a year ago, I’d enter a 5K open water race on an extremely rough day to place 3rd in my age group, I would have never believed him.
Last November, I went to Liechtenstein for a 24-hour relay. Another challenge worth all its hard work and an experience I will never forget. That race continues to remind me that you can do anything you set your mind to. No challenge is too big, too small or out of reach. You are never too old to take control of your life and turn it around. You can find strength from within to stop your bad habits and find new healthier ones that you will learn to love.
These experiences have brought so much more to me as a mom too. Michael, now age 9, taking pride in my accomplishments, and bragging at school how his mom flew to Germany and swam in a 24-hour race. That in itself keeps me motivated, along with watching him swim and having him come home all excited after a great day at practice. I may not be an Olympic athlete, not even close—but being a “hero” in my son’s eyes has made me feel like a champion. A hero in my own right—a Mom.
I can honestly say I’m in the best shape of my life (well, I was in November). I can swim further and stronger then I ever have before, my technique has improved tremendously and I’m a more confident swimmer. I love the challenges that being on a team has to offer along with the camaraderie and the support. It’s just the motivation that I need to stay focused and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. For all you swimmers (or non-swimmers) out there who haven’t been in a pool in years—I challenge you to take control of your life and search out a team in your community and just swim. No pressure, no races, no superhuman powers—just swim. And have fun doing it. Before you know it you will be feeling younger, looking younger and maybe even acting younger but most of all—you will be a much healthier you and a better person overall. A hero.
But beware—it is addicting.
On average, sardines live to be 14 years old.
"I don't know whether my life has been a success or a failure. But not having any anxiety about becoming one instead of the other, and just taking things as they come along, I've had a lot of extra time to enjoy life."
We recently added three new swim workout categories to the workout database. Initially, we had only a stroke category for all stroke swim workouts. We added a backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly category. We then went through the 177 stroke workouts, and if we saw fit reassigned them to the new categories. Going forward, if the focus of the workout is a backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly set, please categorize it as such. If the workout is a mix of strokes, then the stroke category should apply. Thanks to Cyber-Dynoswimmer, Greg Rasmussen for the suggestion.
What were the first goggles made of? Divers in the 1300’s made goggles from polished, clear tortoise shell. The first rubber goggles, which had heavy glass lenses, were invented in the 1930’s.
Dynoswim's Kate Sussman did us proud earlier this month at the Florida Senior games, great job, Kate!
The Florida Senior Games State Championship kicked off with competition in eight sports and events. Over 1,600 Florida athletes age 50 and over will compete over nine days in Lee County and the City of Cape Coral in 24 sports and events.
"Don't wait for your ship to come in - swim out to it."
Dynoswim loves sharing great stories about other programs especially methods on how they train. Savannah College of Art and Design is no exception. Read an excerpt from Coach Scott Rabalais:
One of the unique and most beneficial features of SCAD Swimming training is the Challenge Set, which is a performance-level set, typically held once or twice a week. Swimmers are categorized by stroke and energy system specialty and expected to swim at their highest level. A positive and electric atmosphere is created through the support of the coaching staff and teammates. Results are distributed to the team via email later in the day.
One set administered back in October involved a set of broken 150s, that is, 3 x 50 on :10 rest. Each repeat was from the blocks.
- The distance group went 12 x broken 150 on 3:00.
- The middle distance group swam 6 x broken 150s on 6:00.
- The sprint group handled 4 x broken 150s on 9:00.
Several swimmers swam "IMs" on the set, which was 25 fly/25 back on the first 50, 25 back/25 breast on the second 50 and 25 breast/25 free on the last 50, giving the IMers a chance to work some fast transition turns. To swim fast in meets, we swim fast in practice!
The SCAD Swimming dryland training is an important component of our overall training program. Dryland practices are typically held for one hour after the morning practices on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They begin with five-minute calisthenics, five-minutes of intense ab work, then a 45-minute circuit consisting of 18 exercises. Six of these exercises involve the use of weights or machines, which the others are geared towards various physical skills and attributes that are important in developing fast swimming. The team concludes each session with about five minutes of stretching.
Learn more about SCAD Swimming.
Many of us Dynoswimmers suffer from various shoulder injuries, some worse than others - especially those of us that have been training most of our lives.
By repeating the following five exercises, five days a week for five minutes a day, you can easily prevent swimmer's shoulder.
Just think of the numbers, 555, and you'll be well on your way to preventing swimmer's shoulder:
You've seen it before and you probably even swam here. Maybe it was a USS meet as an age-grouper or an NCAA duel meet back in college. Hey, you might have even swam here for a Masters practice.
You know the pool, just think...
Hint #1 (12/8/07): This pool is located in the Southwestern United States.
Hint #2 (12/10/07): This facility helps train NCAA Division 1 swimmers.
In the 1984 Olympics, there were no women's World Records set.
23 years later, they're still complaining about that.
The Swimming To Tone Ski Muscles article made me think about the upcoming ski / snowboard season. I definitely appreciate the aerobic shape I'm in from swimming when the winter approaches. I'm able to pack in as many runs as possible on my snowboard without feeling like I need to work my way into it.
Do you use swimming to tone yourself for any winter sports? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
We recently introduced a new feature on the site that will serve
multiple purposes. When creating a workout, we've added a "visible"
selection. What this means is you have the option to add a workout to
the database, but not make it searchable to the Dynoswim.com community.
Why would you want to do this? One reason might be that you completed a workout at practice which your coach added to the database, but you might have arrived early/late and want to track your distance. Another example would be if you swam a mile in the open water and want to track your distance. Some other creative uses could be that you swam in a meet, and want to track each race along with your time.
Once you submitted the workout, you still won't have access to edit it regardless of the "visible" field selection. If it's not visible, you won't be able to search it, but you could find it in your "view your submitted workouts" page.