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Mr. Negative
July 2nd, 2009, 01:20 PM
Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?

What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?

Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.

Isn't it just "masters swimming" for health and fun in the end?

Does a masters record really mean that much?

Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.

CreamPuff
July 2nd, 2009, 01:56 PM
This is an excellent observation Mr. Negative.

I, for one, plan to take this comment to heart while I try and take swimming less seriously. My first act will be to fill my water bottle with Vodka and take it to practice tomorrow. I fully expect to be the life of the practice!! :bliss: And so that it's not "all about me," I will be happy to share with my lanemates who may or may not be of legal drinking age. . . The only record I expect to break will be the number of times I puke on the pool deck! I agree with you in that masters is all about fun. Not sure how the Vodka fits into the health thing, but one out of two ain't bad!

aquageek
July 2nd, 2009, 02:00 PM
Now this is an interesting point to discuss. I don't think USMS is really any different from any other adult organization that recognizes top performers in that there will always be a small group that is hyper competitive and wants the prize(s). I personally really like the very competitive nature of my team and this forum. For people who are competitive and want to win, there's no either/or decision, either train hard or not at all. They will find some activity to work hard at, swimming or otherwise.

I advocate more self centered overly competitive members. I have enjoyed meeting many of these recently. I'll take a focused athlete over a workaholic any day.

Mr. Negative - meh, yawn, er.

CreamPuff
July 2nd, 2009, 02:18 PM
They will find some activity to work hard at, swimming or otherwise.


Couldn't agree more. Imagine all the swimmers who would have this extra time on their hands and who may resort to selling crack if it weren't for USMS.
But on a more serious note, of the few world record holders I've met, they seem to be less about the record and more about the smack talk.

qbrain
July 2nd, 2009, 02:33 PM
What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?


I never realized that selfishness was a complaint about triathletes, I always thought the primary complaint was they bitched to much about the swimming leg of tris.

What exactly does a selfless person do? Spend a 110% of their income fueling our ecomony? Watch live tv paying special attention to commercials? Funnel more money into the health care/insurance complex by living sedate lifestyles while over consuming nutritionally devoid packed foods?

:confused:

The Fortress
July 2nd, 2009, 02:39 PM
Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?

What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?

Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.

Isn't it just "masters swimming" for health and fun in the end?

Does a masters record really mean that much?

Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.

Kirk Nelson posted something the other day that I found quite accurate: It's just nonsense and judgmental to tell people what they should and shouldn't take seriously in life.

I'm with Q -- I'm much more "turned off" by selfless blubber and laziness and fast food than an athlete who enjoys training.

Sounds like you may need to train more and generate some endorphins, Mr. Negative. Or you can just enjoy your chuckle over a beer.

poolraat
July 2nd, 2009, 02:46 PM
.... My first act will be to fill my water bottle with Vodka and take it to practice tomorrow. I fully expect to be the life of the practice!! ....... Not sure how the Vodka fits into the health thing, but one out of two ain't bad!

You should have been at the Vegas meet with Team Hot Tub a few weeks ago. You would have found out about how vodka fits into the whole scheme of things.

aquageek
July 2nd, 2009, 02:48 PM
... more about the smack talk.

Yeah, that's pretty darn accurate. I had an entire lane ridicule me today about my 100 meter swim. Then, it spilled into my lane with the final comment directed at me by a very shy, quiet woman being "yeah, Billy, you suck."

You know, even the ones that say they aren't competitive are still breathing heavy on hard sets and still getting up at 4:45 to make it to practice, so they are just fooling themselves.

I was all prepared to smack jack Puffster last weekend but she's too nice and fast to ridicule. Fort might beat me up. Wookie might smother me with his yetti coat. All I have is this forum, where the only punishment is Matysek banning me for a while when I remind him of his beatdown in CLT last Winter.

el desmadre
July 2nd, 2009, 02:49 PM
Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?

What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?

Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.

Isn't it just "masters swimming" for health and fun in the end?

Does a masters record really mean that much?

Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.

I hate to respond to an obvious troll but...

Why does it bug you so much? If you dont want to compete then dont. If you dont like the competitive talk on this BB, dont read it. If your team is too focused on competition (and I doubt that), find a new one, or swim solo.

Do your own thing and stop clucking about what masters swimming "should be" - we are all adults now, who cares about what everyone else is doing?

JMiller
July 2nd, 2009, 02:54 PM
Kirk Nelson posted something the other day that I found quite accurate: It's just nonsense and judgmental to tell people what they should and shouldn't take seriously in life.

Right! It's not just that though, people that actually enjoy training as a means in itself will always have my respect... Some people like records, but if it wasn't a record the goal would be a personal best in each age group. If it's not a personal best it would be the number of yards/meters swam.

The point isn't the external meaning that motivates you. This is really about finding joy from the streamline and literally swimming with emotion on every turn, that's a better life.

Chris Stevenson
July 2nd, 2009, 03:03 PM
Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.

...

Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.

I enjoy triathletes and triathlons and see nothing wrong with the comparison. Anyone, including so-called fitness athletes, can go overboard at times. I see many at the gym who some would label "obsessive" about their physique and health.

As mid-life crises go, it beats some of the alternatives. I'll spare my amusement for obese coach-potatoes, and proud owners of Hummers and trophy wives.

PS: I saw the title and thought, "oh no another tech-suit thread." Thank God for small favors, anyway.:)

CreamPuff
July 2nd, 2009, 03:06 PM
Yeah, that's pretty darn accurate. I had an entire lane ridicule me today about my 100 meter swim. Then, it spilled into my lane with the final comment directed at me by a very shy, quiet woman being "yeah, Billy, you suck."

You know, even the ones that say they aren't competitive are still breathing heavy on hard sets and still getting up at 4:45 to make it to practice, so they are just fooling themselves.

I was all prepared to smack jack Puffster last weekend but she's too nice and fast to ridicule. Fort might beat me up. Wookie might smother me with his yetti coat. All I have is this forum, where the only punishment is Matysek banning me for a while when I remind him of his beatdown in CLT last Winter.

:applaud: Not to turn this into a Geek love-fest, but SO TRUE!

I get PLENTY of smack talk thrown at me on a continual basis - mostly at masters and not during USS practices. Saying you suck at the 100 FR is really not too bad in my opinion. But how about these doozies (ironically told to me by two different male world record holders):

"You f'in beech (he's Italian), you didn't offer to lead the lane once."
(Uh, no. . . b/c you're a multiple world record holder!!!)

and my all time favorite, and this may be paraphrased a bit

"You gotta get your big ego out of the way."
(True but annoying to hear at 6 AM.)

I actually think the masters workouts are waaaaaay more competitive than the kid workouts I do. However, many of the masters swimmers swear on their kids' lives that they don't take it seriously. Uh huh.

swimshark
July 2nd, 2009, 03:11 PM
I enjoy triathletes and triathlons and see nothing wrong with the comparison. Anyone, including so-called fitness athletes, can go overboard at times. I see many at the gym who some would label "obsessive" about their physique and health.

As mid-life crises go, it beats some of the alternatives. I'll spare my amusement for obese coach-potatoes, and proud owners of Hummers and trophy wives.


I'll 2nd that Chris. What's wrong with acting like a triathlete every once in a while? My dad, sister and brother-in-law are all triathletes and I'd be proud to "act" like them.

The Fortress
July 2nd, 2009, 03:14 PM
"You f'in beech

I heard these same words at practice last week, except without the Italian accent. :D

Everyone seems to love to brag that they don't train and they don't take it seriously ... Most of that is just pre-excusing.

I don't see or hear many people being motivated by records.

chaos
July 2nd, 2009, 03:15 PM
[QUOTE=Mr. Negative;184932]

Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.

QUOTE]

hmmmm, maybe thats why i've been getting my ass repeatedly whooped by the tri-gals in the pool.

http://wassnertwins.com/Site/home.html

but seriously mr n. ...... is this snark?

CreamPuff
July 2nd, 2009, 03:24 PM
I heard these same words at practice last week, except without the Italian accent. :D

Everyone seems to love to brag that they don't train and they don't take it seriously ... Most of that is just pre-excusing.


Oh no! Sorry! We can be f'in beeches together then! LOL! I guess I should have been horrified, but the accent cracked me up. Beech?! What did you do to get that rxn? Or rather, what did this person fail to do to elicit that response? I need to make it my new goal to see how many times I can be called that in one practice!

My all time favorite excuse is, "I biked 75 miles this morning first and only got 4 hours of sleep."

Mr. Negative
July 2nd, 2009, 03:26 PM
I enjoy triathletes and triathlons and see nothing wrong with the comparison. Anyone, including so-called fitness athletes, can go overboard at times. I see many at the gym who some would label "obsessive" about their physique and health.

As mid-life crises go, it beats some of the alternatives. I'll spare my amusement for obese coach-potatoes, and proud owners of Hummers and trophy wives.

PS: I saw the title and thought, "oh no another tech-suit thread." Thank God for small favors, anyway.:)

You are right. We are free to enjoy and obsess about our own self indulgences..... whether or not certain people's lives are centered and dedicated around self promotion and self measurement in masters swimming is their choice.

Now back to my question: Does it seem like there are more and more people getting wound up in USMS like the obsessed training triathletes nuts these days?

aquageek
July 2nd, 2009, 03:43 PM
Now back to my question: Does it seem like there are more and more people getting wound up in USMS like the obsessed training triathletes nuts these days?

This is not my observation in the least. I won't draw broad conclusions based on what I see alone but I have a lot of obsessed tri friends (serious distances) and a lot of obsessed swim friends and there really is not much comparison in overall training times. Even my swim friends who are weight training will still put in, at best, 2/3s the time of the tri friends. Wonder what others see?

swimshark
July 2nd, 2009, 03:50 PM
This is not my observation in the least. I won't draw broad conclusions based on what I see alone but I have a lot of obsessed tri friends (serious distances) and a lot of obsessed swim friends and there really is not much comparison in overall training times. Even my swim friends who are weight training will still put in, at best, 2/3s the time of the tri friends. Wonder what others see?

I see the same as you, Geek. My sister is getting ready for another Ironman. Me getting ready for a meet wouldn't put in nearly the same time training.

Tim L
July 2nd, 2009, 03:54 PM
Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?


Maybe Mr. Negative just saw the discussion on ART this morning and couldn't help himself.

Too much dedication to swimming isn't a bad thing and I doubt it is a turn-off to other masters swimmers. However, I am surprised sometimes by the amount of training that some masters swimmers put in and the general obsession with tech suits, etc. I guess I am probably jealous that I lack the same motivation.
:bed:
Tim

thewookiee
July 2nd, 2009, 04:07 PM
Yeah, that's pretty darn accurate. I had an entire lane ridicule me today about my 100 meter swim. Then, it spilled into my lane with the final comment directed at me by a very shy, quiet woman being "yeah, Billy, you suck."




Geek...you don't suck. You have to have been good at something at one time to suck. You just take up valuable lane space at practice, where someone that was once good at something but now sucks can take the spot.

You don't suck. You haven't heard that right to suck. Now, start trying to be good at something so that you can eventually suck at it.

aquageek
July 2nd, 2009, 04:14 PM
.... the general obsession with tech suits, etc.

The level of obsession over gear/tech suits by swimmers is about one-one billionth of the obsession over gear by triathletes. I have enjoyed the angst over tech suits when I have read numerous articles in tri magazines over the weight of such items as water bottle cages, eye glasses, etc.

The most recent Triathlete magazine has a large article reviewing the newest electronic shifters, price is $5K.

qbrain
July 2nd, 2009, 04:17 PM
Now back to my question: Does it seem like there are more and more people getting wound up in USMS like the obsessed training triathletes nuts these days?

If this really is all you want to know, you should have created a poll.

tjrpatt
July 2nd, 2009, 04:52 PM
There is nothing wrong with taking swimming seriously. In the grand scheme of things, it will lead to better health. It has for me.

orca1946
July 2nd, 2009, 05:21 PM
I guess to stir the pot ,Mr Neg gets to laugh at those of us that listen to him !

Chris Stevenson
July 2nd, 2009, 05:23 PM
Now back to my question: Does it seem like there are more and more people getting wound up in USMS like the obsessed training triathletes nuts these days?

Well, I reject the premise of the question about triathlon "nuts." At the few triathlons I have attended, I saw a LOT of participants -- even a majority -- who were simply content to finish and are not hypercompetitive about it. (Though I will admit that most of them -- even the slow ones -- had nicer bikes than me.)

There is a subset of triathletes who train for Iron Man events, and they do have to put a lot of training time in. But they are a small minority of triathletes as a whole. And the ones I know are no more self-indulgent than most people.

My wife once participated in a group called "tri-moms" where the emphasis was to get mothers physically active by giving them a goal: ie, gather beginner triathletes, teach them some skills and train together towards a sprint tri. What's wrong with this kind of thing? And yes, my wife recently ran into one of them who now competes in IM triathlons, and she somehow hasn't abandoned her kids in the process. Good for her, I say.

As far as whether USMS members are becoming more obsessed with performance and competition, I don't really know. I don't see it at all in the local swimmers in my area, the vast majority of whom do not compete at all.

Nationally, I have been in a pretty competitive age group, an age where some former swimmers seem to be rediscovering their love of competitive swimming and are old enough where their children are more independent and jobs are more secure. I don't know if this represents a trend or if it has always been that way, but even if it does, so what?

CreamPuff
July 2nd, 2009, 05:44 PM
Geek...you don't suck.

You don't suck.

Geek, be happy that someone on this board is defending you (and twice in one post) by saying you don't suck. As for me, I don't see anyone coming to my defense re: f'in beech.

:D

Mr. Negative
July 2nd, 2009, 06:16 PM
Chris,

As a whole, there still doesn't seem to be that many ex swimmers that went to nationals in their day participating in USMS..... particularly top level performers. There's a few, but not that many and interesting when you consider their strong level of enthusiasm and dedication decades ago.

I doubt this level of enthusiasm displayed by more and more USMS hard core participants is what former elite swimmers are looking to match. A few come back and swim moderately hard.... but you'll have to agree most stay away permanently, which is..... unfortunate.

Might I throw out the notion that some former national finalists actually stay away from USMS because of the hard core participants in their age groups as they don't care to deal with the obession and comparison factor. Most would rather swim for fun and health and not deal with absurdity of comparing so called "best times" in your old age.

ViveBene
July 2nd, 2009, 06:25 PM
Well, I reject the premise of the question about triathlon "nuts." At the few triathlons I have attended, I saw a LOT of participants -- even a majority -- who were simply content to finish and are not hypercompetitive about it. (Though I will admit that most of them -- even the slow ones -- had nicer bikes than me.)

There is a subset of triathletes who train for Iron Man events, and they do have to put a lot of training time in. But they are a small minority of triathletes as a whole. And the ones I know are no more self-indulgent than most people.

My wife once participated in a group called "tri-moms" where the emphasis was to get mothers physically active by giving them a goal: ie, gather beginner triathletes, teach them some skills and train together towards a sprint tri. What's wrong with this kind of thing? And yes, my wife recently ran into one of them who now competes in IM triathlons, and she somehow hasn't abandoned her kids in the process. Good for her, I say.

As far as whether USMS members are becoming more obsessed with performance and competition, I don't really know. I don't see it at all in the local swimmers in my area, the vast majority of whom do not compete at all.

Nationally, I have been in a pretty competitive age group, an age where some former swimmers seem to be rediscovering their love of competitive swimming and are old enough where their children are more independent and jobs are more secure. I don't know if this represents a trend or if it has always been that way, but even if it does, so what?

+1


Geek, be happy that someone on this board is defending you (and twice in one post) by saying you don't suck. As for me, I don't see anyone coming to my defense re: f'in beech.

:D

You are divine. Soar above it. (Jim T. will be here quick as he can to defend the Nereid of his drems.)



Chris,

As a whole, there still doesn't seem to be that many ex swimmers that went to nationals in their day participating in USMS..... particularly top level performers. There's a few, but not that many and interesting when you consider their strong level of enthusiasm and dedication decades ago.

I doubt this level of enthusiasm displayed by more and more USMS hard core participants is what former elite swimmers are looking to match. A few come back and swim moderately hard.... but you'll have to agree most stay away permanently, which is..... unfortunate.

Might I throw out the notion that some former national finalists actually stay away from USMS because of the hard core participants in their age groups as they don't care to deal with the obession and comparison factor. Most would rather swim for fun and health and not deal with absurdity of comparing so called "best times" in your old age.

I don't agree with anything you've said. Beclouded thought bubbles.

Happy swimming to the swimmers! And the tris!

:)

The Fortress
July 2nd, 2009, 06:46 PM
Chris,

As a whole, there still doesn't seem to be that many ex swimmers that went to nationals in their day participating in USMS..... particularly top level performers. There's a few, but not that many and interesting when you consider their strong level of enthusiasm and dedication decades ago.

I doubt this level of enthusiasm displayed by more and more USMS hard core participants is what former elite swimmers are looking to match. A few come back and swim moderately hard.... but you'll have to agree most stay away permanently, which is..... unfortunate.

Might I throw out the notion that some former national finalists actually stay away from USMS because of the hard core participants in their age groups as they don't care to deal with the obession and comparison factor. Most would rather swim for fun and health and not deal with absurdity of comparing so
called "best times" in your old age.

Ugh, what snobby elitism. So the hard core masters should chill out and cut back training so that the former "greats" can swim masters for fun without getting their asses kicked and suffering humiliation? And, uh, the so-called "absurdity" of comparing times in age groups is the very essence and definition of masters competition.

Now, I'm off to train with some former and still excellent swimmers who do something other than whine.

Chicken of the Sea
July 2nd, 2009, 06:53 PM
Chicken to the rescue, Creampuff,

F;n beech is a compliment. It must be cos I'm one too!!
:wine:

Paul Smith
July 2nd, 2009, 06:55 PM
Might I throw out the notion that some former national finalists actually stay away from USMS because of the hard core participants in their age groups as they don't care to deal with the obession and comparison factor. Most would rather swim for fun and health and not deal with absurdity of comparing so called "best times" in your old age.

Glad to see things getting ramped up over here again...the tech suit thing got old real fast!

This would be a far more interesting dicussion if Mr. Negative would name names...

As for the quote above...I can name at least a dozen right now. Cav, stay away and keep throwing down national record times in workouts...we don't need you here messing up our top 10 results!

JMiller
July 2nd, 2009, 07:00 PM
Living without passion while waiting for the inevitable, ultimately ignoring what can still be enjoyed; that's absurd.

knelson
July 2nd, 2009, 07:02 PM
I think there's one thing we can all agree on: Chris Stevenson needs to quit swimming so much butterfly in practice. He's making everyone else look lazy. :)

But, yeah, this whole idea is absurd. So is Mr. Negative saying former elites are staying away from masters competition because they are afraid of getting beat? That's the only thing that makes sense to me. After all, why should they be concerned that other swimmers are "too serious." Why should they concern themselves with how seriously other masters swimmers take it?

Mr. Negative
July 2nd, 2009, 07:18 PM
Living without passion while waiting for the inevitable, ultimately ignoring what can still be enjoyed; that's absurd.

One man's enjoyment..... Another man's pain.

Of course there many ex national finalists that are turned off by the intensity and success of lessor talents.

Many roll their eyes at the thought of taking USMS for anything more serious than health and fun.

Paul Smith
July 2nd, 2009, 07:30 PM
Many roll their eyes at the thought of taking USMS for anything more serious than health and fun.

I don't know...I didn't see the former Olympian who was being given a "stroke" clinic recently by a masters record holder (who had just beaten this person and broke a masters world record) roll their eyes...

There's a LOT of attitude by a very small group of masters out there...unlike a LOT of attitude by a very large group of triathletes!! :bliss:

JMiller
July 2nd, 2009, 07:33 PM
You are right. We are free to enjoy and obsess about our own self indulgences...

Taking care of yourself means you will likely have more energy to give in general, enabling reciprocal abundance from the people around you. As opposed to people who only like to be negative, giving nothing.

Chris Stevenson
July 2nd, 2009, 07:36 PM
Might I throw out the notion that some former national finalists actually stay away from USMS because of the hard core participants in their age groups as they don't care to deal with the obession and comparison factor. Most would rather swim for fun and health and not deal with absurdity of comparing so called "best times" in your old age.

I guess. I don't really understand why anyone would base their actions on what others are doing. Compete, don't compete, it is up to you. Most USMS members do not compete, and I don't think that is changing though I have no hard data.

As to motivation, I can only speak for myself: there was a long period of time when I didn't compete much partly because I still mentally compared myself to my "fast" days. Nothing to do with others' obsession or lack thereof. Once I hit 40 I realized how silly it was to worry about what I did 20 years prior.

Competition is fun as a motivation to keep at it, but I think that's all it is for most people who take it "seriously." And the thing is, one's performance at meets has as much to do with circumstances (family/job situation, access to pool & coaching, time to train, injuries, etc) as with talent and desire. I believe most people understand this.

