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View Full Version : Wow. Does this happen in Masters Swimming?



rtodd
March 5th, 2010, 07:46 PM
http://masterstrack.com/2010/03/7977/

jcornman
March 6th, 2010, 12:17 AM
I'm sure - if you go to the highest levels, where the stakes are greatest, regardless of the sport, you'll have dopers

Allen Stark
March 6th, 2010, 12:50 AM
I've been swimming Masters for 36 yr and have never had a drug screen and I doubt we ever will.I wouldn't mind as I have nothing to hide and I have had suspicions about some swimmers,but with all the prescribed stuff we accumulate as we age it may be unwieldy to test.

Chris Stevenson
March 6th, 2010, 12:58 AM
with all the prescribed stuff we accumulate as we age it may be unwieldy to test.

I've thought that too...but if T&F can do it, why can't we?

david.margrave
March 6th, 2010, 02:26 AM
Some people like me, who still understand what privacy rights are, do mind. Today we have meets run by volunteers where people of all ages and levels show up and do their best and have fun. If the atmosphere ever deteriorates to the point that USMS wants to drug test people to 'catch cheaters', and asks people to divulge medical records to explain what is in their bodies to prove that they 'have nothing to hide', then I will bid you all farewell and wish you good luck.

gobears
March 6th, 2010, 10:21 AM
Seriously, anyone who's wanting to win badly enough in Master's swimming that they would take PED's, is to be pitied in my book. IMHO, let them live in their delusional (and drug-enhanced) world of superiority. I can't imagine there are very many who do this.

nkfrench
March 6th, 2010, 04:31 PM
If there was a reputable drug or supplement that was guaranteed to have no harmful side effects, was inexpensive, and would remove excess body fat and improve recovery from training, who would take that? If it allowed you to function on less sleep each day? And if it was taken to feel better day to day without considering swim times.

pwb
March 6th, 2010, 04:55 PM
If there was a reputable drug or supplement that was guaranteed to have no harmful side effects, was inexpensive, and would remove excess body fat and improve recovery from training, who would take that? If it allowed you to function on less sleep each day? It already largely exists: fully-caffeinated espresso! (OK, the excess body fat claims are limited, but it does everything else).

Jazz Hands
March 6th, 2010, 06:14 PM
Seriously, anyone who's wanting to win badly enough in Master's swimming that they would take PED's, is to be pitied in my book. IMHO, let them live in their delusional (and drug-enhanced) world of superiority. I can't imagine there are very many who do this.

This is what I think, minus the haughty sense of moral superiority.

gobears
March 6th, 2010, 07:18 PM
This is what I think, minus the haughty sense of moral superiority.

It isn't morally superior to play legally? :angel:

I just think it is odd that someone would care enough about winning at Masters swimming to damage their bodies with PED's. Not that it's any more moral--but I can almost understand the allure of taking them to win an Olympic medal and all the fame/fortune that might bring. For a Master's meet? Not so much.

__steve__
March 6th, 2010, 08:03 PM
There can't be any satisfaction in accomplishing something that way.

debaru
March 7th, 2010, 03:03 PM
There can't be any satisfaction in accomplishing something that way.

I agree. I am sure that there is some momentary satifaction from winning, but after that fades you're left with knowing that you cheated. Not only do people who cheat, cheat themselves, they've stolen something from everyone else they competed against. How people rationalize cheating is something I don't think I will ever understand. :confused:

stillwater
March 7th, 2010, 03:26 PM
If there was a reputable drug or supplement that was guaranteed to have no harmful side effects, was inexpensive, and would remove excess body fat and improve recovery from training, who would take that?

You had me at inexpensive.

Chris Stevenson
March 7th, 2010, 04:51 PM
I just think it is odd that someone would care enough about winning at Masters swimming to damage their bodies with PED's.


There can't be any satisfaction in accomplishing something that way.

Maybe it is my experiences as a Top Ten Recorder, seeing how seriously many people take it...but I'd say the evidence proves that, for some people, it clearly IS worth the risk. And people are generally GREAT deniers about potentially risky consequences of actions; I need look no farther than my local newspaper to see many examples.

Of course, the point is proven by the original article that started this whole thread. Is the payoff somehow greater for masters track than for swimming?

