Sunday, March 16, 2008


A woman I know recently set three records for her age group in a masters swim meet in the 100 free, 200 free, and 100 IM (butterfly, backstroke, breasttroke, , and freestyle). Her times for the 100 and 200 were 50+ seconds faster than the previous records, and there was no existing record for the IM because no one had done it before. This woman is 95 years old! She plans to keep on swimming as long as she's able and can drive herself to the pool. She also goes to work everyday at the family business. We used to swim at the same pool, but then she moved to a different part of town and a different pool. Year for year, she's a better swimmer than I am. What inspires me most about this woman, though, is her attitude. I am similarly inspired by another 92-year-old swimmer I know, who logs one-half mile per swim several times a week. And, of course, there's a fellow triathlete who started doing triathlons in her 60s and still competes at age 82.

I aspire to age as well as these women. But it's hard when I see little progress in my training. I feel stronger, but my times are abysmal. And it's depressing when my teammates are lamenting they only managed to run a 9-minute mile, when I'd be happy to do one in 12. Last year I could occasionally manage an 11- minute mile, but these days, it would be a miracle to go that "fast." But I'm keeping at it. Maybe someday I'll set my own record and inspire someone else along the way.

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