Believe me, as the Top Ten Recorder in my LMSC, I know first-hand how seriously some people can take these things. I have received frantic emails and even the occasional phone call. I have had to print out on "official" USMS letterhead my statement that so-and-so set an LMSC record or achieved a Top Ten time. Such people are a very small minority and even so: if it helps keep them healthy and motivated, I just don't see the harm.

Chris Stevenson
July 2nd, 2009, 07:39 PM
I think there's one thing we can all agree on: Chris Stevenson needs to quit swimming so much butterfly in practice.

Kirk, if your shoulders can take it, butterfly is the easiest way to get more bang for your buck! I just don't have the discipline to do those distance sets you do... :)

qbrain
July 2nd, 2009, 07:42 PM
One man's enjoyment..... Another man's pain.

Of course there a many ex national finalists that are turned off by the intensity and success of lessor talents.

Many roll their eyes at the thought of taking USMS for anything more serious than health and fun.

The number of ex national finalists is minuscule when compared to the number of people who can swim. Is there a good reason USMS should cater to the ex nation finalist demographic over the majority of swimmers?

Ripple
July 2nd, 2009, 08:03 PM
Has anyone ever noticed that people who claim to be "non-competitive" are actually the most competitive of all? These are the folks who give you a filthy look, mutter something about "show-offs". and really take it personally if you pass them while swimming, cycling, running, etc..
Openly competitive folks usually have a sense of perspective and just enjoy pushing the envelope against someone else.
(Now, if I could just develop enough speed to really compete.)

aquageek
July 2nd, 2009, 08:22 PM
I wonder if Pablo enjoys arguing with himself.

The Fortress
July 2nd, 2009, 09:56 PM
Of course there many ex national finalists that are turned off by the intensity and success of lessor talents.


Why exactly? Can't stand anyone else having any success without denigrating it? Intensity is only appropriate for college age kids and then we should all lapse into affected disinterested amusement and reminiscence for life?

And how exactly do you, oh supposedly omniscient one, know who is a lesser talent and who is engaging in self promotion? You clearly have a grudge against a couple swimmers, but you don't have to besmirch others who compete in masters. Or do you?

Methinks Mr. Ego may have or have had talent, but it might be limited to the pool. Divining the motivations of people (and basic spelling) are clearly not his forte.

meldyck
July 2nd, 2009, 10:01 PM
Methinks Mr. Ego may have or have had talent, but it might be limited to the pool. Divining the motivations of people (and basic spelling) are clearly not his forte.

Why, Leslie, whatever do you mean? He is a mega-landlord...

The Fortress
July 2nd, 2009, 10:05 PM
Why, Leslie, whatever do you mean? He is a mega-landlord...

Please, Mel, concentrate on your penchant for fine wine and move away from the workout log ... Being a full time masters athlete is very unbecoming ...

frankiej
July 2nd, 2009, 10:33 PM
Funny stuff in this thread.

Competition is enjoyable to me, even if it is in a sport/event that isn't my cup o' tea.
I'm not going to get all snobby about it though. However, I do enjoy giving people a good stare down and crap talking before said event/sport :D.

mctrusty
July 2nd, 2009, 11:18 PM
One man's enjoyment..... Another man's pain.

Of course there many ex national finalists that are turned off by the intensity and success of lessor talents.


Perfect time for Paganini here:

:violin:

knelson
July 3rd, 2009, 12:23 AM
Of course there many ex national finalists that are turned off by the intensity and success of lessor talents.

Many roll their eyes at the thought of taking USMS for anything more serious than health and fun.

Are these the same people who thought Auburn only won NCAAs this year because they wore "cheater" Jaked suits?

elise526
July 3rd, 2009, 12:39 AM
Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?

What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?

Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.

Isn't it just "masters swimming" for health and fun in the end?

Does a masters record really mean that much?

Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.

A masters record really should mean that much. I'll never get one, so I am simply in awe of those that do hold a masters record. It is easy to swim fast at 20 because one doesn't have to balance a job and a family. It is easy to swim fast at 20 because one hasn't had an injury, illness, or pregnancy that has kept one of out the pool for months. It is hard to swim fast at 40 when one has to balance a job and family. It is hard to swim fast at 40 when one has had to overcome a debilitating illness or injury. Hats off to the folks out there setting masters records!

I'm grateful as I am sure many other masters swimmers are that I can swim and compete, especially after losing a good friend to cancer at 39. I see my ability to swim and compete (even if I am just an average masters swimmer) as a gift. I don't seen anything wrong with getting intense about something that should be valued.

Bobinator
July 3rd, 2009, 01:01 AM
Hi mr. Negative! :)
I agree master's swimming is fun (and it should be)
I think it's FUN to work/train hard and see how fast I can go in the various events I choose to enter.
I think it's fun to work on perfecting my strokes through the advice of my friends (the coaches).
I think meets and OW swims are great opportunity's for FUN. I enter these events and try to swim to the best of my ability. When I do a good job I am proud and I celebrate with my friends(other swimmers on my team)!
If I don't do so well that's okay too, I know there are other opportunities for racing elsewhere.
I like to be accountable to myself and my goals for fitness, to me that's fun!
:bouncing: :bouncing: :bouncing:

gobears
July 3rd, 2009, 09:42 AM
Are these the same people who thought Auburn only won NCAAs this year because they wore "cheater" Jaked suits?

LOL. I think those of you who put so much into swimming now are awesome. I don't begrudge anyone their obsessive/compulsive swimming phase. :D I did that in high-school and college. I'm not ready to be that committed again anytime soon. But, It's great to have something you love. So very much better than trying to live vicariously through your kids' athletic endeavors.

I know too many parents who should be in the pool themselves instead of pushing their kids to perform. I also know too many moms who are lost when their kids leave home because all they know is parenting. I've vowed to actually have a life so that I'm not lost when my boys all get older and move out on their own. Since I have only boys, I've determined that it's essential to being a decent mother-in-law for me to have my own life and my own interests. Otherwise I'll be that overly-doting mom who expects her boys to constantly call and visit and I'll drive any daughter-in-law nuts. Swimming's got to be a good distraction there, huh?! :)

Mr. Negative
July 3rd, 2009, 10:14 AM
The number of ex national finalists is minuscule when compared to the number of people who can swim. Is there a good reason USMS should cater to the ex nation finalist demographic over the majority of swimmers?

"Cater"..... of course not..... "try to attract".... yes. These are individuals with great experiences and knowledge to share with others in the sport, not to mention their potential friendship.

Most would enjoy working out and racing for fun, but most don't feel it's "real" competition compared to their previous experience. Sometimes they are amused by what they see.

e.g...... when they hear or see a participant getting wrapped around the axel because their performance wasn't included in a USMS top 10 listing, they think it all seems a bit ........ well......... ridiculous.

Allen Stark
July 3rd, 2009, 10:43 AM
I have been swimming Masters over 35 years and I don't see that the swimmers at the meets are any more or less competative than when I started,there are just more of them and they are faster.I am very competative in my approach to swimming,but so what,I am ultimately racing myself anyway.When I go to a big meet I usually spend much of my time hanging around with my main competition.Why?Because they are my friends.All the Masters WR holders I know have been really nice people(of course most of the ones I know are breaststrokers and we are naturally nicer.:bolt:)

Paul Smith
July 3rd, 2009, 10:45 AM
Are these the same people who thought Auburn only won NCAAs this year because they wore "cheater" Jaked suits?

I'm guessing those same people will be pointing out how badly the US got its ass kicked at Worlds unless USA Swimming/Speedo allow swimmers to opt out of their contracts and wear the Jaked.

"Michael Phelps doesn't plan to experiment with any new suits at next week's U.S. national championships. Other swimmers aren't so confident they should stick with what they've worn in the past.

Last week's ruling by the sport's governing body to approve more high-tech suits leaves them with some decisions to make.

Dara Torres expects to try different suits and make a "game-time decision." U.S. national team coach Mark Schubert said he would advise swimmers to experiment with various options and choose what they feel most comfortable with.

The problem is that for many elite swimmers, their primary income comes from the suit manufacturer sponsoring them and they may believe that company no longer makes the fastest suit."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hA37i7vfIMgyk4Z69LzoOm3WqmoQD9961H680

Mr. Negative
July 3rd, 2009, 11:06 AM
The problem is that for many elite swimmers, their primary income comes from the suit manufacturer sponsoring them — and they may believe that company no longer makes the fastest suit."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hA37i7vfIMgyk4Z69LzoOm3WqmoQD9961H680

But in the end.... really..... should master's swimmers care about the difference between a LZR and a Jaked? They both do an effective job of holding in your flabby gut, and that is what old people really need.

The rubber suits are great for USMS.... they make an otherwise unappealing spectator sport more pallatable.

Chris Stevenson
July 3rd, 2009, 11:13 AM
"Cater"..... of course not..... "try to attract".... yes. These are individuals with great experiences and knowledge to share with others in the sport, not to mention their potential friendship.

Most would enjoy working out and racing for fun, but most don't feel it's "real" competition compared to their previous experience. Sometimes they are amused by what they see.

e.g...... when they hear or see a participant getting wrapped around the axel because their performance wasn't included in a USMS top 10 listing, they think it all seems a bit ........ well......... ridiculous.

So you are talking about clashing attitudes of two camps: those who are excited to compete as masters and those who do not deign to do so. What I guess I hear you saying is that you would like to find some way to dampen this enthusiasm by not, for instance, making such a "big deal" about Top Ten, or records, etc. Maybe by doing away with them altogether.

So let us put aside egos and emotions and just ponder this idea for a minute.

Certainly such a move would anger some people, but are they perhaps a vocal few? Would it make USMS a more attractive place for those -- whether they are former elites or not -- who currently are turned off by the competitive aspects of masters swimming?

My own thoughts:
-- I suppose there are some people who do not compete because they feel that some take it too "seriously" and are turned off. I think this is a small number of people, and that most do not compete b/c they simply don't want to be bothered to give up weekends and spend time & money to do so. They are happy just going to practice and staying fit, and need no further motivation to do so. I don't see how de-emphasizing or eliminating Top Ten or national records will attract these people.

-- This is the sport of *competitive* swimming, is it not? I don't think the stopwatch should ever be eliminated. The pools are of regulation lengths, so that means there can and will be comparisons. (In this sense, this sport if very UNLIKE triathlons, where course and conditions play a huge role in performance.) That means people who go to meets will get times for their swims and can make of them what they wish: they can chart their own improvement (or not!) and/or they can compare to others.

-- Personally, although I am focused on time-based goals, I would have a difficult time without comparison to others to provide some context. Almost everyone gets slower with age and that's a little depressing...so the question is, am I get slower relative to others of my same age? So in that sense, I don't need formal "top ten" recognition or anything, a simple ranking would be fine. (In fact, I think that ranking should extend beyond 10 to be most useful to members who compete. That is in the works, I believe.)

-- I do agree strongly that, at the club, LMSC and national level, we should go to a lot of effort to recognize and celebrate all types of swimmers, not just the "ultra-competitive" types. I think USMS does try to do those kinds of things too, with events like Go The Distance and new tools like the Fitness Logs.

-- Finally, for those former swimmers who are turned off by competitions, I would recommend Open Water swimming. Times are less meaningful there, there are no records (except for the cable swims) nor are there Top Ten listings. While OW events are held as races and naturally some take it pretty seriously, the sense of accomplishment from just finishing a race is pretty significant. Of course, this recommendation is more than a little ironic, given the title of the thread...:)

Mr. Negative
July 3rd, 2009, 11:22 AM
Finally.... a rational and unthreatened response

Thank you Mr. Stevenson.

mctrusty
July 3rd, 2009, 11:27 AM
"Cater"..... of course not..... "try to attract".... yes. These are individuals with great experiences and knowledge to share with others in the sport, not to mention their potential friendship.

Most would enjoy working out and racing for fun, but most don't feel it's "real" competition compared to their previous experience. Sometimes they are amused by what they see.

e.g...... when they hear or see a participant getting wrapped around the axel because their performance wasn't included in a USMS top 10 listing, they think it all seems a bit ........ well......... ridiculous.

Who are you? And who is this vague mass of "national level finalists" you speak of? You sure make them sound like snobs. I personally don't feel like I'm missing out on the friendship of anyone who would be so condescending.

Likely, it's one person you know who had a negative experience with some other person on your team or in your area. I certainly don't see this as a general trend.

Paul Smith
July 3rd, 2009, 11:34 AM
I'm not reading Mr. Negative as saying being competitive is a bad thing...I'm seeing it more as mocking of a very small number of adult athletes who are so far over the top thats its kind of embarrassing.

I had the "pleasure" of meeting just such a person at a workout i coached earlier this week. A woman in her late 40's was visiting from another town, she rolled into the parking lot in a car that had every possibly Yakima rack attachment on top, multiple Ironman stickers and a vanity plate...she was spoting an ironman tattoo on her ankle, wore an ironman cap, had 3 sets of paddles, 2 sets of fins, etc. but couldn't make 100's (LCM) on 3:00 and barked at me for moving her to a slower lane (where Laura was coaching, ha!). She challenged every set, lectured us on how bad kicking work was, shared her race schedule...on and on and on.

Again a rare case...but one that even the soft spoken world class pro who was training with us pointed out "gave our sport a bad name".

Mr. Negative
July 3rd, 2009, 11:36 AM
Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?

What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?

Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.

Isn't it just "masters swimming" for health and fun in the end?

Does a masters record really mean that much?

Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.

The original question I posed comes from many friends I've met who I have spoken to about participating in Master Swimming for fun. Admittedly some are mentally burnt out from yardage and bad coaching. Many, however, just don't want to have to deal with the things I've mentioned about what appears to be a growing crowd of over-the-top "triathlete" like behavior.

Too bad.... as there are a lot of Ex's out there that would enjoy casual workouts, sharing their past, and finding amusement in a race once or twice a year.

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2009, 12:06 PM
Too bad.... as there are a lot of Ex's out there that would enjoy casual workouts, sharing their past, and finding amusement in a race once or twice a year.

Doesn't seem like they need amusement from racing. Sounds like they are already amused merely by watching other swimmers with "lesser talent" attempt to compete in what is not "real competition." I'm amused just reading the condescension dripping from your posts!

I haven't really witnessed much of the over-the-top behavior you and Pablo report. I'm sure there are some who take things very seriously, but this doesn't seem much different from those taking other aspects of life seriously. Certainly better than seeing loco parents get expelled from soccer or baseball fields.

As Pablo notes, lying about your age or taking PEDs is, in fact, out of control though.

knelson
July 3rd, 2009, 12:07 PM
What I guess I hear you saying is that you would like to find some way to dampen this enthusiasm by not, for instance, making such a "big deal" about Top Ten, or records, etc. Maybe by doing away with them altogether.

I don't know. It seems to me one of the tactics that's been used to get these former greats into USMS is by dangling the possibility of setting a relay world record, etc. in front of them. Isn't that right, John...er, Mr. Negative?

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2009, 12:36 PM
Finally.... a rational and unthreatened response


What, you're allowed to ridicule others and post ridiculous nonsense, but we're not allowed to ridicule you back? I haven't had this much fun on the DF in ages. :)

I doubt, moreover, that anyone is "threatened" by your rhetoric. Just amused that people might actually think this way.

Mr. Negative
July 3rd, 2009, 12:53 PM
What, you're allowed to ridicule others and post ridiculous nonsense, but we're not allowed to ridicule you back? I haven't had this much fun on the DF in ages. :)

I doubt, moreover, that anyone is "threatened" by your rhetoric. Just amused that people might actually think this way.

Your right....... I doubt anyone on this forum would be upset if their times were not represented accurately in USMS top ten listing too.

elise526
July 3rd, 2009, 12:53 PM
I think in some ways I can understand what Mr. Negative is saying. I think, unfortunately, there is a "take things too seriously crowd" in every aspect of life. For example, when my husband took a job in the little town we now live in, his firm offered to pay the dues if we joined the local country club. At first, I really didn't want to join because there were people that belonged to it that acted like they were royalty simply because they belonged to the little town country club. I liked to refer to them as the "nouveau riche" or "nouveaus" for fun. I really didn't want to be around it.

When we decided to start a family, I reluctantly agreed to join. I did have to swallow hard for awhile and even came close to buying an $800 rusted out pick-up truck that you had to turn on with a screwdriver for the purpose of driving it up to the club. I couldn't decide whether I should wear a pair of Daisy Dukes and get out at the swimming pool or borrow a $2,000 dress from a friend and get out of the truck at the clubhouse for Sunday brunch.

In the end, I decided not to buy the truck and to shape up my attitude as my sister pointed out that I had a reverse form of snobbery. If the "noveaus" looked down their nose at me for not acting like they did, I was just as bad as they were for mocking them.

It is a shame that the former champion swimmers don't join masters. With their laid-back, let's just have fun attitude, they would be good role models for the over-the-top swimmers. In the end though, the ones that don't join are only hurting themselves.

Mr. Negative
July 3rd, 2009, 01:01 PM
The "hurting" aspect is the unfortunate lost opportunity and interaction with other masters swimmers, which goes both ways.

Smith by Marriage
July 3rd, 2009, 01:07 PM
I would never ever want to "side" with Mr. Negative....but I do see a little bit what he's saying. I agree that EVERY sport, job, hobby, etc has participants who are just plain over the top, to the point where something 'healthy' can turn very unhealthy quickly. I think the obssessed swimmers are far and few between....but I do agree that they're out there. I was at a meet with Susan Von der Lippe (who in my humble opinion is the greatest Masters Swimmer EVER....and probably one of the greatest people on the planet as well!!!!). We were talking to another swimmer who wasn't having her best meet. She's a talented swimmer, has some records, scores high at nationals, etc. She was very down on herself, and actually told us that her swimming success means more to her than her CHILDREN! Something is seriously wrong with that attitude. She said it honestly, and you could tell she absolutely meant it. She has THREE kids, by the way!!! To me, this is where a love for swimming crosses the line. Big time. Again, thankfully this isn't the norm from what I've seen....but it's sad to see the few swimmers who pour 100% of their identity and self - worth into Masters.

aquageek
July 3rd, 2009, 01:25 PM
Mr. Negative is a wing-nut, deep fried on mcstupidity. I wouldn't want to be in any athletic organization that didn't have a goodly number of extremists. Who wants to hang out with a bunch of noodlers? I think USMS needs even more crazies. Most of the hard core athletes I know are only hard core in their training but just like the rest of us away from the gym/pool.

As long as we aren't naming names, let's not name a certain "team" cobbled together from the four points of the US solely for the purpose of breaking a record, and the 6 months of endless crowing about that beforehand and now the 12 months of endless crowing about that afterwards. I saw a record breaking relay assembled in 10 minutes at a meet from a single team without any such pre or post swim self-accolades.

I'm pretty sure we will have to hear about that legendary team assembled for longer than we will have to suffer from Pablo's endless love for all things Flintwood Mic.

gull
July 3rd, 2009, 01:27 PM
But in the end.... really..... should master's swimmers care about the difference between a LZR and a Jaked? They both do an effective job of holding in your flabby gut, and that is what old people really need.

The rubber suits are great for USMS.... they make an otherwise unappealing spectator sport more pallatable.

Received the ultimate compliment last weekend when I went to Schlitterbahn with my 18 year old daughter and a few of her teenaged friends. The guys in the group told her that her dad was really "ripped" and that they were planning to swim Masters too.

BTW, Rowdy gave an interview after his 200 free at Nationals. Didn't sound like he thought the race was "amusing."

Mr. Negative
July 3rd, 2009, 01:46 PM
Received the ultimate compliment last weekend when I went to Schlitterbahn with my 18 year old daughter and a few of her teenaged friends. The guys in the group told her that her dad was really "ripped" and that they were planning to swim Masters too.

BTW, Rowdy gave an interview after his 200 free at Nationals. Didn't sound like he thought the race was "amusing."

From what I have heard, Mr. Gaines seems pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I even heard he laughed and joked afterward when he couldn't rheel in a 60+ year old on an anchor leg during a long course relay in 2006.

Speedo
July 3rd, 2009, 01:59 PM
I wouldn't want to be in any athletic organization that didn't have a goodly number of extremists. Who wants to hang out with a bunch of noodlers?
:rofl:

pwolf66
July 3rd, 2009, 01:59 PM
All the Masters WR holders I know have been really nice people(of course most of the ones I know are breaststrokers and we are naturally nicer.:bolt:)

But you folks HAVE to hang around together. Since all of you walk so slow due to duck feet, there's not much opportunity to seperate the pack.

gull
July 3rd, 2009, 02:00 PM
From what I have heard, Mr. Gaines seems pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I even heard he laughed and joked afterward when he couldn't rheel in a 60+ year old on an anchor leg during a long course relay in 2006.