The decision about whether it is worthwhile to have a drug-testing program is up to the membership; it would no doubt add to our fees and -- even more importantly to me -- it would change the atmosphere of our competitions. A big part of the fun of masters swimming for me is that, at the end of the day, even if you stink up the pool during a meet, you can still shrug your shoulders about it all.

rtodd
March 7th, 2010, 05:51 PM
There was another serious doping violation in the same meet.

BigNoodler
March 7th, 2010, 09:04 PM
Maybe it is my experiences as a Top Ten Recorder, seeing how seriously many people take it...but I'd say the evidence proves that, for some people, it clearly IS worth the risk.

Specific examples please?

Chris Stevenson
March 7th, 2010, 09:34 PM
Specific examples please?

Nope, not going there.

Just to be clear: what I meant by the original statement is that I am contacted reasonably often (email, mail and phone) by people who are worried that their swim won't count for Top Ten, or wasn't listed, or are upset for some reason relating to Top Ten. Ditto for LMSC records, which I also maintain. My point is that there are people who take it quite seriously, so maybe it isn't so hard to imagine that there are people who go one step further.

And I won't get more specific than that, because that might imply that I am making light of their concern, which wasn't my intent. (If I didn't care about their issues, I wouldn't be a TT Recorder.)

waves101
March 8th, 2010, 08:40 AM
I'll stick to my standard PED's.... Gatorade and Nutri-Grain bars.

__steve__
March 8th, 2010, 09:31 AM
Then again, normal people make bad choices all the time. With this, in addition to being in a wrong place at a wrong time, I can see how it can happen, even when it's not for money.

For example, I remember seeing ad's and commercials for testoserone based pharmaceuticals targeted for older males who claim they have "abnormally lower testoserone levels". I bet those can be habit forming for some individuals. So they eventually become juicer

BigNoodler
March 8th, 2010, 11:18 AM
Yikes! Email about missing performances to a T10 person and get labeled as overly-serious AND a doper or potential doper. No need to get more specific than that! Guilty before proven innocent in the USMS court of law!


Nope, not going there.

Just to be clear: what I meant by the original statement is that I am contacted reasonably often (email, mail and phone) by people who are worried that their swim won't count for Top Ten, or wasn't listed, or are upset for some reason relating to Top Ten. Ditto for LMSC records, which I also maintain. My point is that there are people who take it quite seriously, so maybe it isn't so hard to imagine that there are people who go one step further.

And I won't get more specific than that, because that might imply that I am making light of their concern, which wasn't my intent. (If I didn't care about their issues, I wouldn't be a TT Recorder.)

Kevin in MD
March 8th, 2010, 11:58 AM
In this case prohormones probably means dhea, which any of us can buy at the grocery store.

It's one of those gotchas in the doping code that normal people might not realize. I think sudafed is back on the list as well this year.

Kevin in MD
March 8th, 2010, 11:58 AM
In this case prohormones probably means dhea, which any of us can buy at the grocery store.

It's one of those gotchas in the doping code that normal people might not realize. I think sudafed is back on the list as well this year.

pdjang
March 8th, 2010, 12:17 PM
No offense to those of us who enjoy a cup of joe during the day - and even those who use it as a pre-race stimulant - BUT - the NCAA considers caffeine (in excess of 15 mg/ml) a banned drug!

Chris Stevenson
March 8th, 2010, 12:24 PM
Yikes! Email about missing performances to a T10 person and get labeled as overly-serious AND a doper or potential doper. No need to get more specific than that! Guilty before proven innocent in the USMS court of law!

Over-serious, no. Over-sensitive, yes.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
March 8th, 2010, 01:12 PM
Specific examples please?

I had a masters swimmer publicly and privately berate me as a coach because I didn't get that masters swimming was all about fun and friendly social interaction...
This swimmer who is over 55 years of age, openly cried on deck in frustration over race times and performance.

Ask any coach. There are a few in every club who care - in the most unhealthy ways.

Karen Duggan
March 8th, 2010, 01:35 PM
While they are few and far between, I can think of a couple of people in USMS that are just "nuts" in many different aspects of their lives, aka, people I avoid. Swimming seems to consume their entire lives, and I wouldn't put it past them to enhance their performances illegally.

That being said I could really care less if they do. Until it's monitored, which I doubt will ever happen in USMS, there's not a whole lot I can do about it.

