A note about Simon Owens:
Simon started swimming in middle school and by the time he was in high school was swimming year round on both the school team and a private club team. His best stroke was butterfly (100 Fly for individual and Fly on the medley relay). For college Simon went to Shippensburg (Pennsylvania) and swam there. He initially became interested in the Asthma/pool issue earlier last year when he first saw reports of the Belgian study. Given that swimming is usually regarded a good sport for asthmatics, it didn't seem logical that it would cause asthma.
I remember seeing a lot of coverage a few months ago on several pool and swimming blogs of a recent Belgian study suggesting that children would face an increased risk of asthma if they swam in chlorinated pools. I don't know if you've seen this, but Dr. Michael Goodman, an epidemiologist from Emory University just released a meta study that found no such correlation between swimming and asthma. I got a chance to interview Goodman for an article that was guest posted on The Asthma Mom's blog:
Anyway, I thought this was a post that you might be interested in linking to on your blog to help spread the word that parents don't have to be afraid to let their kids join swim teams. Also, I know that Dr. Goodman is going to be available for a blogger conference call with swim bloggers on Monday of next week at 3 p.m. -- I know the person running that call and I can get you in on it if you'd like.
Tom Dolan was 11 when he broke his arm and his mother told him he had to avoid swimming. He was a teenager when doctors diagnosed him with asthma, then a narrow windpipe, and explained that these things gave him a poor capacity for oxygen intake, and an even poorer chance at swimming success. Dolan only swam harder, vanquishing the exhaustion, and the dizziness, and the occasional blackouts.
Tom Dolan was also America's first 1996 Olympic gold medalist, when he edged training partner and fellow American Eric Namesnik to win the 400-meter individual medley in a time of 4 minutes 14.90 seconds.
"Sometimes it is very difficult to keep momentum if it is you that you are following."
~From Andrew Lloyd Webber's, "Evita"
The month of January is winding down (bet you never knew 31 days could feel so long, and so wet). We are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and sheer vigor you have brought to the January Jam. We have received numerous requests by supporters to donate to the Dave Parcells MS Fund. It's hard to believe that some people don't like to swim, but to our friends who say they'd like to support the foundation without getting wet, we say: no problem! You can send a nice, dry check payable to "St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation":
2009 January Jam: MS Plunge For Parcells
St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606
Please specify in the memo field of the check if the donation is given on behalf of a JAM participant or in honor of an MS patient and/or family.
Sixteen-year old Rick Demont finished first in 1972 400-metre free style swimming event, but was disqualified for taking an asthma drug he didn't know was on the prohibited list; he had listed it with the team doctors but they did not report it properly.
Definition of Insanity: "To do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome."
Note: It's not too late to register for the January Jam, just submit the yardage you've already completed retroactively. The Jam will be open to new participants until January 31st!
~By Kristen Adams
Two years ago I was writing my shopping list on the pad stuck to the refrigerator door when I dropped the pencil. I bent down to pick it up, but as much as my brain told my fingers to grip, they just wouldn't respond. Picking it up in my left hand, and jamming into my right, I concentrated on pushing the pencil across the paper. No luck. Hmm. I had been tinkering with my stroke, and I figured I pinched a nerve in my neck. I went to a doctor who prescribed steroids, and after a few buzzed and agitated weeks I was better. Better, except for the lingering numbness in my right arm and these weird electrical tingles running up and down both arms and legs, like I was plugged in to a wall socket. Over the next few months I began to notice other symptoms: my left side weaker than my right, disorienting dizzy spells, alternating periods of pain, burning and numbness in my legs and feet. Debilitating fatigue, especially after a hard work out.
One year, seven MRIs, at least 25 vials of blood, and one spinal tap later I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. And that was the easy part. I have a good doctor and good drugs, but there is no cure for MS. The medicine "works" by slowing the progression of the disease, so my goal is to be as strong, fit and healthy as I can be until my own immune system takes me down.