"Amusing" sounds condescending, even dismissive, and Rowdy has been anything but that when discussing Masters swimming.

pwolf66
July 3rd, 2009, 02:04 PM
The original question I posed comes from many friends I've met who I have spoken to about participating in Master Swimming for fun. Admittedly some are mentally burnt out from yardage and bad coaching. Many, however, just don't want to have to deal with the things I've mentioned about what appears to be a growing crowd of over-the-top "triathlete" like behavior.

Too bad.... as there are a lot of Ex's out there that would enjoy casual workouts, sharing their past, and finding amusement in a race once or twice a year.

Maybe I'm missing something here but in the last three Nationals, I have seen nothing but friendship and good natured smack talking. Sure, there are intense rivalries and there are for sure those few folks who are wrapped just a little too tight but oh darn, those folks are in EVERY sport not just swimming.

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2009, 02:17 PM
Mr. Negative is a wing-nut, deep fried on mcstupidity. I wouldn't want to be in any athletic organization that didn't have a goodly number of extremists. Who wants to hang out with a bunch of noodlers? I think USMS needs even more crazies. Most of the hard core athletes I know are only hard core in their training but just like the rest of us away from the gym/pool.

As long as we aren't naming names, let's not name a certain "team" cobbled together from the four points of the US solely for the purpose of breaking a record, and the 6 months of endless crowing about that beforehand and now the 12 months of endless crowing about that afterwards. I saw a record breaking relay assembled in 10 minutes at a meet from a single team without any such pre or post swim self-accolades.

I'm pretty sure we will have to hear about that legendary team assembled for longer than we will have to suffer from Pablo's endless love for all things Flintwood Mic.

This is first rational thing I've read from a McCrazy.

swimcat
July 3rd, 2009, 02:29 PM
puff mamma: why didn't you call me, of course i have some choice italian words... mandalo a fanculo.
mr. negative: masters is many things to swimmers. for the elder crowd it is a chance to relive days gone by, for the fitness swimmer maybe overweight one- it is the joy of losing weight and not having sore knees from running or other exercises.
for the tri guy or gal who wants to better their swim time. the ex collegiate who wants to swim but not compete but be able to eAT like they did in college. and the last group- the uber competitive. the ones in this group are hardest on themselves. Puff, is right, masters swimmers talk a lot of trash( guilty am i ) and psych outs. it is all in fun. what is somebody's idea of fun may not be anothers,
yeesh, go with the flow.














:applaud: Not to turn this into a Geek love-fest, but SO TRUE!

I get PLENTY of smack talk thrown at me on a continual basis - mostly at masters and not during USS practices. Saying you suck at the 100 FR is really not too bad in my opinion. But how about these doozies (ironically told to me by two different male world record holders):

"You f'in beech (he's Italian), you didn't offer to lead the lane once."
(Uh, no. . . b/c you're a multiple world record holder!!!)

and my all time favorite, and this may be paraphrased a bit

"You gotta get your big ego out of the way."
(True but annoying to hear at 6 AM.)

I actually think the masters workouts are waaaaaay more competitive than the kid workouts I do. However, many of the masters swimmers swear on their kids' lives that they don't take it seriously. Uh huh.

qbrain
July 3rd, 2009, 02:31 PM
"Cater"..... of course not..... "try to attract".... yes. These are individuals with great experiences and knowledge to share with others in the sport, not to mention their potential friendship.

Most would enjoy working out and racing for fun, but most don't feel it's "real" competition compared to their previous experience. Sometimes they are amused by what they see.


These people you describe sound very condescending. I am not sure trying to attract them to USMS would make USMS better.

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2009, 02:36 PM
Your right....... I doubt anyone on this forum would be upset if their times were not represented accurately in USMS top ten listing too.

There you go ... getting my blood pressure up with your spelling errors again.

rtodd
July 3rd, 2009, 02:43 PM
There needs to be tolereance for all. I just didn't (still don't) get race walking, especially when I was baking in the sun waiting for the event to be over so I could run my events. We all tolerated it though. It's important to somebody.

As far as swimming goes, I find it interesting to see people satisfied with swimming extremely slow year after year with absolutely no interest in improvement. Conversely, I often imagine what sacrifices some people are making to swim as as fast as they do. Maybe none and they are just gifted, maybe they are flushing alot of life's other pleasures down the toilet to train. Whatever. We are all here to be different.

We need each other to contrast the extremes and where we fit in. I'd love to know how fast 44 year olds can swim as a point of reference. It's also nice to get some satisfaction when you can chart your improvements.

Lui
July 3rd, 2009, 02:50 PM
I'm not reading Mr. Negative as saying being competitive is a bad thing...I'm seeing it more as mocking of a very small number of adult athletes who are so far over the top thats its kind of embarrassing.

I had the "pleasure" of meeting just such a person at a workout i coached earlier this week. A woman in her late 40's was visiting from another town, she rolled into the parking lot in a car that had every possibly Yakima rack attachment on top, multiple Ironman stickers and a vanity plate...she was spoting an ironman tattoo on her ankle, wore an ironman cap, had 3 sets of paddles, 2 sets of fins, etc. but couldn't make 100's (LCM) on 3:00 and barked at me for moving her to a slower lane (where Laura was coaching, ha!). She challenged every set, lectured us on how bad kicking work was, shared her race schedule...on and on and on.

Again a rare case...but one that even the soft spoken world class pro who was training with us pointed out "gave our sport a bad name".

lol
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of certain triathletes either.
I used to write in a triathlon forum because it was the only forum I could find at the time that included swimming. I actually do the other two triathlon sports too(I used to even work as a bike messenger) but I was never interested in Triathlons and consider swimming as my main sport.

I noticed that there were a lot of big shots on that board. Their favorite thread was to show off their 5000+$ bikes or talk about their really expensive heart rate monitor watches or other triathlon gear like wetsuits even though half of them can't even swim free style:D

Ok, I'm being a bit harsh but that was my impression from that board.

some_girl
July 3rd, 2009, 03:09 PM
So, you know, the really weird thing about this thread? I totally seemed to have blanked out on the day I became responsible for the psychological health and social life of a bunch of middle-aged has-beens who are so busy reliving their glory days that they cannot possibly see the variety in a single organization; those whose minds are so cluttered by the past that the present takes on but a single dimension. I simultaneously feel sorry for them and feel contempt. Geez, it tingles.

I guess in the end I can just be glad all the former national-level swimmers on my team, all much younger than these sagging sad sacks described in the thread, present a different angle. In fact, they seem to be the *most* interested in everyone's goals, no matter how pedestrian. Odd.

Paul Smith
July 3rd, 2009, 05:28 PM
I guess in the end I can just be glad all the former national-level swimmers on my team, all much younger than these sagging sad sacks described in the thread, present a different angle. In fact, they seem to be the *most* interested in everyone's goals, no matter how pedestrian. Odd.

Unless I'm completely missing something here...that is the whole point of Mr. Negative.

He's not ripping on people being competitve...IMHO he's calling out (as I have in several posts) the weekend warriors who are SO over the top about their records and top 10's that it isn't fun to be around for anyone, especially for someone who has spent the better part of their lives training/racing at the age group/high school/college/USA level(s).

And by the way...seems to me you have been reliving your "glory days" of a run recently...much to my dismay as you succeeded and I can't make a mile!

aquageek
July 3rd, 2009, 05:34 PM
I still don't understand why it's bad to be competitive and focused. Maybe in addition to having the oft-proposed tech suit division we could also have the milk toast division where people who are scared about compeititve peers can race on their own, without the burden of timing their races or doling out awards. In this special division we will only hand out the "I Did My Best" ribbons they give out to kiddies who dont' place.

Paul Smith
July 3rd, 2009, 05:41 PM
I still don't understand why it's bad to be competitive and focused. Maybe in addition to having the oft-proposed tech suit division we could also have the milk toast division where people who are scared about compeititve peers can race on their own, without the burden of timing their races or doling out awards. In this special division we will only hand out the "I Did My Best" ribbons they give out to kiddies who dont' place.

You crack me up hillbilly! You are as obvious as Mr. Negative...baiting us by pretending you're not "getting" what the point is thats being made (which has nothing to do with competitive and focused and evyerthing to do with ego, vanity and in the case Laura pointed out...taking it WAY to serious)

...oh and calling out TYR but neglecting to share with everyone your signing on as chief antagonist for Rowdy's super team "Team Blu Frog" proves my point!! So now I will sit back and wait to see if anyone has the guts to Rowdy bash...

gull
July 3rd, 2009, 05:43 PM
I still don't understand why it's bad to be competitive and focused.

The point is that those among us who were never nationally ranked back in the day should not take Masters swimming so seriously because we will scare off those who were but have yet to join our ranks.

JimRude
July 3rd, 2009, 05:47 PM
Triathlon is a made-up sport. Just because you string together three real sports in a row, doesn't make your event a "real" sport.

Also, it is inherently biased against swimmers; therefore, I hate it. :bitching:

I know many triathletes, some very good/fast. Very few, if any, could beat a decent 11-12 year old in a 500y free. But they don't care, because they know they can make up their swimming deficiency on the bike and run legs.

Also, anyone who pays $5,000+ for a tri bike - with its itty-bitty 650 wheels and fairy aero-bars, and which is clearly inferior in terms of build and performance to a decent road bike at half the price - has more money than brains.

Of course, YMMV. :banana:

qbrain
July 3rd, 2009, 05:51 PM
the weekend warriors who are SO over the top about their records

What age group can you win a record in while being just a weekend warrior? Does it require ****, because I don't have ****, but otherwise I will eventually be in whatever this age group random slackers like me can set a record. And believe me, I want that no work record more than I want some elitist to join USMS. Point me in the right direction Mr. Smith!

aquageek
July 3rd, 2009, 05:54 PM
... but neglecting to share with everyone your signing on as chief antagonist for Rowdy's super team "Team Blu Frog" proves my point!!

Sargent at Arms is my title, get it right.

aquageek
July 3rd, 2009, 05:56 PM
...has more money than brains.


That's like telling us a banana is yellow. Everyone knows this about tris.

Paul Smith
July 3rd, 2009, 05:57 PM
What age group can you win a record in while being just a weekend warrior? Does it require ****, because I don't have ****, but otherwise I will eventually be in whatever this age group random slackers like me can set a record. And believe me, I want that no work record more than I want some elitist to join USMS. Point me in the right direction Mr. Smith!

Ah...its "MASTERS"...everyone is (technically) a weekend warrior....thats the whole point!

That Guy
July 3rd, 2009, 08:02 PM
This thread ran its course about 15 posts ago, yet it continues... I can't even tell what anyone's arguing about anymore... yeah it's time to create a diversion

HEY LOOK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIALS ARE GOING TO BE ON TV!!!

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/21565.asp?q=NBC,%20Universal%20Sports%20to%20Provi de%20Broadcast%20Coverage%20of%202009%20ConocoPhil lips%20USA%20Swimming%20National%20Championships

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2009, 08:09 PM
Ah...its "MASTERS"...everyone is (technically) a weekend warrior....thats the whole point!

Not really, nice as it sounds in theory. I don't see anyone going super fast (or even reasonably fast) who is a true "weekend warrior." What I see is everyone getting up in the wee hours in the middle of the night to train, squeezing in workouts whenever they can, lifting, doing yoga. (Even people who don't compete!) You seem to be perpetuating some some urban myth. Or are people just lazy out west? Same with Mr. Ego, who never made the caveat that his nastiness was limited to weekend warriors overdoing it, as you assert. And I'm still quite sure he had the only wetsuit in Austin last year. That was really over the top ...

some girl, thanks for the laugh!

Bobinator
July 3rd, 2009, 08:32 PM
The thing I really like about Master's Swimming is that it can be whatever you want it to be.
You can be a record/top 10 chaser, a glorified lap swimmer, a geek, or a person with unreal expectations about yourself(or your importance in the world of swimming)...But Who Gives A SHI_!
If someones attitude or ego irritates me in any way I just leave 'em alone. It's not my problem (unless I make it my problem).
If I were a former great swimmer I would enjoy helping rookie master swimmers develop the skills necessary to compete in the sport; I would take joy in their new-found excitement of a great fitness/lifestyle activity. If they get a little geeky about it, so what.
If you have problems in this area you might want to explore why you are so insecure about yourself. I am sure you may be the know all, do all, be all of swimming but how's the rest of your EQ adding up? :angel:

chaos
July 3rd, 2009, 08:55 PM
She was very down on herself, and actually told us that her swimming success means more to her than her CHILDREN! Something is seriously wrong with that attitude. She said it honestly, and you could tell she absolutely meant it. She has THREE kids, by the way!!! To me, this is where a love for swimming crosses the line. Big time.

maybe her kids suck. i've met lots of kids and there aren't many i would miss a bad workout in an over-chlorinated Y pool with a 2 1/2 foot deep shallow end, 90 degree water, and a lane full of overweight noodlers for. (but thats just me)

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2009, 09:00 PM
maybe her kids suck. i've met lots of kids and there aren't many i would miss a bad workout in an over-chlorinated Y pool with a 2 1/2 foot deep shallow end, 90 degree water, and a lane full of overweight noodlers for. (but thats just me)

Laura's post reminded me of the woman who publicly stated that she loved her husband more than her 3 kids. She was pilloried. Then she wrote a book about that fact and the flaws of a solely kid-centric lifestyle and made a boatload.

Nice post, Bob.

Paul Smith
July 3rd, 2009, 10:11 PM
Not really, nice as it sounds in theory. I don't see anyone going super fast (or even reasonably fast) who is a true "weekend warrior." What I see is everyone getting up in the wee hours in the middle of the night to train, squeezing in workouts whenever they can, lifting, doing yoga. (Even people who don't compete!) You seem to be perpetuating some some urban myth. Or are people just lazy out west? Same with Mr. Ego, who never made the caveat that his nastiness was limited to weekend warriors overdoing it, as you assert. And I'm still quite sure he had the only wetsuit in Austin last year. That was really over the top ...

some girl, thanks for the laugh!

Start with a couple of "I" statements Fort...

"I get up in the wee hours of the middle of the night"
"I squeeze workouts in whever I can"

Maybe we are lazy out west...but we do have a sense of humor

And I'm quite sure that Mr. Ego never posted a picture of him(her)self on their Facebook page holding up a Top 10 certificate...

I think he/we have touched a nerve her with a few folks...

Rowdy trained no more than 3k, 3-4 days a week before Clovis in case your interested...Susan V. trained less...Baker did put in 50k a week but I have never once heard him whine about an age group meet not recognizing his times for masters world records or top 10's...

Saeger did the same before Mission

Neither one "panicked" about the suit ban...they were happy to wear whatever was legal...

Last I saw none of these people posted vanity/body shots of themselves...or has a training blog on-line.

And Some Girl makes me laugh as well...but I will talk her out of this stupid running obsession!

elise526
July 3rd, 2009, 10:53 PM
Is there a contest going on for Mr. or Mrs. Cool? I guess since I have a blog and a stupid shot of myself being goofy that I am out of the running. Apparently it is not cool to have a blog.

Maybe instead of a blog list, there needs to be a code of conduct that delineates appropriate, non-compulsive, conformist behavior. Of course there would need to be a code of conduct committee that would decide when the said code had been violated. From reading this thread, I can already guess who would be on the committee.

Lighten up and accept people the way they are - compulsive, over-the-top, laid-back, intense, etc. What makes masters swimming fun to me is the different personalities and people accepting others for the way they are.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 3rd, 2009, 10:58 PM
Ah c'mon, let people have running obsessions. I had to put mine on ice (along with my foot but that's for another thread) due to an injury. Thank God for swimming, so I can maintain at least ONE obsession. ;)

I am quite slow as a swimmer, so I really can't speak of my times as competitive at all, and I have no illusions that I'll be setting records (except personal ones) any time soon.

I haven't the budget for a tech suit, so I can only fantasize about how such a suit would affect my swimming. Thing is, though, I have a lot to learn about swimming before a tech suit would really do much for my swimming. I've bought gadgets and high tech stuff for running when the opportunity and my budget allowed, and I don't begrudge anyone the enjoyment of whatever gear makes them happy. No doubt people could criticize my purchases too, so I can't judge what others buy for their sport.

When I do a workout or race, I definitely am competitive, and if there's someone close to my speed, I'm competitive with that person, but only during the workout/race. Afterward, we're cool.

Like the poster on page 3, I tend to be more suspicious when someone says "I'm not competitive." And I don't think that being competitive is just for the front of the pack. In a run I did a few years ago, I was having a very slow day, and found myself battling for second-last place with a woman who had run quite fast in her younger days but was close to seventy and also having a slow day. We didn't give each other an inch! She'd pass me, then I'd return the favor, then she would--all the way to the finish. We then enjoyed post-race snacks, conversation, catching up...and congratulated each other on putting up a good fight. We both knew we weren't contenders, but we saw no reason not to make a race of it between ourselves.

But no, I can't quit my day job to get sponsorship for running or (even less so) swimming. Oh, sponsors might pay me to wear their competitors' gear. (If only, ha ha!) ;)

But the reason I love to do masters' swimming (and, when my body is up for it, running workouts) is the thrill of the chase. Can I beat that guy who always gets me in the running workouts by a hair? Can I improve my 50s or 100s in swimming--not to break 1:30, just to break 2! I have no worries about impressing anyone, but it's still cool to see what I can do if I push myself in these venues. There's something so refreshing about the simplicity of seeing how fast one can move through water or on land without all the mucking up of daily life.

And no doubt I've had days where I get discouraged enough with my swimming to sound more obsessed than normal. But I don't have that many regrets. There are always more races.

thewookiee
July 3rd, 2009, 11:57 PM
You crack me up hillbilly! ...



Paul,

Please continue to insult Geek at every opporunity that you get. But please, please do not call him a hillbilly. That is an insult to me and every other red blooded, barefoot walkin, outhousin usin, toothless chewin, gun tote-in hillbilly.

Geek ain't a hillbilly. We wouldn't have him as one of us. He takes life toooo seriously and too fast paced to be considered a hillbilly. He's a damn city slicker and we don't want his kind to be associated with us.

Thank You for your understandin and attention in this manner. Now, back to the hourly Geek bashin as you know it.

Signed,
The Country Bumpkin

That Guy
July 4th, 2009, 01:09 AM
Can I beat that guy who always gets me in the running workouts by a hair?

Not a chance. :anim_coffee:

CreamPuff
July 4th, 2009, 05:52 AM
We were talking to another swimmer who wasn't having her best meet. She's a talented swimmer, has some records, scores high at nationals, etc. She was very down on herself, and actually told us that her swimming success means more to her than her CHILDREN! Something is seriously wrong with that attitude. She said it honestly, and you could tell she absolutely meant it. She has THREE kids, by the way!!! To me, this is where a love for swimming crosses the line. Big time.

Hmmmmm. . . couple of observations. And I'm not even disagreeing with Laura or our thread poster in any way.

1. I may be the only one who did not grow up with Wally and the Beave, but based on the stunts that my brother and I pulled as kids, if my mother's worst reaction was denouncing us children in public and claiming that she loved her hobby over her kids, that would be considered a very good day for us!!!

2. I'm starting to think I will not live to see the day when we women stop being so critical of eachother (in every area but particularly when it comes to family, career and children.)

David Williams
July 4th, 2009, 07:01 AM
Anyone who thinks masters swimming has gotten too competitive hasn't paid much attention to the results from our national championships. Go ten or fifteen deep into the results and you will see that the casual approach is alive and well.

Leonard Jansen
July 4th, 2009, 08:00 AM
This entire thread, from the original post, is a non-starter.

In the martial arts there is the concept of someone "being in your circle" - this is when a person is close enough to be capable of striking you and is, therefore, a potential threat. Someone's else obsessive swim training is no threat to you - they are NOT in your circle. Neither is their smack talk. Neither is their intensity in master's workouts or races. Even Puffster being called a "beech" isn't in her circle - that's just impotence speaking - someone throwing shadow punches well outside of striking range.

Besides, a good martial arts person turns things to their advantage. If that oh-so-hot young lady in the next lane is an obsessive trainer, then you can talk to her about her obsession. If she's a shrinking violet and having trouble with the hyper-competitive people, you can offer support. At worst, you will make a friend and then you win the match, grasshopper.

-LBJ

The Fortress
July 4th, 2009, 08:58 AM
Last I saw none of these people posted vanity/body shots of themselves...or has a training blog on-line.


You're just insanely jealous that I can still do the splits without stretching and without yoga ... :angel:

She Puff, I doubt there's a mother alive who doesn't have days when she wondered why she bothered to procreate!

gull
July 4th, 2009, 10:29 AM
Last I saw none of these people posted vanity/body shots of themselves...or has a training blog on-line.

http://www.thelimucompany.com/Default.aspx?alias=www.thelimucompany.com/rowdygaines

http://thelimucompany.com/MastersSwimming/tabid/571/Default.aspx

aquageek
July 4th, 2009, 10:36 AM
I have to say I'm finding this thread increasingly weird. I can't understand the obsession with others. Who cares? Just do your own thing. What is the impact to you - nothing, zip, nada.