I know, I'll just keep doing the best I can and set reasonable goals for myself. And if some of those are TT then you can be sure I'm checking to see if they got in there :agree:

elise526
March 8th, 2010, 01:43 PM
While they are few and far between, I can think of a couple of people in USMS that are just "nuts" in many different aspects of their lives, aka, people I avoid. Swimming seems to consume their entire lives, and I wouldn't put it past them to enhance their performances illegally.

That being said I could really care less if they do. Until it's monitored, which I doubt will ever happen in USMS, there's not a whole lot I can do about it.

I know, I'll just keep doing the best I can and set reasonable goals for myself. And if some of those are TT then you can be sure I'm checking to see if they got in there :agree:

Ditto. Well-said, Karen!

Big Noodler - I think the arguments made by Chris are very logical. There was an implication in the thread that folks would not use PEDs because masters swimming is not taken seriously. Chris countered by saying that there are many who take it seriously and used getting in touch with the top ten recorder as an example of folks taking masters swimming seriously. I certainly didn't get from his arguments that people that contact the TT recorder are using PEDs or will use PEDs. What I got from his argument is that masters swimming is taken seriously. From this, one can conclude that because masters swimming is taken seriously, there will be some masters swimmers who feel the need to cheat by using PEDs. I doubt anybody is going to cheat in masters swimming by using PEDs unless they take achievement in masters seriously.

Sad to say, but any activity that is about achievement is never immune from cheating.

Chris Stevenson
March 8th, 2010, 02:12 PM
any activity that is about achievement is never immune from cheating.

USMS is a little schizophrenic in this regard. Most of the members do not compete at all. Generally speaking, I think the prevailing attitude at meets is not overbearingly (is that a word?) competitive. Competition can spice things up, but no masters swimmer I know will scorn beer/wine between days at a meet because it might have an adverse affect on their performance.

Ahelee Sue brought up crying, which isn't something I have seen at a masters meet. But I was just at a USA-S meet and observed at least half a dozen swimmers crying after races. (Granted, some of this might also be explained by the fact that they are TEENAGERS.)

Elise captured the intent of my post. BN, I am sorry if my poor wording led you to think I was implying that caring about TT or records is somehow unhealthy or should be discouraged. I think nothing of the sort. No one holds a gun to my head (or pays me) to be a TT Recorder; if TT and Records helps motivate people to swim and be healthy, then they are a good thing in my mind. Most people I know are motivated in a very positive way by them, and that's why I answer the calls and emails.

But if they motivate people to act badly -- ignoring family, taking PEDs, etc -- then obviously they are less good. I don't think these things are the norm in USMS but obviously there can be exceptions.

What I have observed on these forums is that former college swimmers tend to be a little dismissive of the achievement aspects of masters swimming. (Look up almost any John Smith post for examples :)) Maybe I was the same way once, and I think it is too bad. Someone at 60 who gets her first TT time can be just as overjoyed as a 10-yo who gets his first "A" time, and they are both equally good things.

BigNoodler
March 8th, 2010, 02:15 PM
I had a masters swimmer publicly and privately berate me as a coach because I didn't get that masters swimming was all about fun and friendly social interaction...
This swimmer who is over 55 years of age, openly cried on deck in frustration over race times and performance.

Ask any coach. There are a few in every club who care - in the most unhealthy ways.

Sorry to hear that Ahelee. I'm guessing that many people over the age of 20 have encountered some people that they simply don't mesh well with. And unfortunately, I've witnessed many instances where coaches or business associates are publicly berated. I've even been on the receiving end myself! I usually chalk it up to someone having a bad day. Talking over lunch is a great solution IMO.

I was actually asking Chris for specific examples as they pertain to his Top10 recording position mostly b/c that process is such a mystery to me. And I was curious to see how one could assess a doper on such limited information as an email exchange.

I myself am not really a crier but as you brought it up, I wonder why it gets such a bad rap. Are we making the assumption that crying (let's say on occasion) is unhealthy? I've actually been told that crying on occasion is a very healthy way to deal with your emotions. It's the bottling up and suppressing of emotion that can in turn lead people to find other truly unhealthy ways (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.) to find relief. Anyway, on the flip side, my story is that I've witnessed young women AND men cry in frustration after a bad set or practice or meet (performance as you say) and then seen them come back strong, work hard, and do amazing things in the pool later on in their career. They actually inspired me. I've seen some brilliant coaches work with that swimmer's emotional response and play it to the swimmer's advantage. It's amazing to watch!