Swimming is the one thing holding me together right now, and its kind of ironic considering my love-hate relationship with the pool over the years. (I love to swim; hate to race.) I joined my first swim team when I was six, but even after all these years the smell of chlorine sparks an adrenaline rush, sets the butterflies off in my stomach and sends me running to the bathroom to pee. I'll never get used to it. It's funny how things work out. At first I blamed my symptoms on swimming, but I also wouldn't have noticed them if I weren't so attuned to my body because of my workouts.
I struggle with the news, as people do. I fear the day when the weakness in my arms and numbness in my legs becomes full blown paralysis. I have a great husband, but really, when the "worse" in "for better or worse" reveals itself, who is ready for it? And I worry that my two little boys won't have enough time with the Mom who has energy before the MS-related fatigue can't be chased away with the drugs I take. I fear the day I become the sick wife, or the sick mom.
So I'm doing what I can to beat it back. It turns out swimming is one of the best exercises for people with MS, as overheating can trigger a relapse. And we all know what an intense workout you can get in the water.
Then, there are my amazing teammates. They support me at practice, encouraging me to keep showing up even when I'm too tired or dizzy to swim, and they don't let me dog it in the middle of a set. And my Coach Dean, who when I was at my weakest helped me to find my baseline so we could track my strength and my symptoms - to know when to push it and when to cool it. No matter how I feel when I get in the water - tired, weak or trembling - I always feel the same when I get out: strong, calm, and graceful. I feel like a swimmer. And nothing can beat that.
The first modern Olympic Games had only four swimming events, three of them freestyle. The second Olympics in Paris in 1900 included three unusual swimming events. One used an obstacle course; another was a test of underwater swimming endurance; the third was a 4,000-metre event, the longest competitive swimming event ever. None of the three was ever used in the Olympics again.
Vintage swimming footage from the Japan 1933, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960 and Munich 1972 Olympics.
~By Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D.
I would love to say that I am perfect and talk about my wonderful exercise routine that includes yoga, swimming, strength training and other things that I do to stay healthy. The reality is that I have never really loved exercise, and MS has given me about a million convenient excuses why I won't put on my exercise gear and head to the gym (of course, I'm always going to exercise tomorrow).
Read on at About.com
Provided by Scott Bay, thanks!
"It's easy to put in the extra effort, but it is easier not to."
~The Mom of one of Australia's great swimmers, Samantha Riley, former world record holder in the 100 breaststroke
If your creativity is lacking don't hesitate to use one of over 1500 workouts found within the Dynoswim workouts database. You could search by a variety of criteria - length by time or distance of practice, workout category (sprint, butterfly, etc.), or pool type. If you tried and enjoyed someone else's workout, leave them a comment and let them know. You can also use those comments to tell us how you've modified an existing workout.
Australian swimmers 18 years and under will be banned from wearing full bodysuits in competition under new bylaws passed by the board of Swimming Australia. The board also agreed with other leading swimming nations, including the United States, to ask the governing body FINA not to approve any further swimsuits and ban the use of "multilayer" suits after some competitors at the Beijing Olympics wore several suits to help with buoyancy. The rules will come into effect in April, just before the Australian age-group championships in Sydney.
"The pain of discipline is nowhere near as big as the pain of disappointment."
Register for the January Jam today!
For those of that have, thanks for registering for the 2009 January Jam - MS Plunge for Parcells. For those of you that haven't, please register now that January 1st is upon us. You will notice that the total distances of your "saved" workouts will now display on the results pages. If you're new to the Dynoswim.com website please refer to this document (http://www.dynoswim.com/files/dynoswim-workout-guide.pdf) that will help you with entering your own swim workouts. If you have any questions/problems when entering a workout, use the "Contact Us" form on the website and someone will respond to you shortly.
Please encourage your fellow swimmers to sign up for this event as well. Registration will remain open until the end of the month as the system will allow you to enter and save workouts from the past.
Happy New Year!
Your Dynoswim / January Jam Team