I personally find hard core dedicated adult athletes vastly more interesting than what I guess Mr. Negative wants. What this forum repeatedly comes back to by former elites is the sense of entitlement they feel they alone deserve, but no others. Hard work and dedication is to be admired. I also suspect if Mr. Negative ever ventured outside of swimming into other sports a little more humility might be found.

I get up at 4:30 to workout because this is when I can workout and not interfere with work, wife, kids. But, Mr. Negative, I guess you get to dictate when people workout.

Bottom line - jealousy breeds contempt. Worry about yourself, not others.

knelson
July 4th, 2009, 12:33 PM
What this forum repeatedly comes back to by former elites is the sense of entitlement they feel they alone deserve, but no others.

With a nice side helping of the fact they can break records without really trying and anyone who really has to work to do this--and is too proud of the achievement--is just being silly or possibly annoying to them.

The Fortress
July 4th, 2009, 01:57 PM
http://www.thelimucompany.com/Default.aspx?alias=www.thelimucompany.com/rowdygaines

http://thelimucompany.com/MastersSwimming/tabid/571/Default.aspx

Horrors! This says Rowdy trained EVERY day. He must not be on board with the rule that it's unseemly to train more than 3x a week to break NRs or grab TTs if you have true "talent." He should be called out. Next thing you know, it'll be revealed that he has a masseuse and personal trainer.

stillwater
July 4th, 2009, 02:00 PM
Finally, for those former swimmers who are turned off by competitions, I would recommend Open Water swimming. Times are less meaningful there, there are no records (except for the cable swims) nor are there Top Ten listings.

You might think about revising this statement.

the17thman
July 4th, 2009, 03:32 PM
This is an excellent observation Mr. Negative.

I, for one, plan to take this comment to heart while I try and take swimming less seriously. My first act will be to fill my water bottle with Vodka and take it to practice tomorrow. I fully expect to be the life of the practice!! :bliss: And so that it's not "all about me," I will be happy to share with my lanemates who may or may not be of legal drinking age. . . The only record I expect to break will be the number of times I puke on the pool deck! I agree with you in that masters is all about fun. Not sure how the Vodka fits into the health thing, but one out of two ain't bad!

Wait you don't fill up your water bottle with vodka for every practice? Jeez...

Chris Stevenson
July 4th, 2009, 03:50 PM
I have to say I'm finding this thread increasingly weird. I can't understand the obsession with others. Who cares? Just do your own thing.

Amen.


You might think about revising this statement.

Okay, I'll bite. Why?


Horrors! This says Rowdy trained EVERY day. He must not be on board with the rule that it's unseemly to train more than 3x a week to break NRs or grab TTs if you have true "talent."

Okay, here is MY source of amusement: swimmers -- usually male -- who seem more proud about how little training they (claim to) do than about their (usually very good) performances. The point is usually NOT to prove some "less if more, quality beats quantity" philosophy but more about "look how little I care, but I can still swim fast."

Actually, this really IS something that certain subsets of swimmers and triathletes have in common...

Oh, and I completely agree with Laura about the supremacy of SVDL :bow:.

Paul Smith
July 4th, 2009, 05:03 PM
I have to say I'm finding this thread increasingly weird. I can't understand the obsession with others. Who cares? Just do your own thing. What is the impact to you - nothing, zip, nada.

And I can't understand the obsession "within" others...
but it certainly has stired the pot and gotten a lot of crap flying which is always entertaining...

Chris...I'll assume that the "less is more" comment was directed at me. And my point is not about "how little I care"...but rather a belief that taking stock of ones body, resting when needed, and yes quality and technique over brute mileage comes first are my priorites works for me and makes the sport more enjoyable.

Don't get me wrong, I love to race and in fact would choose an event/meet any day that provided competition over one that I could be assured a "win" at...and if you and Mr. Nelson want to believe that I'm driven to break records without trying...oh well, guess you got me figured out!

Gull...you may see it differently...but IMHO Rowdy is not in the realm of vanity that I think a few of us were trying to point out here. He works for Limu and has done an incredible job (as has the company) in promoting swimming to all levels of swimmers.

Fort...I have no jealosy what-so-ever of your ability to do the splits as I see this as a genetic limitiation on my part...I do however hold you in contempt for your putting me to shame in the holding plank department!

stillwater
July 4th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Okay, I'll bite. Why?

It seems pretty clear that your open water experience is limited. Most events are just as competitive as those swam in a pool; Olympians and the like.

Times are very important, and recorded. There are All Americans and rankings.

I admire your unorthodox style of backstroke and your speedy times, but you won't do squat swimming that way with the big boys.

gull
July 4th, 2009, 05:31 PM
Gull...you may see it differently...but IMHO Rowdy is not in the realm of vanity that I think a few of us were trying to point out here. He works for Limu and has done an incredible job (as has the company) in promoting swimming to all levels of swimmers.

Yes, he promotes the sport of swimming and his company (Limu), but he also promotes himself. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. My point was that he doesn't seem to view Masters swimming and record-setting as an "amusement" which should be left to overly obsessive (not to mention "flabby") swimmers of lesser talent.

If I, too, have entered the "realm of vanity" by posting a photo of myself, or by maintaining a training blog, then I am in good company and won't lose any sleep over it.

aquageek
July 4th, 2009, 05:35 PM
And I can't understand the obsession "within" others...

You don't have to or need to.

It gets really tiring being told on this forum what real swimming is supposed to be - the suits, the training routines, what time I should get up, how many days a week I need to train, the level of devotion I must show my family, etc. But, I guess gossip is more fun.

I am fortunate to swim with a handful of Top 10ers and have met many more, all dedicated, none judgmental, and very very helpful.

knelson
July 4th, 2009, 05:35 PM
Don't get me wrong, I love to race and in fact would choose an event/meet any day that provided competition over one that I could be assured a "win" at...and if you and Mr. Nelson want to believe that I'm driven to break records without trying...oh well, guess you got me figured out!

Why would you think I was talking about you Paul? :) No, really I don't think I was. I'm thinking more along the lines of the guys who show up to Nationals about once every five years and clean house. Here's the thing, though. A lot of those guys are training, and sometimes training hard, they just don't compete that much. So this probably works both ways. Some of these guys apparently think too many masters swimmers take it too seriously, conversely those who do take it seriously have the perception that others are swimming fast without really putting much effort in and find that kind of annoying.

chaos
July 4th, 2009, 05:37 PM
.I have no jealosy what-so-ever of your ability to do the splits as I see this as a genetic limitiation on my part...

i am jealous of anyone who can do a split, as i have nearly worn out my hips trying..... and if i could do one i would probably do a split on the white house lawn!

i think this thread just proves that "former high ranked in their youth now masters swimmers" who think this should be for "fun" should get lost and do an ironman or swim the channel or ride raam....... time to start living again.

The Fortress
July 4th, 2009, 05:40 PM
And I can't understand the obsession "within" others...

Do you really need to? Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean it should be classified as ludicrous or amusing or vain. But, then, I guess the fear of the unknown is a potent one ... I have a blankie or binky if you need one.

Since you are likewise not impressed with the antics of ex-gymnast divers, I will have to find a new "vanity" photo. I'm just not sure I can find one as hot as Gull's. More planks!

ourswimmer
July 4th, 2009, 06:14 PM
You might think about revising this statement.


Okay, I'll bite. Why?

Probably because OW races can be very competitive. The competition is different from the competition in the pool but it isn't less serious, in my experience. For one thing, it's head-to-head, direct competition, every time.

In Pacific Masters, some of the fastest swimmers rarely or never go to pool meets. They train hard, and focus on the summer-fall OW series, and take it seriously in a healthy, fun way. I like it, but I don't think someone who was really burned out on competition would find an OW swim any more fun than a pool meet unless the swim was in a really special venue.

elise526
July 4th, 2009, 06:41 PM
Some are more genetically gifted than others and it may take them less work to excel than others. It would seem to me that those that are so genetically gifted should appreciate their gift and be gracious to those that have to work hard and still can't be on their level. Laughing at and mocking those that desire to be good and work hard at it is not admirable at all and a huge detractor in my eyes. What is impressive is a former elite swimmer who is humble, sees his own faults, and looks past the faults of others.

knelson
July 4th, 2009, 06:49 PM
Probably because OW races can be very competitive. The competition is different from the competition in the pool but it isn't less serious, in my experience. For one thing, it's head-to-head, direct competition, every time.

I think this was the point Chris was trying to make. In OW the competition is head-to-head rather than against the clock, so it's different from pool swimming where people might be going for personal bests, top tens and records.

The Fortress
July 4th, 2009, 07:43 PM
Some are more genetically gifted than others and it may take them less work to excel than others. It would seem to me that those that are so genetically gifted should appreciate their gift and be gracious to those that have to work hard and still can't be on their level. Laughing at and mocking those that desire to be good and work hard at it is not admirable at all

What? I just got Smith to admit he's genetically inferior to me (despite the fact that he stretches at grocery stores and other odd places) and I have to shut up about it?

FindingMyInnerFish
July 4th, 2009, 08:13 PM
Not a chance. :anim_coffee:

Someone talking smack to ME?? Ah you made my day! :notworthy:

Chris Stevenson
July 4th, 2009, 09:38 PM
Chris...I'll assume that the "less is more" comment was directed at me.

Not entirely no, though your recent post did remind me of the phenomenon.


It seems pretty clear that your open water experience is limited. Most events are just as competitive as those swam in a pool; Olympians and the like.

Times are very important, and recorded. There are All Americans and rankings.

I admire your unorthodox style of backstroke and your speedy times, but you won't do squat swimming that way with the big boys.

Um, I've been in a few OW races and I have done okay, having been a LD All-American multiple times. I even hold two USMS OW records, though I don't kid myself that they would survive contact with the likes of Erwin or Kostich, or other "real" OW swimmers.


Probably because OW races can be very competitive. The competition is different from the competition in the pool but it isn't less serious, in my experience. For one thing, it's head-to-head, direct competition, every time.

In Pacific Masters, some of the fastest swimmers rarely or never go to pool meets. They train hard, and focus on the summer-fall OW series, and take it seriously in a healthy, fun way. I like it, but I don't think someone who was really burned out on competition would find an OW swim any more fun than a pool meet unless the swim was in a really special venue.

I'm aware they are serious but time is important mostly in context. In one ocean swim I sometimes do, the winning time can vary wildly from year to year depending on current/conditions. This sort of thing means the competition for top spots within the race itself can be fierce but makes it harder to compare times across competitions based on distance alone.

My wife is a former college swimmer and now does mostly OW swims...she doesn't swim as much as she would like and gets depressed by her pool times but feels more accomplishment out of completing a tough OW swim and doesn't worry about her time (or her placement much, either).

For myself, I mostly find OW races valuable largely as training swims for "real" (ie, pool) competition.:) (Just having fun.)

YMMV, obviously.

Added in edit:
I am not trying to get into an OW vs pool thing. Maybe it seems obvious, but if someone is well and truly burned out on competition, then racing in ANY venue is not going to be very attractive. But the behavior that Mr Neg complained about (obsessing about times, Top Ten, records) seems to me to be less a part of OW competitions and culture. That isn't to say that people don't take the races seriously. There is also a "man vs nature" element to some arduous swims that can supplant "man vs man" (sorry for the sexist wording.:)) A former elite pool racer may find OW races different enough from NCAA/USS competitions to ignite his/her interest in competing in the sport again.

qbrain
July 5th, 2009, 09:15 AM
It seems pretty clear that your open water experience is limited. Most events are just as competitive as those swam in a pool; Olympians and the like.

Times are very important, and recorded. There are All Americans and rankings.

I admire your unorthodox style of backstroke and your speedy times, but you won't do squat swimming that way with the big boys.

:rofl:

Chris Stevenson IS a big boy.

That Guy
July 5th, 2009, 10:46 AM
:rofl:

Chris Stevenson IS a big boy.

I can't decide if this is an epic fail on Stillwater's part, or if he was just trolling. But then, isn't trolling itself chock full of fail?

I'll err on the side of adding something to the discussion. Hey Stillwater, paragraph six (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/news/richmondnow/2008/02/Stevenson.html).

JimRude
July 5th, 2009, 10:51 AM
It seems pretty clear that your open water experience is limited. Most events are just as competitive as those swam in a pool; Olympians and the like.

Times are very important, and recorded. There are All Americans and rankings.

I admire your unorthodox style of backstroke and your speedy times, but you won't do squat swimming that way with the big boys.

You are either trolling, or a complete nitwit... I vote for the latter. Don't dis people who can swim circles around you.

~Wren~
July 5th, 2009, 10:59 AM
A little late to the game here, and not all the way through the thread, but this jumped out at me:


Most would enjoy working out and racing for fun, but most don't feel it's "real" competition compared to their previous experience. Sometimes they are amused by what they see.Wow, what an incredibly elitist attitude. I doubt "most" think that, and I would venture to guess there are quite a few who would be horrified to know you are representing them this way.

For those who are that arrogant:

Some of us didn't have the opportunity for "real competition" in our younger days. I swam on a school team from 7-12th grade and loved it, but there were no age group opportunities where I lived. Because of finances and housing issues I landed at a college without a swim team. All my workouts there came from phone calls to my high school coach. My parents thought swimming, and all my other athletic endeavors, were irritating and expensive time sucks, so I didn't push the issue as much as I would've liked.

Now I am (mostly) in control of my own schedule, have a spouse that understands my competitive nature, and the finances to go where I need to go to get the training I want. I don't see what's so wrong about that. :dunno:

Should I continue to be penalized for not having better opportunities available to me in my youth, just to pacify the egos of those who did?

Paul Smith
July 5th, 2009, 12:50 PM
A little late to the game here, and not all the way through the thread, but this jumped out at me:

Wow, what an incredibly elitist attitude. I doubt "most" think that, and I would venture to guess there are quite a few who would be horrified to know you are representing them this way.

For those who are that arrogant:

Some of us didn't have the opportunity for "real competition" in our younger days. I swam on a school team from 7-12th grade and loved it, but there were no age group opportunities where I lived. Because of finances and housing issues I landed at a college without a swim team. All my workouts there came from phone calls to my high school coach. My parents thought swimming, and all my other athletic endeavors, were irritating and expensive time sucks, so I didn't push the issue as much as I would've liked.

Now I am (mostly) in control of my own schedule, have a spouse that understands my competitive nature, and the finances to go where I need to go to get the training I want. I don't see what's so wrong about that. :dunno:

Should I continue to be penalized for not having better opportunities available to me in my youth, just to pacify the egos of those who did?

I'm going to take a wild guess here...but will assume that about 99% of the people bashing Mr. Negative here would also have to admit if asked that they thought Gary Hall Jr. was an arrogant showboat...in fact I could pretty easilly go into some old threads from here and pull their comments about him up...

There are VERY few masters swimmers that would compare but there are some...and I think its amusing that he started a thread to call it...or similar acts of arrogance at this level of swimming out and how many people got so pissy and defensive about their own competitivness when that was never in question.

elise526
July 5th, 2009, 01:11 PM
I'm not sure people understand who the thread is directed to or exactly what is amusing. Is it the behavior of current record holders acting ridiculous or is it the training of any masters swimmer that borders on being somewhat obsessive?

I'm confused about what "real competition" is. Isn't all competition just for fun unless one is getting paid for it?

What is considered "over the top" behavior? For example, during a good workout week, I swim 10,000 yards, lift twice, and run 8- 10 miles. I have a workout blog mainly to help myself remember what I did and to share with my friends (who asked me to share) who live in other areas. I figured I was a fairly typical average masters swimmer. Is this "over the top?"

I think Paul Smith did delineate things in speaking to Fort about what is over the top. Still, though, I'm confused at what folks view as "over the top."

Chris Stevenson
July 5th, 2009, 01:11 PM
Hi Paul, a quick aside: I think they are in desperate need of your expertise over in the "Ripped Suit" thread...I do believe the result looks a little bit better on Zoccari (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1196792/Top-Italian-swimmers-horror-bathing-costume-bursts-open-unfortunate-place-championship-meet.html) than it did on you in Oregon (an event that was blessedly not caught on camera).

[And no -- like you and the tutu -- this joke will never get old.]

tdrop
July 5th, 2009, 02:25 PM
I have to admit I'm pretty competitive...with myself mostly. I enjoy training and setting goals. I also like to win some races when I can. I'm pretty focused.

I will also admit it can be a real bummer training with someone who is an a**hole to those around them because they are wound up too tightly about swimming. I'm not sure these people even realize the effect they have on their lane mates. And they are not bad people.

But, I think those individuals do make it less enjoyable for those around them. But it isn't necessarily about swimming for them. It's an emotional immaturity.

If you've spent enough time in the water you have encountered these individuals. They are lane bullies and selfish.

What is more important? Making sure the set goes exactly as you planned it? Or, having a good relationship with your training partners?

stillwater
July 5th, 2009, 02:32 PM
Chris,

I'm sorry if I offended you. I think you are a great ambassador for our sport.

I was a bit put off by your diminishing the competitive nature of open water swimming. Having competed in both venues for decades, it has been my experience that equally serious competition takes place in OW. In addition, OW swimming seems to be a bit more tolerent to new competitors.

As I said, your backstroke intrigues me. I wish I could swim that way, I've tried. It's just that I've never seen anyone win a serious OW event swimming on their back.

My wife doesn't think I'm funny either.


You are either trolling, or a complete nitwit... I vote for the latter. Don't dis people who can swim circles around you.

You sound like that little pipsqueak dog in the cartoon, the one that stands a bit behind the big tough dog and goes "Ya me too."

CreamPuff
July 5th, 2009, 02:44 PM
If you've spent enough time in the water you have encountered these individuals. They are lane bullies and selfish.

What is more important? Making sure the set goes exactly as you planned it? Or, having a good relationship with your training partners?

Man. . . this statement makes me realize that rarely do sets go as I plan or want them to go! It's an unusual day when the set works out for me!!

gobears
July 5th, 2009, 02:46 PM
I'm confused about this thread, also, Elise. Is the problem that some here are putting too much time into their training according to some? Or are they only doing it in an annoying way?

I think the references to those who had their "glory days" in high-school and college being amused at those who take things seriously now is demeaning toward the latter group. Is there some commandment from on high that demands one only take athletics seriously when they are under 25? I'm sometimes envious of those who don't have their faster and younger swimmer selves to compare themselves with now. It would be exciting to be doing best times ever in your best events.

I know one woman who faults Dara Torres for being so "self-absorbed" and making her whole life about her swimming. I don't relate. If I were that good, had the resources to train like she does and was able to raise my kid with help, I can't say I wouldn't choose the same thing. I don't understand being upset that someone else chooses to live this way. How is it hurting anyone else???

Paul Smith
July 5th, 2009, 03:54 PM
Hi Paul, a quick aside: I think they are in deperate need of your expertise over in the "Ripped Suit" thread...I do believe the result looks a little bit better on Zoccari (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1196792/Top-Italian-swimmers-horror-bathing-costume-bursts-open-unfortunate-place-championship-meet.html) than it did on you in Oregon (an event that was blessedly not caught on camera).

[And no -- like you and the tutu -- this joke will never get old.]

I'll be paying the court settlement for years that was awarded to the 2 young ladies who were so severly traumatized that they are still in counseling...

Elise & GoBears...I'll let Mr. Negative answer for himself...I can only speak from my perspective and guess as to what he is talking about. In my opinion he's calling out a handful of swimmers who take themselves so seriouslly that it's really not all that fun to be around. Laura mentions one case...I can think of another where a swimmer got out of the stands and ran to the edge of the pool screaming at the top of her lungs "DIE, DIE, DIE" at a person in the pool who was possibly going to break their record.

elise526
July 5th, 2009, 04:01 PM
I'm confused about this thread, also, Elise. Is the problem that some here are putting too much time into their training according to some? Or are they only doing it in an annoying way?

I think the references to those who had their "glory days" in high-school and college being amused at those who take things seriously now is demeaning toward the latter group. Is there some commandment from on high that demands one only take athletics seriously when they are under 25? I'm sometimes envious of those who don't have their faster and younger swimmer selves to compare themselves with now. It would be exciting to be doing best times ever in your best events.

I know one woman who faults Dara Torres for being so "self-absorbed" and making her whole life about her swimming. I don't relate. If I were that good, had the resources to train like she does and was able to raise my kid with help, I can't say I wouldn't choose the same thing. I don't understand being upset that someone else chooses to live this way. How is it hurting anyone else???