Perhaps there is a PhD psychologist out there who could comment on crying and whether or not it's a healthy behavior.

Guess my personal take home message from these posts is to not be so quick to pass judgment on lesser offenses such as crying.

Oh, and I must never contact my Top 10 person again when my meets are missing for fear of being labeled a doper!

elise526
March 8th, 2010, 02:49 PM
USMS is a little schizophrenic in this regard. Most of the members do not compete at all. Generally speaking, I think the prevailing attitude at meets is not overbearingly (is that a word?) competitive. Competition can spice things up, but no masters swimmer I know will scorn beer/wine between days at a meet because it might have an adverse affect on their performance.


This is true. I probably should have said, "any activity that contains an aspect of achievement."

To me, masters swimming is about challenging yourself. Participating in it, in whatever form, is a celebration of good health. My mother has been a member for over 10 years now and has no desire to do a meet. She loves her masters practice group, especially her lane buddies. I sometimes wonder how many women in the general population that are her age (72) can do a swim practice of 3,000+ yards.

My husband, at age 47, just participated in his first masters meet last month. He can't wait for the next one! For him, he enjoys both the social aspects of the meet and the challenge of competition.

I've been a member of USMS for 17 years and admit that I take it a little more seriously now than I used to. My health is not as good as it was 12 years ago, so being able to race is something I really appreciate.

pwb
March 8th, 2010, 03:08 PM
...but no masters swimmer I know will scorn beer/wine between days at a meet because it might have an adverse affect on their performance.I will. I admit to being pretty intense, though I'd never consider PEDs beyond that sweet nectar espresso. Actually, I attribute my increased intensity about swimming with helping me become more aware about how food (junk & good) and alcohol affect my body, not just for swimming, but for life. I'm not a teetotaler, but, during periods when I want to train hard and swim fast in meets, I will abstain from alcohol. I apply that to my professional activities, as well.


...What I have observed on these forums is that former college swimmers tend to be a little dismissive of the achievement aspects of masters swimming. (Look up almost any John Smith post for examples :)) I agree with this statement and think its a crock of **** for people to be dismissive. As a former collegiate swimmer who pretty much only had to balance swimming, school and parties, I find training and trying to swim fast now a much greater challenge when trying to balance work, family, an aging body, etc., etc.

The Fortress
March 8th, 2010, 03:20 PM
Guess my personal take home message from these posts is to not be so quick to pass judgment on lesser offenses such as crying.

Oh, and I must never contact my Top 10 person again when my meets are missing for fear of being labeled a doper!

I've apparently run afoul of all the unofficial rules as well. ;) LOL!! I've contacted TT recorders in numerous states when my times went missing. Though not a crier, I did cry once for a moment in absolute frustration after my new LZR zipper exploded 1 minute before my heat in a meet I had tapered for. I also like to train fairly intensely at times and it is implied by former college swimmers that I am perhaps too serious. As BN notes, it sometimes seems verboten to beat college swimmers (or worse, NCAA qualifiers) in masters when you weren't one. See Mr. Negative's elitist rant: http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=14429&highlight=masters+swimmer+triathletes

BUT I am the opposite of a doper. I apparently put all kinds of crap in my body that will make me go slow, slow, slow.

As to "seriousness," I've always thought it odd when people make judgments about what people take seriously. I see all kinds of serious people -- professional volunteers who are deadly serious about school auctions, travel soccer parents who keep excel sheets of the performances of all competing travel teams, marathoners with elaborate journals and logs. Everyone has different things that rock their boat.

aquageek
March 8th, 2010, 03:43 PM
If you don't take it seriously, why bother in the first place?

Karen Duggan
March 8th, 2010, 03:50 PM
Why do masters swimmers still compete?
Because they like it, and they can!

It's really just a continuation (for a lot of us) of what we had as a kid. It's set up similarly in regards to: coaching, teams, meets, gear, awards, time standards, etc.