In fact, there are many that could claim that those of us (masters or non-masters swimmers) that were serious about swimming before 25 were fools. We spent the best part of our youth immersed in chlorine and shut off from a real life. We missed dates, parties, dances, happy hours, football games, and socializing with non-aquatic individuals. Was it worth it for a few seconds/minutes of glory?

gobears
July 5th, 2009, 04:03 PM
I'll be paying the court settlement for years that was awarded to the 2 young ladies who were so severly traumatized that they are still in counseling...

Elise & GoBears...I'll let Mr. Negative answer for himself...I can only speak from my perspective and guess as to what he is talking about. In my opinion he's calling out a handful of swimmers who take themselves so seriouslly that it's really not all that fun to be around. Laura mentions one case...I can think of another where a swimmer got out of the stands and ran to the edge of the pool screaming at the top of her lungs "DIE, DIE, DIE" at a person in the pool who was possibly going to break their record.

Sweet! Almost as sweet as that avatar :afraid: I've not been around any swimmers like that in my entire career, that I can remember. Now, I have been around psycho parents of swimmers who were like that... Really lame.

aquageek
July 5th, 2009, 04:34 PM
Or, having a good relationship with your training partners?

I stand in unity with you, tdrop, fight the power!

elise526
July 5th, 2009, 04:37 PM
I'll be paying the court settlement for years that was awarded to the 2 young ladies who were so severly traumatized that they are still in counseling...

Elise & GoBears...I'll let Mr. Negative answer for himself...I can only speak from my perspective and guess as to what he is talking about. In my opinion he's calling out a handful of swimmers who take themselves so seriouslly that it's really not all that fun to be around. Laura mentions one case...I can think of another where a swimmer got out of the stands and ran to the edge of the pool screaming at the top of her lungs "DIE, DIE, DIE" at a person in the pool who was possibly going to break their record.

Good avatar, Paul. I dare you to head out on your next bike ride similarly dressed.

I think 99.9% of folks on the forum would agree that the behavior you mention is over the edge. Screaming at the person? I might be able to understand quietly muttering it or thinking it to oneself in the stands as one is watching his/her record be threatened. I hope somehow the person you mention was messing with the other person in fun, but I get the feeling she wasn't. If she was serious, I would have to agree that a masters record, or any record for that matter, is not worth acting the way you describe.

From what I am gathering, there is not a problem with folks being hard-core about their training. It seems to be more about how people are manifesting their competitive nature.

There does seem to be a certain amount of pressure from having been good in the past and coming back to compete for fun. I've seen people get in the face of former great athletes when they return to the competition arena for the first time in 10 years and after a race ask, "What happened to you? I beat you." Rather than encouraging the former greats to continue their comeback, some competitors take great delight in pointing out where the former greats went out too hard or messed up on their race. I can see why some former greats might ask themselves, "Is it worth coming back to race to put up with this crap? I just want to have fun and not have people getting in my face about my race."

There is a price to be paid for having been good in the past, but I hope that the former greats out there won't continue to let a few nuts keep them from enjoying the comraderie of masters swimming.

JimRude
July 5th, 2009, 04:38 PM
I admire your unorthodox style of backstroke and your speedy times, but you won't do squat swimming that way with the big boys.


I suppose that you're one of the big boys, then?



You sound like that little pipsqueak dog in the cartoon, the one that stands a bit behind the big tough dog and goes "Ya me too."

It's not a me, too statement. I don't believe Chris called you a nitwit - I did. Do a BIT of homework before you criticize the accomplishments of other swimmers.

stillwater
July 5th, 2009, 05:01 PM
Do a BIT of homework before you criticize the accomplishments of other swimmers.

By golly, I don't think I ever criticized the esteemed Mr. Stevenson's accomplishments. He has reached lofty heights in competitive swimming.

I salute them.

Your yapping is tiresome.

Sit.

Good boy.

gull
July 5th, 2009, 05:02 PM
I'll let Mr. Negative answer for himself...I can only speak from my perspective and guess as to what he is talking about. In my opinion he's calling out a handful of swimmers who take themselves so seriously that it's really not all that fun to be around.

Let's let him speak for himself, then.



Now back to my question: Does it seem like there are more and more people getting wound up in USMS like the obsessed training triathletes nuts these days?


Of course there many ex national finalists that are turned off by the intensity and success of lessor talents.

Many roll their eyes at the thought of taking USMS for anything more serious than health and fun.


Most would enjoy working out and racing for fun, but most don't feel it's "real" competition compared to their previous experience. Sometimes they are amused by what they see.


But in the end.... really..... should master's swimmers care about the difference between a LZR and a Jaked? They both do an effective job of holding in your flabby gut, and that is what old people really need.

The rubber suits are great for USMS.... they make an otherwise unappealing spectator sport more pallatable.

ourswimmer
July 5th, 2009, 05:13 PM
I just composed a post a lot like gull's, but then I previewed it and gull already said it. Paul, you have pretty much completely rewritten "Mr. Negative"'s original post. If "Mr. Negative" had intended to criticize only a "handful" of people unhealthy enough to state without joking that they care more about their races than about their kids, he could have said so.

Instead he made wide-sweeping statements insulting anyone who takes any aspect of masters swimming at all seriously, and reserving special insult for those who were not "elite" swimmers in their teens and twenties. So of course people who enjoy training and competing enough to frequent a swimming forum got "pissy and defensive." "Mr. Negative" said what he thought would get the biggest rise out of the most readers, which says more about Mr. Negative and his apt name than it does about any of the people who posted defensive responses.

gigi
July 5th, 2009, 05:16 PM
Elise's comment seems to come closest to what I've been thinking as I've been reading this thread. I don't think the behavior being described/decried/defended is particular to swimming. These are things people do in any walk of life

some people are incredibly competitive - about everything...how great their car is, how frighteningly brilliant and talented their children are, how fast they swim, how much vacation time they get

some people think they make themselves feel big when they make others around them small - that bully kid in 4th grade, the gloating victor in a swim race, the girl who puts her boyfriend down in front of her friends


some people like to argue

Some people think they're all that

some people are mean

Some people have priorities that aren't ours

Ack - I don't even know why I'm saying all this. I think I just don't get what the argument is...

FindingMyInnerFish
July 5th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Good avatar, Paul. I dare you to head out on your next bike ride similarly dressed.

I think 99.9% of folks on the forum would agree that the behavior you mention is over the edge. Screaming at the person? I might be able to understand quietly muttering it or thinking it to oneself in the stands as one is watching his/her record be threatened. I hope somehow the person you mention was messing with the other person in fun, but I get the feeling he/she wasn't. If he/she was serious, I would have to agree that a masters record, or any record for that matter, is not worth acting the way you describe.

From what I am gathering, there is not a problem with folks being hard-core about their training. It seems to be more about how people are manifesting their competitive nature.

There are loose screws in every sport (as there are in every profession, hobby, etc.). That's a pretty extreme degree of attraction to one's record, but hopefully, this was some private joke between the two swimmers that they alone understood (though given reports of parents ganging up and beating up umpires who make calls against their children, anything is possible).

Where does legitimate passion for a sport and competition spill over into something pathological? I think when there's lack of respect for one's competitor--or oneself. I can try my darnedest to beat the person coming up on me in a run or swim, but I respect that person's effort to keep me at bay as well. We're both battling not only each other but our own little voice that says "it's getting too hard... ease up!" Holding up against that is a shared enterprise.

In the latter example, where the "former great" is treated condescendingly by the newcomer, that seems like a case of envy or insecurity--the person crowing over beating someone who doesn't get the marks s/he once did seems not to respect him/herself anymore than s/he respects the former great. But is this so frequent as to deter people from returning to competition? Or is it that people who behave disrespectfully are more readily noticed/remembered?

gobears
July 5th, 2009, 05:49 PM
By golly, I don't think I ever criticized the esteemed Mr. Stevenson's accomplishments. He has reached lofty heights in competitive swimming.

I salute them.

Your yapping is tiresome.

Sit.

Good boy.

Nice.

The Fortress
July 5th, 2009, 05:52 PM
So of course people who enjoy training and competing enough to frequent a swimming forum got "pissy and defensive." "Mr. Negative" said what he thought would get the biggest rise out of the most readers, which says more about Mr. Negative and his apt name than it does about any of the people who posted defensive responses.

I don't think most posters replying to the obviously trolling thread were "pissy and defensive" about their training, though it is convenient and no doubt amusing for Mr. Negative and his cohort to spin it thusly. At bottom, I think most were objecting to Mr. Negative's attitude, which seems to be almost universally viewed as arrogant and demeaning. Perhaps rather than labeling us, he should engage in some self reflection.

And if he's really just talking about a few isolated whack jobs, then why make the statements Gull quoted so effectively? As far as hard work goes, well that's just SOP for many masters athletes in many sports. Nothing very controversial or exceptional about that.

Mr. Negative
July 5th, 2009, 06:41 PM
..... From what I am gathering, there is not a problem with folks being hard-core about their training. It seems to be more about how people are manifesting their competitive nature.

There does seem to be a certain amount of pressure from having been good in the past and coming back to compete for fun. I've seen people get in the face of former great athletes when they return to the competition arena for the first time in 10 years and after a race ask, "What happened to you? I beat you." Rather than encouraging the former greats to continue their comeback, some competitors take great delight in pointing out where the former greats went out too hard or messed up on their race. I can see why some former greats might ask themselves, "Is it worth coming back to race to put up with this crap? I just want to have fun and not have people getting in my face about my race."

There is a price to be paid for having been good in the past, but I hope that the former greats out there won't continue to let a few nuts keep them from enjoying the comraderie of masters swimming.


Another response nicely stated.... and not threatened.

Thank you for answering my initial questions.

Mr. Negative
July 5th, 2009, 07:01 PM
Let's let him speak for himself, then.

I think my initial questions and observations on opening this thread were clear. Many chose not to answer the question directly about the trend I noticed, and just chose to be offended.

It is my opinion that there are more and more masters swimmers dedicating a disproportionate amount of time in their life to winning at, talking about and training for masters nationals/worlds (or their favorite event) instead of attending the meets in order to see old friends, generally stay in shape, race and laugh at the finish. Do I care if they continue their hard earned goals? Of course not. Go for it. I just took note at the beginning of the thread that it seems like there are more and more of these totally driven/life dedicated personalities. A few of them have been at the top of USMS for years publicly trolling their talent and knowledge. Some started competitive swimming much later in life yet find equal life dedication.

Of course.... to each his own....... the thread was started as more of an observation and a few general questions that few have bothered to answer directly.

Mr. Negative
July 5th, 2009, 07:08 PM
I know one woman who faults Dara Torres for being so "self-absorbed" and making her whole life about her swimming. I don't relate. If I were that good, had the resources to train like she does and was able to raise my kid with help, I can't say I wouldn't choose the same thing. I don't understand being upset that someone else chooses to live this way. How is it hurting anyone else???

Perhaps we should leave Miss Torres out of this discussion. The thread apppears argumentative enough as it stands.

qbrain
July 5th, 2009, 07:33 PM
It is my opinion that there are more and more masters swimmers dedicating a disproportionate amount of time in their life to winning at, talking about and training for masters nationals/worlds (or their favorite event) instead of attending the meets in order to see old friends, generally stay in shape, race and laugh at the finish.

Oh, so you are upset that USMS is becoming more of a competitive organization, kinda like USAT, and less of a social organization.

That is not offensive at all. You should work on growing the social side of the organization, and I will work to grow the competitive side of the organization. In the end, we will have a larger organization with strong social and competitive aspects.

Smith by Marriage
July 5th, 2009, 07:57 PM
Hmmmmm. . . couple of observations. And I'm not even disagreeing with Laura or our thread poster in any way.

1. I may be the only one who did not grow up with Wally and the Beave, but based on the stunts that my brother and I pulled as kids, if my mother's worst reaction was denouncing us children in public and claiming that she loved her hobby over her kids, that would be considered a very good day for us!!!

2. I'm starting to think I will not live to see the day when we women stop being so critical of eachother (in every area but particularly when it comes to family, career and children.)

Don't worry, Creampuff. I'm FAR more critical of my husband than I am of any woman. And, I'm just stating my opinion: if you aren't going to put your family as your number one priority, don't start one in the first place.

Peter Cruise
July 5th, 2009, 08:14 PM
I really think that Mr. Negative should address the burning issue of foreign scholarship swimmers who take NCAA's far too seriously while neglecting the opportunity to soak up in the local culture in a place like, say, Auburn.

Paul Smith
July 5th, 2009, 08:15 PM
As far as hard work goes, well that's just SOP for many masters athletes in many sports. Nothing very controversial or exceptional about that.

I'm with you on that hard work Fort...trying to get into that plank postion and hold for more than :10!

The Fortress
July 5th, 2009, 08:19 PM
I'm with you on that hard work Fort...trying to get into that plank postion and hold for more than :10!

After all your yoga and cross fit efforts, I'd think you'd at least be up to :20 by now!

Is that a pink women's suit or your tutu you have on in that vanity photo?

tjrpatt
July 5th, 2009, 08:20 PM
I'm with you on that hard work Fort...trying to get into that plank postion and hold for more than :10!

I guess that you are trying to be Arizona's version of Jim Thornton with the pink concoction.

Paul Smith
July 5th, 2009, 08:25 PM
I guess that you are trying to be Arizona's version of Jim Thornton with the pink concoction.

And my own "eliteness"!

Fort, its the "modesty suit" that the two teenager girls who were timing in Portland sent me after..."the incedent".

Starting my "body shots" album on FB tomorrow and growing my fingernails out for my next meet starting today!

JimRude
July 5th, 2009, 09:08 PM
Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?

What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?

If you're comparing masters triathletes - who, like most masters swimmers - have jobs, families, lives, etc - probably there's little or no difference.



Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.
Word.



Isn't it just "masters swimming" for health and fun in the end?

Given the relatively small percentage of the membership that competes, probably yes for most. But I don't find that health and fun and hard training/competition are mutually exclusive.



Does a masters record really mean that much?

I suppose that depends on each individual's goals, background, etc. Many masters records are very fast, as you know, having set many yourself. While the times may not compare to what yesterday's or today's elites did/do, maybe it still means "something" to be the fastest 50-54 100m freestyler in the world - at least in the relatively small world of competitive swimming. One should be able to enjoy one's accomplishments, having (likely) worked hard for them. It would be nice if we all enjoyed them with a degree of humility - knowing that there will always eventually be someone faster - but that is probably wishful thinking. Inability to put things in perspective is not unique to triathlon or masters swimming.



Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.
I'm not sure who looks on with amusement; are there many former elites who won't swim masters because those who do swim take it too seriously?

If so, that would be too bad - it seems to me that masters meets are by and large all about healthy competition, and pre- and post-race fun and friendship. I would love to see more of my old teammates and competitors get back into it; I do my best to recruit them when I can...

My :2cents::

It is probably to be expected that the growth of masters swimming from its humble beginnings would have desirable and undesirable side-effects. You can hopefully name a few desirable ones along with the negatives.

I personally enjoy the fact that many former "elites" have found their way back to the sport in their 30s, 40s or 50s. Could it be that there is an even larger number NOT coming back precisely because of the "changed" atmosphere? Perhaps - but we'll never know, by definition. Isn't it good for swimming - and masters swimming - that Mr. Gaines swam in Ft. Lauderdale and Clovis?

Suppose you were a was a mid 43 100y freestyler in the early 1980s. You're now in your late 40s. You're thinking about swimming masters. But you see that the tech suits have enabled many "lesser" swimmers to achieve times that you think they could not have achieved with a regular suit, perhaps not even "back then". What should you do? I say, put on a B70 or other suit of choice and have a go. All you've got to lose is a few extra pounds, right? And if there are a few swimmers who beat you on occasion, and think that it means something, let them enjoy their moment of glory. After all, you had yours, too, all those years ago. :chug:

elise526
July 5th, 2009, 09:48 PM
After all your yoga and cross fit efforts, I'd think you'd at least be up to :20 by now!

Is that a pink women's suit or your tutu you have on in that vanity photo?

Fort, notice that he is posing like you in my suit! Look at my blog photo - it is the same suit! I guess he killed two birds with one stone so to speak.

That Guy
July 5th, 2009, 09:54 PM
I'm not sure who looks on with amusement; are there many former elites who won't swim masters because those who do swim take it too seriously?

I've been thinking about this "amusement" aspect. All swim meets are amusing in some way. 6 & unders crying before their races, college guys changing into their clothes on the pool deck no matter who's watching, Lezak drafting Bernard, Masters swimmers blowing out B70's... I'm glad that swim meets are amusing, and don't want them to change a bit.

Lump
July 5th, 2009, 10:16 PM
college guys changing into their clothes on the pool deck no matter who's watching.

I still do this at 38! :D (under a towel of course, the ole' "towel change")

ALM
July 5th, 2009, 10:30 PM
Is there some commandment from on high that demands one only take athletics seriously when they are under 25?

See this article:
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=li-gault050109&prov=yhoo&type=lgns



The man in blue was Willie Gault. A 48-year-old Willie Gault. The same Willie Gault who played 11 seasons in the NFL after getting drafted in the first round in 1983.

Decades later, Gault still has world-class speed. His 10.80 clocking at Mt. SAC a couple weeks ago not bad for his first 100 of the season was only seven tenths of a second slower than his personal best nearly 30 years ago.

The Fortress
July 5th, 2009, 10:34 PM
Fort, notice that he is posing like you in my suit! Look at my blog photo - it is the same suit! I guess he killed two birds with one stone so to speak.

So that's his split, huh? And here I thought it was some fancified yoga pose.

I think he has good legs. Plus, pink is clearly his color, and he should stick with it. Perhaps he could amuse us at meets by wearing that suit instead of his Pro or B70?

CreamPuff
July 5th, 2009, 10:35 PM
I've been thinking about this "amusement" aspect. All swim meets are amusing in some way. 6 & unders crying before their races, college guys changing into their clothes on the pool deck no matter who's watching, Lezak drafting Bernard, Masters swimmers blowing out B70's... I'm glad that swim meets are amusing, and don't want them to change a bit.

The pro football players who workout in the pool seem to change on the deck without any towel at all. I got a full frontal at Swim Atlanta the other day. I'm not complaining.

True dat on the amusement part. And what may have seemed catastrophic in the past (my first 200 fly in 14 years), is now something I do look back on in amusement.
Heck, my current 200 LCM fly could possibly be amusing to many. What the heck is so bad about being amused?

Now something that was amusing to me today - practicing SDK at the gym pool (20x25 SDK no breathers w/ fins), I ALWAYS get people asking me if I'm a scuba diver! Suddenly, I've got a bunch of people in surrounding lanes trying to do what I was doing. Was pretty fun actually. . .

elise526
July 5th, 2009, 11:00 PM
So that's his split, huh? And here I thought it was some fancified yoga pose.

I think he has good legs. Plus, pink is clearly his color, and he should stick with it. Perhaps he could amuse us at meets by wearing that suit instead of his Pro or B70?

It does appear to be a fancy yoga move instead of the splits, although it may be that it is as close as he can get on the splits. I have to admit when I first saw his avatar, I thought he was imitating you.

Yes, pink does look good on him. If he doesn't wear the suit, perhaps he could wear a pink cap and pink goggles. I have a pair of pink goggles he could borrow.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 6th, 2009, 02:01 AM
Apologies... I couldn't resist...

Shark repellent needed for pool use says swimmer

An Olympic medal winning swimmer whose name is being withheld by police pending notification of family and friends reported that immediately upon entering a pool during a local masters' workout, he was attacked and his back bitten as a woman on the deck screamed 'DIE, DIE, DIE!"

The woman claimed, however, that she'd just been trying to get the attention of a friend named "Di" who had just entered the pool area. "It was pretty noisy," the woman said. "I was sure she couldn't hear me."

But the swimmer was adamant about what he experienced. "I was terrified," he said. "I felt a bump as soon as I dove in, and suddenly there was a feeding frenzy. I'm lucky. I needed stitches, but I'll recover. Even so, I'll be taking this all the way to the Supreme Court for sheer mental anguish!"

Attorney M.R. Negative has promised to represent the swimmer. "These people are turning into a pack of triathletes. We have to take action or it won't be safe anymore to go back into the water!"

However, police reports indicated that what initially appeared to be a shark or a triathlete ("I saw fins, I swear I did!" said the swimmer) turned out to someone wearing a Jager suit. A rip in the suit fabric revealed that the attacker was human, although M.R. Negative contends, "just barely human. These people eat their young."

Onlookers, however, downplay the incident.

One observer who asked not to be identified said that the swimmer was laughing.

"He didn't need stitches. He was IN stitches," the observer said, citing the swimmer's apparent amusement at the situation. She also noted that the alleged attacker was in fact the victim.

"You'd go after someone who ripped your suit," she said. "It was self-defense! You don't know who's going to try to ban your swimsuit these days!"

tdrop
July 6th, 2009, 07:40 AM
I stand in unity with you, tdrop, fight the power!

Sorry, I had to vent.

Mr. Negative
July 6th, 2009, 10:51 AM
...... You should work on growing the social side of the organization, and I will work to grow the competitive side of the organization. In the end, we will have a larger organization with strong social and competitive aspects.

Perhaps a liquor license is in order for all the venues at masters nationals and masters worlds? "Beer goggles" might give a few participants clearer vision.

Tim L
July 6th, 2009, 11:37 AM
The level of obsession over gear/tech suits by swimmers is about one-one billionth of the obsession over gear by triathletes. I have enjoyed the angst over tech suits when I have read numerous articles in tri magazines over the weight of such items as water bottle cages, eye glasses, etc.

The most recent Triathlete magazine has a large article reviewing the newest electronic shifters, price is $5K.

I agree with you. I realize the level of obsession is totally different. Triathletes are more obsessive/compulsive, but I think tech suits have shown that masters swimmers share some of those qualities. Suit stacking, worrying about what is legal and what isn't, buying and testing multiple suits to get the optimal results, I find a bit "triathlete like". I don't think it necessarily is a bad thing, but just something that is different about swimming now versus 20 or 30 years ago.

I can't imagine that swimmers being more like triathletes is a bad thing for USMS, but I can see some former elite swimmers from the 70s/80s looking on and shaking their heads and maybe being put off a bit in regard to masters swimmers trying to find the edge (through tech suits or training) on their competition to get into the top ten or set records that are largely meaningless from their perspective. I wish I could share their perspective, but I am just part of the mediocre masses.

Tim

knelson
July 6th, 2009, 11:54 AM
Of course.... to each his own....... the thread was started as more of an observation and a few general questions that few have bothered to answer directly.

Oh, come on, Mr. Neg. You knew darn well this would be an incendiary topic!


A few of them have been at the top of USMS for years publicly trolling their talent and knowledge

I only know of one "fulltime" masters swimmers who is trying to earn a living by being a swimmer (as opposed to primarily a coach). Can you really begrudge someone the opportunity to try this? There are others like Rowdy who are doing something similar, but using a slightly different tack. The difference is Rowdy doesn't need to promote his masters swimming career--his fame was earned in the pool 25 years ago. Unlike Rowdy, if your career is dependent on being one of the greatest masters swimmers then it seems to me you really need to promote your accomplishments in the masters venue.

The Fortress
July 6th, 2009, 11:57 AM
I don't have any records and probably never will, but I don't understand why they are so meaningless. Are only records set in USA Swimming meaningful? Having a masters NR or WR seems pretty impressive to me. Are recent swims by Mike Ross or Rich Abrahams or SVDL or other masters studs really meaningless? Don't they reflect excellence at a given age? Or is age 40 or 50 just intrinsically less important than age 20 or 25? To me, my current life seems far more important than the past.

gull
July 6th, 2009, 01:35 PM
Perhaps a liquor license is in order for all the venues at masters nationals and masters worlds? "Beer goggles" might give a few participants clearer vision.

Great point. How can we possibly be having fun without beer?

Hey, here's an idea. Why don't you and your bemused former national finalist friends just hang out in your backyard with a few six packs instead of suffering through an unpalatable Masters swim meet with a bunch of flabby old swimmers?

qbrain
July 6th, 2009, 01:39 PM
Great point. How can we possibly be having fun without beer?


With wine?

Was that a trick question?

Lui
July 6th, 2009, 02:39 PM
I don't have any records and probably never will, but I don't understand why they are so meaningless. Are only records set in USA Swimming meaningful? Having a masters NR or WR seems pretty impressive to me. Are recent swims by Mike Ross or Rich Abrahams or SVDL or other masters studs really meaningless? Don't they reflect excellence at a given age? Or is age 40 or 50 just intrinsically less important than age 20 or 25? To me, my current life seems far more important than the past.

Dara Torres almost won Gold at the age of 41. In other words, she was second best of all athletes(no matter what age they were).
If you look at the masters WR of the age group over 70, it is still pretty amazing.
I find a person trying to achieve his best no matter how old he is remarkable.

This guy is 81: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnijyhWrgMU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rosstraining.com%2Fforum%2Fv iewtopic.php%3Ff%3D1%26t%3D45915&feature=player_embedded

Here is a 77 year old nun who does triathlons: YouTube - 'The Iron Nun'
Her advice for a long and healthy life is "Never give up and never slow down"

elise526
July 6th, 2009, 02:48 PM
I don't have any records and probably never will, but I don't understand why they are so meaningless. Are only records set in USA Swimming meaningful? Having a masters NR or WR seems pretty impressive to me. Are recent swims by Mike Ross or Rich Abrahams or SVDL or other masters studs really meaningless? Don't they reflect excellence at a given age? Or is age 40 or 50 just intrinsically less important than age 20 or 25? To me, my current life seems far more important than the past.

Is he meaning to say that masters records are not a big deal or is he saying that masters swimmers are making too big of a deal out of getting a record? The behavior I've seen described so far does not seem appropriate in getting any record - world, USA, age-group, etc. Perhaps, though, society tolerates or looks past nutty behavior in young people getting records, but expect adults to play it cool. Perhaps we expect young people to be over the top about getting records because this is their world. They have no job or children to worry about. Perhaps we are not tolerant of adults that are as over the top as the kids because we think they should have other things to be focused on. Is this right?

As the thread has developed and Mr. Negative has responded, it would seem to me that he is not devaluing USMS records, but instead does not understand the over the top behavior (in some individuals) that is going along with getting one.

lefty
July 6th, 2009, 03:39 PM
Is he meaning to say that masters records are not a big deal or is he saying that masters swimmers are making too big of a deal out of getting a record?

The only legitimate point that one could make along these lines is that hyper-competitive jerks hurt the sport because they drive people out of it. This is not the same thing as saying "you take it too seriously," but can be taken as such.

I can only think of one hyper-competitive swimmer in my area. And I suppose that her overall effect on the swimmng community is negative.

Tim L
July 6th, 2009, 03:41 PM
I don't have any records and probably never will, but I don't understand why they are so meaningless. Are only records set in USA Swimming meaningful? Having a masters NR or WR seems pretty impressive to me. Are recent swims by Mike Ross or Rich Abrahams or SVDL or other masters studs really meaningless? Don't they reflect excellence at a given age? Or is age 40 or 50 just intrinsically less important than age 20 or 25? To me, my current life seems far more important than the past.

I don't mean that what Mike Ross, Rich Abrahams, SVDL and many others accomplish is not important to them and many of us. I am personally in awe of their accomplishments as masters. I am not elite by any means as well, but I think in swimming what you do when you are at your peak is more important than when you are not (due to age, lack of fitness, etc.). I think Ande has a general rule that how fast you can go as a masters swimmer is largely defined by how fast you were at your peak. I am sure there are some exceptions, but not many. The only reason I have ever made a top ten in masters is because the many people that beat me in my youth don't participate in masters for whatever reason. Am I a better swimmer than them because I participate now? No, absolutely not. The participation in masters for health and fun is what is most important. Masters records and top tens are merely a side-show to keep some of us participating, motivated, and our egos stroked.

Tim

Mr. Negative
July 6th, 2009, 04:42 PM
Great point. How can we possibly be having fun without beer?

Hey, here's an idea. Why don't you and your bemused former national finalist friends just hang out in your backyard with a few six packs instead of suffering through an unpalatable Masters swim meet with a bunch of flabby old swimmers?

Hey, great idea. I'm so glad your not threatened by the discussion. Your responses have been so deep and thought out.

Say..... I'll go do that .... and you continue to fish for compliments from your kids parents, pretend you are fast and in shape and post lovely photos of your aging body.

pwb
July 6th, 2009, 04:43 PM
The only legitimate point that one could make along these lines is that hyper-competitive jerks hurt the sport because they drive people out of it.

Hyper-competitive is not a synonym for jerk. One can be the former without being the latter. I race against a lot of guys who I would consider hyper-competitive (I consider myself to be such in practically all aspects of my life ... just ask my daughter about our last backgammon game!), but none of them are jerks. A jerk will be a jerk whether they are competitive or not, fast or slow.


... but I think in swimming what you do when you are at your peak is more important than when you are not (due to age, lack of fitness, etc.)...

I think otherwise. I'm far more impressed that my 63 year old father is still in the pool now still cranking out times and competing at the elite of his age group than I am with the fact that he once swam at USC in his late teens/early 20s. For those of us who were serious/hard core swimmers in our youth, we mostly were able to dedicate ourselves to our sport with little other distraction than school. Competing at an elite level in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s ... 90s requires balancing sooo much more that, to me, it's a more impressive feat.

gull
July 6th, 2009, 05:12 PM
Say..... I'll go do that .... and you continue to fish for compliments from your kids parents, pretend you are fast and in shape and post lovely photos of your aging body.

Well, I can say than I am in better shape now than I was in my 40s, thanks to Masters swimming. Fast is a relative thing. I assume this is the point in the thread where you tell me how much faster your times are (or were) in comparison to mine, thus disqualifying me from any further discussion. And thank you, I was pleased with that photo. Body surfing at Big Sur--it just doesn't get any better than that.

Mr. Negative
July 6th, 2009, 05:38 PM
Well, I can say than I am in better shape now than I was in my 40s, thanks to Masters swimming. Fast is a relative thing. I assume this is the point in the thread where you tell me how much faster your times are (or were) in comparison to mine, thus disqualifying me from any further discussion. And thank you, I was pleased with that photo. Body surfing at Big Sur--it just doesn't get any better than that.


Your response is EXACTLY the right response ! It's a great response !

You do it because of health,..... you're not trying to be a "Dara Torres" and you're having fun. That is what I thought Masters swimming was about.

Big Sur is phenomenal.

Lui
July 6th, 2009, 05:55 PM
Your response is EXACTLY the right response ! It's a great response !

You do it because of health,..... you're not trying to be a "Dara Torres" and you're having fun. That is what I thought Masters swimming was about.



What I don't understand is what a person does who has the ambition of Dara Torres but is to old to compete in the Olympics. Olympic athletes have the ambition to be the best. Obviously the least people who are 40+ can compete with people who are in their Twenties. Torres is an exception.
Where do elite athletes compete who are too old for Olympics but still want to be first of their age group?

I understand that some people who are 40+ just do sports to have fun and lose some weight but others might still have the ambition to be the best of their age group.
If you question why a 55 year old guy wants to be number 1 of his age group in swimming, you might as well question why someone wants to climb Mt. Everest and almost kills himself for a load of money or why The Rolling Stones still go on tour.

dwlovell
July 6th, 2009, 06:01 PM
I am late to this thread, and haven't read all the replies, but here is my response to the OP.


Why does it appear many masters swimmers are taking USMS so seriously?

What's the difference between the typical "selfish train all day", "it's all about me" triathlete and a masters swimmer who seriously trains as hard as they can.... particularly to focus on setting masters records?

Seems like there is a growing parallel between triathletes and many masters swimmers these days.


I think Master's swimming should be whatever you want it to be. Most of the masters teams I have heard of didn't really have a "team" that visited meets together as a group like in high school or college. As a result, if you wanted to compete, it really was "all about me" most of the time when training.

Why would there even been a USMS organization, swim meets or records if the overall goal wasn't to compete and be a serious swimmer? I think its awesome that there is room for casual swimmers who just want to exercise in the water to be healthy, but I think losing the competitive focus would be to lose something special about swimming. For some, the excitement of competition is the motivation to keep exercising that sets swimming apart from just visiting the gym or running on the treadmill.


Isn't it just "masters swimming" for health and fun in the end?


Competition for some *IS* the health and fun. I don't think Master's was envisioned as just workout in the water, its a logical place for swimmers who want to compete in their age group when they get out of college and into the real world. The laid back nature of it is just a symptom of adults having real world pressures and the sport isn't the only thing in our lives anymore.


Does a masters record really mean that much?

Is this a good thing? ..... or a turn off for those who look on with amusement.

Are you amused when Michael Phelps wants to win more gold medals than anyone else? Does this desire somehow become less meaningful when you get older? I think there is no greater goal in life than to better one's self and progress forward. Why would that pursuit be funny to you?

If your goal is to just swim and have fun, why does it matter to you what motivates someone else to swim? Why would their passion affect you in any way such that it is a "turnoff"? Are there a lot of elitist competitive swimmers at your pool?

pwb
July 6th, 2009, 06:05 PM
You do it because of health..... you're not trying to be a "Dara Torres" and you're having fun. That is what I thought Masters swimming was about.

Setting a BHAG at any age and then training for it can be incredibly healthy and fun ... competition is FUN, winning is FUN, beating a goal time is FUN and all of this contributes to great health. I see nothing wrong with people wanting to achieve their own personal vision/version of what Dara's done. Sounds like fun to me.

aquageek
July 6th, 2009, 06:05 PM
You do it because of health,..... you're not trying to be a "Dara Torres" and you're having fun. That is what I thought Masters swimming was about.

Fortunately you don't get to tell us what Masters swimming is about. Health is simply a by-product of competition.

Tim L
July 6th, 2009, 06:19 PM
I think otherwise. I'm far more impressed that my 63 year old father is still in the pool now still cranking out times and competing at the elite of his age group than I am with the fact that he once swam at USC in his late teens/early 20s. For those of us who were serious/hard core swimmers in our youth, we mostly were able to dedicate ourselves to our sport with little other distraction than school. Competing at an elite level in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s ... 90s requires balancing sooo much more that, to me, it's a more impressive feat.

It is impressive, I agree, but the times/results that such person is able to achieve are dictated largely by the work that was put in as a youth and who is or is not still swimming. I am impressed they can multi-task and that they continue to pursue fitness. However, I would always be more impressed by what someone does at their peak against a full field of swimmers at their peak, than masters records/results.

Tim

swim53
July 6th, 2009, 07:44 PM
well...I tune in but rarely speak. Ya never know what post will get a group going...

People ask me often, "Why do you still swim?" As a new master swimmer in 1986, I was relatively by myself (training-wise, i still am) but still felt that competitive urge that I had as a youngster. I went to a meet and met some great people. I thought, "This is FUN!"
I would take my children to meets (hubby is a track and cc coach)....they thought it was pretty neat that "mom" raced.
As I got older, I began to have...well, not bad health at all, but bad "numbers" (blood pressure, cholesterol----family HISTORY big time):afraid: so I was happy that I was already totally into Masters and decided that I might as well swim for my lifetime.
I make it into the Top Ten quite often. I am not a record-breaker but it certainly keeps me motivated to have my eye on that good ol' Top Ten.

So...I am proof that PEOPLE HAVE VARIOUS REASONS to take usms seriously or semi-seriously but we can still HAVE FUN AT IT! Even my now deceased father-in-law questioned my "seriousness" and my "strung in a row meets"...but Masters is part of me now. I don't think it ever will die in me.

Ken Classen
July 6th, 2009, 08:35 PM
You do it because of health,..... you're not trying to be a "Dara Torres" and you're having fun. That is what I thought Masters swimming was about.

The statement implies that Dara is not doing it for fun or health, granted the women is ambitious and was blessed with some fine DNA but how do we know that health and fun is not part of her motivations? I'm mostly a type B person and can very much drift into the swim for fitness mode no competing, however in my observations of ambitious type A's types, they would not be having fun if they did not have a goal to pursue. Who are we to say what should make a person happy or not, especially if there pursuits do not impinge happiness of others around them.

The Fortress
July 6th, 2009, 08:37 PM
You do it because of health,..... you're not trying to be a "Dara Torres" and you're having fun. That is what I thought Masters swimming was about.

I do not swim for health. I was perfectly healthy before I became a masters swimmer. I do not swim for vanity photos. Swimming makes me fat. I don't swim so I can drink beer; I've always done that and will continue to do so regardless of the existence of masters swimming. And I don't understand your narrow minded persistence in repeatedly telling us how to define masters swimming. It is whatever someone wants it to be.

And, frankly, from what I've heard, you yourself are quite obsessive about your own training and swimming.

lefty
July 6th, 2009, 09:13 PM
Hyper-competitive is not a synonym for jerk. One can be the former without being the latter. I race against a lot of guys who I would consider hyper-competitive (I consider myself to be such in practically all aspects of my life ... just ask my daughter about our last backgammon game!), but none of them are jerks. A jerk will be a jerk whether they are competitive or not, fast or slow.

By hyper-competitve I mean someone who exudes behaviors that extend beyond someone that is competitive. Like cheating, taking it too personally, or just exhibiting some general anti-social behavior in the context of competition.

CreamPuff
July 6th, 2009, 09:23 PM
By hyper-competitve I mean someone who exudes behaviors that extend beyond someone that is competitive. Like cheating, taking it too personally, or just exhibiting some general anti-social behavior in the context of competition.

That's helpful. Could you give some specifics behaviors re: cheating; taking something too personally; anti-social behavior - in the context of swimming/ competing.

stillwater
July 6th, 2009, 09:54 PM
I swim for health. Ribbons don't carry the same weight now as they did when I was nine.

Chase your dream. Masters has a pool for you.

gull
July 6th, 2009, 10:03 PM
Your response is EXACTLY the right response ! It's a great response !

You do it because of health,..... you're not trying to be a "Dara Torres" and you're having fun. That is what I thought Masters swimming was about.

Big Sur is phenomenal.

I agree. Big Sur is phenomenal.

I don't swim Masters simply because of health--it is more complicated than that. And I can't say it is always fun, either. Call it an obsession. Or a sense of unfinished business. A way to fight the aging process. Or a sign of vanity. But at the end of the day, I really enjoy the journey: training with my teammates, setting goals, talking with other Masters swimmers. And I'd like to think that I am a better, more complete person because of it.

Mr. Negative
July 6th, 2009, 11:01 PM
I do not swim for health. I was perfectly healthy before I became a masters swimmer. I do not swim for vanity photos. Swimming makes me fat. I don't swim so I can drink beer; I've always done that and will continue to do so regardless of the existence of masters swimming. And I don't understand your narrow minded persistence in repeatedly telling us how to define masters swimming. It is whatever someone wants it to be.

And, frankly, from what I've heard, you yourself are quite obsessive about your own training and swimming.


I love you too.

The Fortress
July 6th, 2009, 11:05 PM
I love you too.

It's a real mutual admiration society.

Herb
July 6th, 2009, 11:24 PM
[quote=gobears;185305]I'm sometimes envious of those who don't have their faster and younger swimmer selves to compare themselves with now. It would be exciting to be doing best times ever in your best events.

quote]

Hey, I never thought of that.

I quit swimming at age 12. I can't remember my exact times but I think I am in the ballpark now in my first year back. I think I can blow those times away within the next few years and won't hit my peak until at least later in my 40s. So I've got that going for me. You former "elite" high school and college swimmers better look out because I am going to be smoking your lazy butts in a few years.

In all seriousness though, I mostly compete against myself, but I have been having a riot. "Gotta break a minute in the 100" "can't wait for my first open water race, I think I can do a 5k". I have become obsessed with swimming and Masters has already turned around my life - although I'm still doing just 3 times a week and pounding beers.

But what I wonder is why more slower swimmers don't compete? I admit the satisfaction of my personal accomplishments are slightly tapered by the fact that my times suck so bad compared to others. I mean if I can break a minute in a 100 free I think that's pretty damn good, but that is not even in the top half of men in their 40s.

I think the thought of getting on the starting blocks for the first time in a meet is really intimidating. Yet, I've found Masters swimmers nothing but friendly regardless of level. It got so boring trying to swim once or twice a week without a purpose, run on the treadmill etc.. that I can't do it any more without constant goals. I figured if I posted some times it would motivate me to improve. I'm so glad I finally did it. I must have been this high for all those years in my youth and not even known it.

Ripple
July 7th, 2009, 12:34 AM
It is impressive, I agree, but the times/results that such person is able to achieve are dictated largely by the work that was put in as a youth and who is or is not still swimming...
What about people who never had the opportunity to swim competitively when they were young? Not every masters swimmer has that background, some of us could barely swim when we were in our teens.

humanpunchingbag
July 7th, 2009, 12:46 AM
I do not swim for vanity photos. Swimming makes me fat.


Swimming makes you fat? I assume the picture accompanying your posts is you. You consider yourself fat? You might want to either check your optical prescription or your mirror for faults.

I started swimming masters merely because my daughter was training at a God-awful time of day and I had to make the choice of swimming while she swam or fall asleep in public and slobber all over myself. I chose the former. My daughter has since moved onto boys and my OCD nature took over: I added another 8 hours of week of swim training to an already full platter. Who needs sleep? We can all sleep just fine when we are dead. I was slim when I started swimming again; now I am just plain thin. How does swimming make you fat? It burns calories (not as efficiently as running though) and it starts or finishes your day perfectly.

My answer to people when they ask me what I am training for: So I don't die young. I compete, but mostly against myself. I would like to improve all my times every time I swim. If I happen to beat a few people doing it I am unlikely to notice. I just don't care about how I measure up against other old has-beens. I do care how I measure up against my own goals and standards. Is that competitive?

Of course I did not care all that much about being a champion when I actually had a shot at being a champion in my youth; why should any of us care now when we are less than foot-notes in swimming history?

jim thornton
July 7th, 2009, 01:39 AM
Humans are a very social and hierarchical species. We may say that we do not crave status, but the overwhelming majority of us spend our lives trying to increase our status and climb the next rung on the ladder of success.

We measure our success against our peers in many domains--keeping up with the Jones's at home in the suburbs, jockeying about for that coveted promotion at work, trying to beat our comrades in sports, etc. Some have argued that men are more competitive than women, but I am not sure this is the case. There may be some differences in the domains in which we compete, but that is beyond the scope of this comment.

Not everybody can be the winner, and nobody wants to be a loser. The only people who want to be losers are those who have embraced Nietzsche's resentiment philosophy--if you want something but can't obtain it for yourself, you downgrade its value and adopt its opposite as truly noble aspiration. The early Jews wanted the power of the Romans but weren't able to get it, so they devalued power and made "blessed are the meek" and "turn the other cheek" into new virtues.

Mr. Negative, by even the choice of your name, your seem to be riddled with resentiment. I will hand it to you, Mr. N: you are a very amusing fellow with your snide quips worthy of Oscar Wilde in full male bitch mode! (CreamPuff, by the way, do you know what f'n beech means in Italian? It is not what you think. This was no insult but rather the world record holder's highest compliment. The "f'in" just means fin--Italians! how they love to add meaningless syllables!--as in the oars of fish; "beech" refers to what whales sometimes do after long disorienting swims of the sort your practice appears to have been. He was simply admiring your superbly designed swimmer's limbs (your "f'ins") and implying that he wanted you to beech with him (sit in pool chairs for a while) after practice.

Back to Mr. N.

As suggested elsewhere in these forums, I am not a psychoanalyst, but I do believe I could be a beloved fake psychoanalyst in parts of Appalachia where they still believe in things like penis envy. Permit me to do a brief, and I daresay frighteningly accurate, psychiatric vivisection of you that I think will help you better understand yourself and help you become a better person, maybe--given enough years--even a decent person.



You are relatively young
You either were, or wished you were, a very good sub-elite swimmer in your youth, and you swam up to college
You derived a certain amount of status from this; it is quite possible that the gender of your choice actually admired your swimming, and you occasionally found your head spinning from the dizzy flattery of the girls or, possibly, boys
alas, some times has passed since your swimming glory years; some time has gathered on your swimming times, too; suffice it to say, you have decided you can't go home again--that the glory you once got (or hoped you might get) from that particular well is gone
You see people, Lilliputian people in your somewhat jaded eyes, who continue--even into their dotage! revolting! stuff their fat in rubber suits post haste!--scrambling to swim competitive times in their age groups, and--here comes the part you cannot in any way abide!--take some pleasure in their accomplishments
It matters naught to you that most of us have numerous hierarchical domains in our lives--we are doing the best we can at our jobs (if we stil have jobs), we are doing our best in our families, we are doing our best to raise our kids to be decent and trying not to compare them to the super wunderkinds all around, we are, in short, trying to achieve some sense of status in our lives, not perhaps because we want to, not because we are vain, but because we are human beings, and human beings are designed this way! As swine seek truffles so are we driven creatures who root and snort and dig for status relentlessly!
It matters naught to you that arguably the most pathetic of all humans are those of us who have few domains at all where there is even a chance to get fingernail up and out of the total absorbing mediocrity that is the fate of most people to endure. If swimming lets one such person say to themselves--in this one thing, I am slightly above average!--what is to you to deny them this pleasure, to point out the pathos of their happiness? There was one fellow who used to post here constantly, whose name is now simply refered to as "he who must not be mentioned", who perhaps fit your profile of self-absorbed swimming malefactor perfectly: an absolutely-obsessed-by-swimming kind of fellow who, with the exception of some of his more ludicrous claims to swimming glory based upon the age at which he took up the sport, appeared to have NOTHING AT ALL in his life. Such a fellow--a triathlete's triathlete by your description, albeit one who didn't run or bike, only swam, slowly, while desperately holding on to his illusions--is easy to lampoon, and in fact, the fellow was eventually hounded out of this forum.
I say to you, Mr. Negative: see if you can rally support for the old recreation of taking your family to see the local insane asylum on weekends. You appear to take great delight in exposing human frailities and obsessions and vanities! How much fun it would be to see the most extreme examples of such: strutting King Ferdinands twitching from decades of Thorazine, their pomposity all the more risible because to them it seems almost a form of dignity!
Ah, a bad end I spy for you, Mr. Negative! I know your kind! I am, you see, cut from the same cloth, one designed, evidently, not to slash but rather to maximize drag forces during life's bitter passage!

chaos
July 7th, 2009, 06:20 AM
this is exactly what i was thinking


Humans are a very social and hierarchical species. We may say that we do not crave status, but the overwhelming majority of us spend our lives trying to increase our status and climb the next rung on the ladder of success.

We measure our success against our peers in many domains--keeping up with the Jones's at home in the suburbs, jockeying about for that coveted promotion at work, trying to beat our comrades in sports, etc. Some have argued that men are more competitive than women, but I am not sure this is the case. There may be some differences in the domains in which we compete, but that is beyond the scope of this comment.

Not everybody can be the winner, and nobody wants to be a loser. The only people who want to be losers are those who have embraced Nietzsche's resentiment philosophy--if you want something but can't obtain it for yourself, you downgrade its value and adopt its opposite as truly noble aspiration. The early Jews wanted the power of the Romans but weren't able to get it, so they devalued power and made "blessed are the meek" and "turn the other cheek" into new virtues.

Mr. Negative, by even the choice of your name, your seem to be riddled with resentiment. I will hand it to you, Mr. N: you are a very amusing fellow with your snide quips worthy of Oscar Wilde in full male bitch mode! (CreamPuff, by the way, do you know what f'n beech means in Italian? It is not what you think. This was no insult but rather the world record holder's highest compliment. The "f'in" just means fin--Italians! how they love to add meaningless syllables!--as in the oars of fish; "beech" refers to what whales sometimes do after long disorienting swims of the sort your practice appears to have been. He was simply admiring your superbly designed swimmer's limbs (your "f'ins") and implying that he wanted you to beech with him (sit in pool chairs for a while) after practice.

Back to Mr. N.

As suggested elsewhere in these forums, I am not a psychoanalyst, but I do believe I could be a beloved fake psychoanalyst in parts of Appalachia where they still believe in things like penis envy. Permit me to do a brief, and I daresay frighteningly accurate, psychiatric vivisection of you that I think will help you better understand yourself and help you become a better person, maybe--given enough years--even a decent person.



You are relatively young
You either were, or wished you were, a very good sub-elite swimmer in your youth, and you swam up to college
You derived a certain amount of status from this; it is quite possible that the gender of your choice actually admired your swimming, and you occasionally found your head spinning from the dizzy flattery of the girls or, possibly, boys
alas, some times has passed since your swimming glory years; some time has gathered on your swimming times, too; suffice it to say, you have decided you can't go home again--that the glory you once got (or hoped you might get) from that particular well is gone
You see people, Lilliputian people in your somewhat jaded eyes, who continue--even into their dotage! revolting! stuff their fat in rubber suits post haste!--scrambling to swim competitive times in their age groups, and--here comes the part you cannot in any way abide!--take some pleasure in their accomplishments
It matters naught to you that most of us have numerous hierarchical domains in our lives--we are doing the best we can at our jobs (if we stil have jobs), we are doing our best in our families, we are doing our best to raise our kids to be decent and trying not to compare them to the super wunderkinds all around, we are, in short, trying to achieve some sense of status in our lives, not perhaps because we want to, not because we are vain, but because we are human beings, and human beings are designed this way! As swine seek truffles so are we driven creatures who root and snort and dig for status relentlessly!
It matters naught to you that arguably the most pathetic of all humans are those of us who have few domains at all where there is even a chance to get fingernail up and out of the total absorbing mediocrity that is the fate of most people to endure. If swimming lets one such person say to themselves--in this one thing, I am slightly above average!--what is to you to deny them this pleasure, to point out the pathos of their happiness? There was one fellow who used to post here constantly, whose name is now simply refered to as "he who must not be mentioned", who perhaps fit your profile of self-absorbed swimming malefactor perfectly: an absolutely-obsessed-by-swimming kind of fellow who, with the exception of some of his more ludicrous claims to swimming glory based upon the age at which he took up the sport, appeared to have NOTHING AT ALL in his life. Such a fellow--a triathlete's triathlete by your description, albeit one who didn't run or bike, only swam, slowly, while desperately holding on to his illusions--is easy to lampoon, and in fact, the fellow was eventually hounded out of this forum.
I say to you, Mr. Negative: see if you can rally support for the old recreation of taking your family to see the local insane asylum on weekends. You appear to take great delight in exposing human frailities and obsessions and vanities! How much fun it would be to see the most extreme examples of such: strutting King Ferdinands twitching from decades of Thorazine, their pomposity all the more risible because to them it seems almost a form of dignity!
Ah, a bad end I spy for you, Mr. Negative! I know your kind! I am, you see, cut from the same cloth, one designed, evidently, not to slash but rather to maximize drag forces during life's bitter passage!

Leonard Jansen
July 7th, 2009, 08:00 AM
Swimming makes me fat.

I strive to be non-argumentative in my posts, but I have to call BS on this one.

-LBJ

splash
July 7th, 2009, 09:46 AM
I strive to be non-argumentative in my posts, but I have to call BS on this one.

-LBJ

"Swimming makes people fat"?
I would rephrase this to
"Eating too much makes people fat"

Here is more about fitness vs. weight from other, admittedly not quite parallel universe:
http://www.worldclassbodybuilding.com/forums/general-chat/35884-fast-or-fiction.html

"*Fiction--Fat turns into muscle
*Fact-----Fat is burned off in muscle, it does not turn into it

*Fiction--Muscle turns into fat
*Fact-----Muscle grows and shrinks, it does not turn into anything

*Fiction--Weight training develops muscle
*Fact-----Weight training tears muscle, diet develops it

*Fiction--a person should first lose there weight and then work out
*Fact-----a person who diets without working out will lose muscle and fat

*Fiction--Carbohydrates make people fat
*Fact-----Eating too much makes people fat, carbohydrates feed your brain and
fuel the body.

*Fiction--Fat makes people fat
*Fact-----Eating too much makes people fat, fats supply needed vitamins and
fuel the body

*Fiction---Proteins destroy your liver
*Fact-----When is the last time you heard of somebody dying form protein (now
cigarettes?)

*Fiction---High reps are better for muscle
*Fact-----Whose legs are more muscular a long distance runner or a sprinter?

*Fiction--The Stairmaster will enlarge your butt
*Fact-----The butt is a muscle, training does not enlarge muscle it tears it,
eating enlarges your butt

*Fiction--Training your abs makes your stomach smaller
*Fact-----Training your abs tears tissues, dieting makes your stomach smaller

*Fiction--You should train your abs daily
*Fact-----Train your abs once a week just like every other body part,

*Fiction--You can spot reduce weight by training a particular body part
*Fact-----Training tears tissue diet reduces weight, you can not spot reduce
weight

*Fiction--Walking like a duck in the gym is good way to train
*Fact----Walking like a duck makes others who know what they are doing laugh

*Fiction--Rolling around on a ball in the gym is good training
*Fact----Another very funny thing to watch

*Fiction--half hour workouts are the way to go
*Fact----while it is better then nothing, it won't do much (easy way for trainers
to make quick money)

*Fiction--In shape people write diet books
*Fact----Well there may be some, I have not seen one lately

*Fiction--I should listen to an out of shape person on how to get in shape
*Fact-----You will look like them when you are done

*Fiction--Most people want the right information on getting in shape
*Fact-----Most people want to hear how fast they can do it.

*Fiction--Most of the field of fitness is honest
*Fact-----One of the biggest rip offs in the world "

Mr. Negative
July 7th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Mr. Thorton,

Stick to palm reading and astrology. It's more accurate.

qbrain
July 7th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Mr. Thorton,

Stick to palm reading and astrology. It's more accurate.

Nothing you have written in this thread calls into doubt Mr. Thornton's observations.

The Fortress
July 7th, 2009, 10:29 AM
I strive to be non-argumentative in my posts, but I have to call BS on this one.

-LBJ

Hahaha. Since switching from running to swimming and starting lifting, I've gained weight and had to buy a new wardrobe. I'm just flat out slimmer as a runner, that's all. But I was really just exaggerating to dispute Mr. Negative's swim for health edict. Perhaps I should have switched to being a triathlete and I would have fit right in!

Thanks, Splash, but I don't eat too much and I know that stuff.

Paul Smith
July 7th, 2009, 11:21 AM
The statement implies that Dara is not doing it for fun or health, granted the women is ambitious and was blessed with some fine DNA but how do we know that health and fun is not part of her motivations?

I would assume someone who dated her would have a pretty good idea...

jim thornton
July 7th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Mr. Thorton,

Stick to palm reading and astrology. It's more accurate.


Sorry Mr. Lord. Perhaps I let your various articles in different venues influence my opinion of you. Is it okay for me to call you Craig?

JMiller
July 7th, 2009, 12:24 PM
Sorry Mr. Lord. Perhaps I let your various articles in different venues influence my opinion of you. Is it okay for me to call you Craig?

Really??

jim thornton
July 7th, 2009, 12:55 PM
Really??

No. It's probably John C. Smith, rumored to be recovering from both shoulder surgery and the late life adoption of a Longhorn steer tattoo.

I am only speculating here, but it's possible that when Mr. Smith discovered that the tattoo artist had, in fact, permanently inked a gelded steer--as opposed to a potent bull--upon his aging body, something snapped within his brain. The resulting patholological sequellae appear to include, but may not be not limited to, the triggering of peevishness and a lashing out against all of us Lilliputians with weak but still healthy shoulders, and skin unmottled by horned creatures destined for the abattoir and dinner plate.

I would further speculate that there is a quality of ******** to much of this thread. However, as I just speculated above, bull is perhaps too strong a term.

In any event, best of luck to you, Mr. Negative--and I mean this sincerely. I hope your shoulder heals up quickly, and that with time and the encroachment of the fat that you seem to think overtakes all us masters eventually, that the graven image of that sad gelded cow will disappear forever within wrinkled folds of your crepey flesh!

lefty
July 7th, 2009, 01:33 PM
Mr. Thorton,

Stick to palm reading and astrology. It's more accurate.


you got completely pwned and that is what you have to say???

http://healyourchurchwebsite.com/images/hycw_pwned.jpg

http://symonsez.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/nolanfight1.jpg
(in case you don't know, you are #23 in this picture)

http://pwnedvideo.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/pwned.jpg
(in this one you are rich or jennifer)

JMiller
July 7th, 2009, 01:36 PM
I would further speculate that there is a quality of ******** to much of this thread. However, as I just speculated above, bull is perhaps too strong a term.

Once again, your twisted mind makes me laugh!!

scyfreestyler
July 7th, 2009, 01:42 PM
I am thinking there are more appropriate nouns that could be used in place of triathletes in this thread title.

elise526
July 7th, 2009, 03:17 PM
Hahaha. Since switching from running to swimming and starting lifting, I've gained weight and had to buy a new wardrobe. I'm just flat out slimmer as a runner, that's all. But I was really just exaggerating to dispute Mr. Negative's swim for health edict. Perhaps I should have switched to being a triathlete and I would have fit right in!

Thanks, Splash, but I don't eat too much and I know that stuff.

Speaking of flat, that's what I was when I used to run a lot. How many female distance runners are proud to admit their bra size? Male distance runners are a little on the thin side for my taste. I like the Adonis build you see in male swimmers.

swimcat
July 7th, 2009, 03:20 PM
:agree:

The Fortress
July 7th, 2009, 03:46 PM
Speaking of flat, that's what I was when I used to run a lot. How many female distance runners are proud to admit their bra size? Male distance runners are a little on the thin side for my taste. I like the Adonis build you see in male swimmers.

lol

I must admit I like the male swimmer look best as well. But are you speaking of a fat flabby masters swimmer like Mr. Negative or the compulsive adonis who body surfs at Big Sur?

I can't brag about my bra size as a swimmer either. But then I'm not really losing any sleep over it. Plus, unlike the B70 kayaks we stuff our corpulent bodies into, those flotation devices are not of much use in the pool!

bud
July 7th, 2009, 05:37 PM
... Not everybody can be the winner, and nobody wants to be a loser....
I'm sort of lost now as to the point of this thread... but I'm easily confused so that is not really saying much.
:confused:
For pure entertainment value however, this has been good... so here is my 2-cents.
;)
I like too how this thread has brought out comments from long standing members with few posts (no multi post per day stats needed by them, no siree). As mentioned already... it is always interesting to see which seemingly mundane posts get the most attention.
:cool:
That "jim thornton" is a clever fellow... thanks for all the laughs!... entertainment, and thought provoking posts. I'm sure you've posted some comments simply about swimming, but I've been lapse in keeping up here recently so I cant think of any right off the bat.
:blush:
While I'm singling people out I'd like to say that even that "aquageek" guy is beginning to grow on me... in a good way (please! save your rants here, there seem to be enough already!). I'd like to eat a bit of humble pie and offer up an apology to him for basically calling him a f****** a****** so many moons back. That "gull" fellow caught your back (and he seems like a really 'stand-up' kinda guy)... and I've since reevaluated the harshness of my judgment, and am now attempting to set straight the crooked errors of my past ways. Some may call me a "9th Stepper"... so-be-it.
:whiteflag:

What other images has this thread conjured up for me?

How about seemingly "fat chicks" who can probably toast 90% of the general population (regardless of gender) with their athletic prowess. The slim look is good, but gimmie a woman with a bit of meat on her bones any day. ;) I'd much rather a gal who looks like she could wrastle me down... at least for a bit. (Too long and I'd be afraid.)
:afraid:
I'm no small fry either, at 6'2", 195#... I'm just feeling a bit off my game right now.
:(

One very vivid recollection is a quote I heard repeated by Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_Talk)... I can still hear them cackling after its utterance:


"Only the mediocre are always at their best." - Jean Giraudoux


As for being #1... oh, that is much too easy:

YouTube - LAURIE ANDERSON - ZERO AND ONE
(be patient... mebbe grab one of those hard earned beers first)


"I'm no mathematician, but I'd like to talk about just a couple of numbers that have really been bothering me lately... and they are: Zero, and One.

Now first, let's take a look at 'Zero'... Now nobody wants to be a Zero... to be a zero means to be a nothing, a nobody, a 'has been', a clod....

On the other hand, almost everybody wants to be 'Number One'! To be number one means to be a winner, top of the heap, the Acme. And there seems to be a strange kind of National obsession with this particular number.

Now in my opinion the problem with these two numbers is that they are just too close... leaves very little room in there for 'everybody else'. Just not enough range.

So first, we need to get rid of the value judgments attached to these two numbers and realize that to be 'a zero' is no better, no worse, than to be 'number one'. Because...."

If you are not already familiar with the work of Laurie Anderson, but this got your interest, then I suggest the video this was taken from (currently hard to find), and the companion CD (much easier to find):
Home of the Brave (1986)
If you like that, then I suggest also the following... more or less in this order:
Big Science (1982)
Strange Angels (1989)
The Ugly One with the Jewels (spoken word) (1995)
Mister Heartbreak (1984)
Bright Red (1994)

What's all this got to do with "Masters Swimmers Acting Like Triathletes"? ... darned if I know.
:dunno:

One last thought...
I've heard it said that there are two kinds of people in the world - those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't.

my :2cents: ha-ha

White Buffalo
July 7th, 2009, 06:05 PM
Mr. Thornton:
I suggest you make "I" statements rather than gross over generalizations such as "we" and "us". I believe your wanting to justify your existence through personal attacks and self rationalization of mediocrity embarassing and transparent. Please do the majority of "competitive" swimmers, former or master's current, a favor and go away. You are a hypocrite in your self- indulgence around the mediocre, the opposite of those self indulgent around their ID, wanna-bee masters swimmers attempting to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians who "get it".
WB

That Guy
July 7th, 2009, 06:18 PM
You are a hypocrite in your self- indulgence around the mediocre, the opposite of those self indulgent around their ID, wanna-bee masters swimmers attempting to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians who "get it".
WB

What's a wannabe Masters swimmer? Someone who strives to fill out the membership form, but just can't quite get it together? :rofl:

Mr. Negative
July 7th, 2009, 07:28 PM
....wanna-bee masters swimmers attempting to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians who "get it".
WB


..... and to think there is someone out there even more abrasive.

lefty
July 7th, 2009, 08:08 PM
Mr. Thornton:
I suggest you make "I" statements rather than gross over generalizations such as "we" and "us". I believe your wanting to justify your existence through personal attacks and self rationalization of mediocrity embarassing and transparent. Please do the majority of "competitive" swimmers, former or master's current, a favor and go away. You are a hypocrite in your self- indulgence around the mediocre, the opposite of those self indulgent around their ID, wanna-bee masters swimmers attempting to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians who "get it".
WB


WB I think you didn't "get" that most of what Mr. N and Mr. T wrote was for comedic effect (not that the posts were without any validity)! I mean geez, light'n up!

Perhpas WB is also JS?

stillwater
July 7th, 2009, 08:46 PM
Perhpas WB is also JS?

Nope. Everything is spelled correctly, and there are compound words.

The Fortress
July 7th, 2009, 10:30 PM
WB I think you didn't "get" that most of what Mr. N and Mr. T wrote was for comedic effect (not that the posts were without any validity)! I mean geez, light'n up!

Perhpas WB is also JS?

Some was for comedic and argumentative effect, naturally, and some was serious though couched in a bemused tone.

The writing is classic JS and so is the use of the phrase "I suggest." The admonition to "use your I statements" was just used previously in this thread by the other Smith. And, as I recall, White Buffalo, much like the Smiths, is always a poster on the drug threads. The pejorative classification of "wanna-bee" masters swimmers vs. NCAA champs is classic condescending JS speak as well.

There is no rule that says that former NCAA champs will be at the top of their swimming game their whole life. They could become fat unfit alcoholics who die of a heart attack or otherwise lapse into satiated mediocrity while their allegedly clueless don't "get it" peers maintain fitness. I personally think the "get it" thing is utterly overstated. Most people that are swimming fast are working reasonably hard. At least, to my knowledge, the former Olympian and national finalist(s) in my age group are.

Paul Smith
July 7th, 2009, 10:37 PM
Some was for comedic and argumentative effect, naturally, and some was serious though couched in a bemused tone.

The writing is classic JS and so is the use of the phrase "I suggest." The admonition to "use your I statements" was just used previously in this thread by the other Smith. And, as I recall, White Buffalo, much like the Smiths, is always a poster on the drug threads. The pejorative classification of "wanna-bee" masters swimmers vs. NCAA champs is classic condescending JS speak as well.

There is no rule that says that former NCAA champs will be at the top of their swimming game their whole life. They could become fat unfit alcoholics who die of a heart attack or otherwise lapse into satiated mediocrity while their allegedly clueless don't "get it" peers maintain fitness. I personally think the "get it" thing is utterly overstated. Most people that are swimming fast are working reasonably hard. At least, to my knowledge, the former Olympian and national finalist(s) in my age group are.

Yet in spite of all the jabs, sarcasm, defensiveness, eliteism and in Thorntons case drug induced rambling the bottom line is that...whether you are a masters swimmers, a USA swimmer, a triathlete, a never ever, a soccer mom or a stalker like Jim if you are going to post pictures of yourself on-line with your trophys, blog about it, post body shots, put down others and in general show an inflated ego and lack of humility....you are/and should be fair game for mockery....

The Fortress
July 7th, 2009, 10:55 PM
Yet in spite of all the jabs, sarcasm, defensiveness, eliteism and in Thorntons case drug induced rambling the bottom line is that...whether you are a masters swimmers, a USA swimmer, a triathlete, a never ever, a soccer mom or a stalker like Jim if you are going to post pictures of yourself on-line with your trophys, blog about it, post body shots, put down others and in general show an inflated ego and lack of humility....you are/and should be fair game for mockery....

Who exactly has done that though? My masters swim buddies and teammates don't tend toward this egoism you note. I think we must be more rational in PV.

I know you are in favor of stomping out all signs of inflated ego. And I don't disagree with that generally. But it appears that JS may be the one in need of a dose of humility. Isn't it egotistical to call people "lesser talents" and "wannabees" (spelling error)? Or are national finalists exempt from mockery?

Wasn't it a bit early for Jim to have ingested his sonata before drafting his astute psychological profile though?

(P.S. Can't resist. I guess there's no spellcheck on blackberry? lol)

jim thornton
July 7th, 2009, 11:42 PM
Mr. Thornton:
I suggest you make "I" statements rather than gross over generalizations such as "we" and "us". I believe your wanting to justify your existence through personal attacks and self rationalization of mediocrity embarassing and transparent. Please do the majority of "competitive" swimmers, former or master's current, a favor and go away. You are a hypocrite in your self- indulgence around the mediocre, the opposite of those self indulgent around their ID, wanna-bee masters swimmers attempting to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians who "get it".
WB

Say what?

Really, I don't know what this means, Mr. White Buffalo. I shall attempt to break it down to see if I can better understand your communique:

I suggest you make "I" statements rather than gross over generalizations such as "we" and "us".

Okay, we shall amend our ways. We shall forsake the Royal We and adopt the I point of view. I understand this part. Now, let us--damn!--I mean, let me move on.

I believe your wanting to justify your existence...

My existence, eh? Okay, I shall stipulate that when periods of profound melancholia recede, I do occasionally find myself semi-hoping to continue my existence, though the effort required to do so tends to be more than enough to occupy all my efforts. To both exist and also justify my existence presumes that I have reached a loftier rung on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs than I have, in fact, ever achieved. Still, I will not pick nits here. So okay, I am, in some sense, when not clinically depressed, both hoping to exist and in some ill-defined and muddlesome way justifying this existence (though I must admit I am already losing my sense of what you mean)--

through personal attacks and self rationalization of mediocrity embarassing and transparent.

I think what you are saying in the first part here (personal attacks) is that I have been overly aggressive in my therapeutic intervention with Mr. Negative, maybe through my amateur psychoanalytic vivisection, or maybe through my mention of shoulder surgery and the ill-fated Longhorn steer tattoo, or maybe through both these things? Guilty! There is a famous saying that many successful captains of industry live their whole lives by: It is not enough that I succeed, my friends must fail!

But what about those of us who are without success and without friends? What is left for us to adopt as personal mottos? Damn it! I am using the first person plural again. Let me rephrase, Mr. White Buffalo (and might I quickly and in passing congratulate you on picking as your personal namesake one of Charles Bronson's hokiest of all adversaries! I feel that you may be serving a similar purpose for me here!)

Okay, so what motto do I live by, a person without success, and without friends? (Perhaps I am being disingenuous here. Like Willy Loman, I concede that in some quarters I am liked. But in no quarter am I well-liked.)

Taking Occam's Razor to the liberation of a personal motto, I shall simply slice the original to fit my down-sized circumstances: It is not enough that I fail, people I have never met must be attacked ruthlessly on the USMS forums!

Allrighty then. Point taken.

Which leads me to the second element of the above highlighted passage of yours and its phrase "self rationalization of mediocrity." I suspect we have more or less covered this in our previous parsing. "Self rationalization of mediocrity" may mean something slightly different from "justification of existence," but let's face it (and here I am not using the royal we but rather am referring to me, Thornton, and you, Buffalo): given who we both know me to be (a good-for-nothing who would be doing everyone a favor by going away), these are pretty close to redundant phrases.

I do not, however, fault you on your rhetoric, Mr. Buffalo! Far be it from me to suggest a fellow writer might benefit from trimming his prose! Rather, I concede that your redundancy on this matter is intentional and is used for emphasis, not because you are already running out of things to say in the second sentence of your comment!

Which brings us now to the third part (embarrassment). Forgive me, but I am not sure who you mean is embarrassed.

Are you saying it is I who am embarrassed by me? I doubt this is what you mean, but if this is your intent, please let me reassure you: I have almost never been embarrassed by anything I've done, no matter how idiotic and crude it may appear to outsiders, since a wonderful day in the spring of 1975 when I was a lifeguard in Georgia taking huge quantities of a drug called Triavil and met an 8 year old blonde girl named Catherine Person and together the two of us formed the "We love to make fools out of ourselves" club. I have adhered to our charter ever since and taken great succour from the invulnerability to embarrassment this has afforded me. Thus, please do not concern yourself with my embarrassment. I am probably capable of feeling this emotion, but I haven't actually done so for 35 years, and I am not experiencing it now.

If, on the other hand, you are referring to your embarrassment, the way some people feel when they see a pathetic specimen ranting and raving and want to distance themselves from the spectacle, it would seem a very odd thing indeed to point out to the very same ranting raver that he (me!) has become a laughingstock and that it is embarrassing for you (Buffalo!)to even be in the proximity of such a spectacular dunderheadl!

Would not a better strategy simply be to slink off altogether, not allow yourself to be contaminated by me, in the process ridding yourself of the contagion of embarrassment through proximity?

Please do the majority of "competitive" swimmers, former or master's current, a favor and go away.

But Mr. White Buffalo, sacred calf of the Cherokee Nation, who would, in point of fact, have made a much more manly tattoo than a gelded overgrown veal steak on the hoof, but I am drifting--back to the subject at hand--Mr. WB, I thought I was arguing on behalf of master's swimmers who take swimming seriously and actually enjoy competing and take deserved pride in their accomplishments! Please, feel free to check out my vlog, which features, in amongst the admitted dross of my personal failings and physical/psychological ailments, nothing less than a shrine to the Leslie "The Fortress" Livingstons, the Cream "(S)He-Man" Puffs, and the Rich Abrams of our beloved sport! As far as doing this favor that you ask of me, perhaps you might consider conducting a poll to see if, in point of fact, the bulk of the posters here, including those I have admittedly tweaked here and there over the years, agree with your banishment.

In fact, perhaps we could do a kind of reality show immunity challenge here and now. I shall agree to the outcome if you will--my wife thinks I spend too much time on the computer anyhow. Jim Thornton or White Buffalo: who do you want to go away for, say, the next month?

You are a hypocrite in your self- indulgence around the mediocre, the opposite of those self indulgent around their ID, wanna-bee masters swimmers attempting to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians who "get it".

I concede I have been hypocritical in many matters, and I may be hypocritical in this one too, but I am not sure what you mean. Permission to go to extreme parsing? Permission granted by me to me.

You (this refers to me, Jim Thornton) are (equal) a hypocrite (1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings) in your (my) self-indulgence (: excessive or unrestrained gratification of one's own appetites, desires, or whims) around the mediocre (: of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance), the opposite of those self-indulgent (see earlier definition) around their ID ( the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy derived from instinctual needs and drives; or, more likely, an abbreviation for identity), wanna-bee masters swimmers (I suspect a spelling error unless you mean masters swimmers aspiring to become hymenopterans, but I am willing to bet my house this is not what you mean) attempting to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians who "get it".

Try as I might, I find myself hopelessly dumbfounded here in the final passage. Are you saying that masters swimmers, out of reverence for the past accomplishments of yesteryear's youthful greats, should not try to beat former NCAA champions and Olympians? That if, by some chance, I were to stand up on the blocks next to John Kinsella, I should wave the starter over and ask, "Sir! Is it true that I must scratch now? A certain Mr. White Buffalo has advised me that I should not even swim in the same waters as a former NCAA champion and Olympian!"

Would it not be easier to put every former NCAA champion and Olympian in a special wax museum where their glory would never age, their midlife adoption of steer tattoos never seem vaguely ridiculous, their audience of well-wishers and sycophants and shrine builders could pay admission fees to view, and their very flesh might, at the sounding of the trumpet, take on incorruptibility?

And finally, what exactly is the "it" that I don't get but you and the others in your rarefied community of Citius, Altius, Fortius do get?

Please clarify these few areas I have not been able to comprehend--that is, if you don't first lose our friendly immunity challenge and get voted off the USMS posting island for the next month.

At this point, I will now resume the private, as opposed to public, justification of my existence, which is, as you have rightly suggested, a very tiresome business indeed!

Peter Cruise
July 8th, 2009, 01:44 AM
Jim, I believe that you have, however briefly, glimpsed the infinite and survived.

Chicken of the Sea
July 8th, 2009, 04:26 AM
What's NCAA?

Couroboros
July 8th, 2009, 08:28 AM
National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Bobinator
July 8th, 2009, 10:08 AM
Wow, this thread is really going nowhere!
I think I will squeeze my fat hocks into my rubber girdle suit and go scull around in the pool! If it works out okay I may post a picture when I'm done.....hopefully this thread will be done and I won't have to.:bighug:

gull
July 8th, 2009, 10:25 AM
The point of John's thread is clear. Those of us who are not now and never were elite swimmers should not take Masters swimming "too seriously" (as defined arbitrarily by him and certain other elite swimmers). We are free to pursue the sport for purposes of fun and health, of course, but should not blog about our experiences nor (heaven forbid) post "body shots" (unless, I assume, we are flabby old swimmers, in which case we cannot be accused of lacking in humility).

Jazz Hands
July 8th, 2009, 10:27 AM
It seems obvious but you don't realize until you see it in action. Never argue on the internet with a professional writer.

gobears
July 8th, 2009, 10:43 AM
The point of John's thread is clear. Those of us who are not now and never were elite swimmers should not take Masters swimming "too seriously" (as defined arbitrarily by him and other elite swimmers). We are free to pursue the sport for purposes of fun and health, of course, but should not blog about our experiences nor (heaven forbid) post "body shots" (unless, I assume, we are flabby old swimmers, in which case we cannot be accused of lacking in humility).

To the OP:

What, exactly, qualifies as "elite?" National-level? OT Qualifier? Olympian? Depending on the definition I may or may not qualify as having once been "elite." If I do qualify, then am I confused. Am I obligated now to take masters swimming seriously because I once was elite? Do I have to blog? Or wear a tech suit?

Or, maybe I'm now obligated to goof off in practice and make fun of anyone who takes their swimming seriously in any fashion? How often do I need to make fun of those who do blog or wear tech suits? Please explain. I need to know the rules here so as not to offend...

lefty
July 8th, 2009, 10:50 AM
The point of John's thread is clear. Those of us who are not now and never were elite swimmers should not take Masters swimming "too seriously" (as defined arbitrarily by him and other elite swimmers). We are free to pursue the sport for purposes of fun and health, of course, but should not blog about our experiences nor (heaven forbid) post "body shots" (unless, I assume, we are flabby old swimmers, in which case we cannot be accused of lacking in humility).


Sadly I think you are right. I think the more important question is what course of events has lead to this loathsome outburst and can anything be done to help? I think I have the answer to both of those questions and I would like to offer my help. You see, I don't think this has anything to do with swimming, but rather stems from a recent problem that Mr. N has developed. The solution:

http://www.bostonmedicalgroup.com/the-boston-method

lefty
July 8th, 2009, 10:51 AM
To the OP:

What, exactly, qualifies as "elite?"

most people define elite as the level that they achieved.

gull
July 8th, 2009, 11:47 AM
What, exactly, qualifies as "elite?"


I edited my post--what I meant was "certain other elite swimmers". I swim alongside former all Americans (and one Olympian) who apparently "don't get it" either according to White Buffalo. They take their training seriously, invest in tech suits, worry about their tapers, and find nothing "amusing" about record setting, top ten times, and the level of competition in Masters. Yet they are all great guys, encouraging everyone on the team from slowest to fastest, which is what gets me out of bed every morning.

Paul Smith
July 8th, 2009, 11:53 AM
I edited my post--what I meant was "certain other elite swimmers". I swim alongside former all Americans (and one Olympian) who apparently "don't get it" either according to White Buffalo. They take their training seriously, invest in tech suits, worry about their tapers, and find nothing "amusing" about record setting, top ten times, and the level of competition in Masters. Yet they are all great guys, encouraging everyone on the team from slowest to fastest, which is what gets me out of bed every morning.

So where are the photos of them on the beach?

gull
July 8th, 2009, 12:06 PM
So where are the photos of them on the beach?

And they don't have blogs either. Of course, as elite swimmers, they are held to a different standard.

I changed my avatar when John posted the following:

But in the end.... really..... should master's swimmers care about the difference between a LZR and a Jaked? They both do an effective job of holding in your flabby gut, and that is what old people really need.

I'm 51, I don't have a flabby gut, and I do care about the difference between a LZR and a Jaked.

Paul Smith
July 8th, 2009, 12:37 PM
And they don't have blogs either. Of course, as elite swimmers, they are held to a different standard.

I'm guessing you found out that they were "elite" ex-All Amercians/Olympians because they had patches on their jackets/sweats and stickers on their cars since they don't have blogs?

I'm 50, have gut, and I'm hoping FINA does the right thing next January and bans both the Jaked and LZR.

The Fortress
July 8th, 2009, 12:48 PM
I edited my post--what I meant was "certain other elite swimmers". I swim alongside former all Americans (and one Olympian) who apparently "don't get it" either according to White Buffalo. They take their training seriously, invest in tech suits, worry about their tapers, and find nothing "amusing" about record setting, top ten times, and the level of competition in Masters. Yet they are all great guys, encouraging everyone on the team from slowest to fastest, which is what gets me out of bed every morning.

Same with my team ... same with forumites (e.g., Mike Ross, Chris Stevenson). It's truly astonishing how many former elites don't fall into the get it category. Maybe the club is limited to 2. Clydesdale, what exactly is wrong with a public blog? You keep bringing this up, as if it's a kind of super egoism. As for me, I gets extremely helpful advice and input on my blog. And do you want a merit badge for being anti-LZR, B70, Jaked and wanting the gut to hang out? Purists aren't morally superior. They're just purists.

Paul Smith
July 8th, 2009, 01:00 PM
Same with my team ... same with forumites (e.g., Mike Ross, Chris Stevenson). It's truly astonishing how many former elites don't fall into the get it category. Maybe the club is limited to 2. Clydesdale, what exactly is wrong with a public blog? You keep bringing this up, as if it's a kind of super egoism. As for me, I gets extremely helpful advice and input on my blog. And do you want a merit badge for being anti-LZR, B70, Jaked and wanting the gut to hang out? Purists aren't morally superior. They're just purists.

Fort you know exactly what I'm getting at as I've described it clearly multiple times...but it is fun to see who gets worked up over what...and especially how the topic(s) gets twisted as each person weighs in/internalizes as if it is they are the ones that were personally called out.

Purists aren't morally superior?

The Fortress
July 8th, 2009, 01:05 PM
Fort you know exactly what I'm getting at as I've described it clearly multiple times...but it is fun to see who gets worked up over what...and especially how the topic(s) gets twisted as each person weighs in/internalizes as if it is they are the ones that were personally called out.

Purists aren't morally superior?

Nice try. But my policy is not to "internalize" forum posts. Just wondering why the dig on public blogs generally. Which blogs do you consider over the top? If it's Jimby's, his is pure entertainment. Nothing wrong with that.

The word "twisting" has unnecessarily negative connotations. Everyone gives it their own spin or slants the topic in a way they deem "amusing" or useful, even you! For instance, I've caught you beginning a response by "twisting" and re-stating someone's position so that it barely resembles what they actually said!

Shocking, I know, but, no, purists aren't morally superior. Nor are dog owners. :P

lefty
July 8th, 2009, 01:09 PM
I'm 50, have gut, and I'm hoping FINA does the right thing next January and bans both the Jaked and LZR.

LZRs did not become widely available until summer 2008. And thus at Nationals in May of 2008 the *only* swimmer who had a LZR was a JS. Draw your own conclusions...

aquageek
July 8th, 2009, 01:16 PM
When your best days are in the rear-view mirror you tend to strike out at those who still enjoy good hard work and competition.

Of course, except for when you find 4 guys to break a record and crow about it for 18 months, then it's ok, like a little hard core mulligan.

Mr. Negative
July 8th, 2009, 01:24 PM
Nice try. But my policy is not to "internalize" forum posts..... :P

Now that's a stretch.

The Fortress
July 8th, 2009, 01:31 PM
Now that's a stretch.

Not really. Learned my lesson a couple years ago, thanks to my gridge buddy and hard core triathlete blogger, Geekity. Really, Just because I enjoy responding to Smith postings and writing inflammatory responses doesn't mean I "internalize" them in the slightest. Don't flatter yourself, oh tattooed one.

Mr. Negative
July 8th, 2009, 01:41 PM
Mr. Thorton,

This is an internet discussion forum. Follow the People magazine rule for your responses please. If you can't finish the post while on the toilet, don't bother writing it.

dwlovell
July 8th, 2009, 01:45 PM
At this point, I think this is pretty relevant. Congrats Mr. Negative on a successful troll thread.

YouTube - Successful Troll Song

Jazz Hands
July 8th, 2009, 02:04 PM
most people define elite as the level that they achieved.

Pft, only people who have never broken 25.0 in a long course 50.

Chicken of the Sea
July 8th, 2009, 02:25 PM
I take my blog very seriously and expect others to do the same. Who wouldn't take the trials and tribulations of a chubby, middle aged, OW wannabe seriously?

http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=8691

I don't have as big a following as Jimbo, but I'm working on it (see link above).

At the moment I consider it more of a "boutique" blog, and my disciples an elite group of their own.