USMS is not watered-down age-group or collegiate swimming. A lot of masters swimmers are still swimming their a$$es off in workout, and trying their best at meets, because that's what they like to do. Thankfully, there is an organization to support it. I'd have to say that masters swimming is harder than A/G or college in that we do have a lot more responsibilities (again, a lot of us) with jobs and families, as Patrick mentioned.

Nothing in masters swimming should be dismissed. Quite the contrary.
:2cents:

PS I haven't cried in masters but I have been so mad (when I went .02 for the frickin' umpteenth time) at Nationals, that I walked back to the hotel with only my suit on, cap and goggles in hand! I would have been so happy with a .99 !!! Nah, masters isn't competitive- .03 !!!

no200fly
March 8th, 2010, 04:19 PM
In this case prohormones probably means dhea, which any of us can buy at the grocery store.

It's one of those gotchas in the doping code that normal people might not realize. I think sudafed is back on the list as well this year.

After looking at the Global DRO mentioned in the article, I see what you mean. Very few of us would think we were cheating by taking Sudafed or Dayquil because we got a cold during a competition - likewise, you wouldn't think that the DHEA that you would buy at Albertsons would be a prohormone that would have your competitors calling you a cheater.

Chris Stevenson
March 8th, 2010, 04:32 PM
I was actually asking Chris for specific examples as they pertain to his Top10 recording position mostly b/c that process is such a mystery to me. And I was curious to see how one could assess a doper on such limited information as an email exchange.

"Dopers: How to get your times to count for Records and Top10 Tabulation (http://www.usms.org/~rectabs/convention/2009howtogettimestocount.pdf)"

elise526
March 8th, 2010, 04:44 PM
And where is the line drawn between "serious" and "just for fun?" Who decides what constitutes "serious" behavior?

People are different in their ways of manifesting their "seriousness." I remember a bunch of triathletes making fun of a gal here in town who surfed the internet for race results and knew all of our times. At the same time, the group that was making fun of her for being "too serious" was meeting at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to bike 80 miles and immediately run 6 miles in 90 degree temps right after the bike. So who was more "serious" here?

aquageek
March 8th, 2010, 04:50 PM
I find when I'm close to tipping the scales for too serious I find another group that is even more serious, which, in turn, gives me a new level of seriousness to strive for.

knelson
March 8th, 2010, 04:59 PM
I'm sure there are lots of people who use PEDs just so they can look better (e.g., gym rats that aren't competing in bodybuilding), so it certainly isn't a stretch to think people would use PEDs to do better in actual competitions, "just masters" or otherwise.

lefty
March 8th, 2010, 05:02 PM
Oh, and I must never contact my Top 10 person again when my meets are missing for fear of being labeled a doper!

I think it is up to you to decide if your behavior is the irrational kind to which Chris was alluding.

aztimm
March 8th, 2010, 05:05 PM
If you don't take it seriously, why bother in the first place?

So there's no health benefits if you don't take working out seriously?

I find the results I see on the scale and in the mirror reward enough, and I certainly know I'm benefiting, even without attending a single meet.

aquageek
March 8th, 2010, 05:27 PM
So there's no health benefits if you don't take working out seriously?

I find the results I see on the scale and in the mirror reward enough, and I certainly know I'm benefiting, even without attending a single meet.

That's not what I said, or I said it wrong in the interest of brevity. Whatever your goals are, take them seriously, or don't bother. That clearer?

It doesn't matter to me if you attend a meet, although I think you are missing out on the best part of USMS if you don't.

pwb
March 8th, 2010, 05:36 PM
I find when I'm close to tipping the scales for too serious I find another group that is even more serious, which, in turn, gives me a new level of seriousness to strive for.


...Whatever your goals are, take them seriously, or don't bother. That clearer?

You are one smart geek. :applaud:

Herb
March 8th, 2010, 09:38 PM
Competition can spice things up, but no masters swimmer I know will scorn beer/wine between days at a meet because it might have an adverse affect on their performance.



I recently took two days off from drinking before a meet, which was hard especially since that meant friday and saturday night. I felt better than ever, yet somehow my times were no better. If I ever went for a solo meet getaway I don't know if I would even make it to the pool...

But anyway, for me the competition is a means to an end. If I am not competing I am not going to get myself to workout when I don't feel like it, I am going to be more likely to eat chili cheese fries for lunch instead of a salad, etc.. But I am competing against myself so any kind of enhancement would defeat the purpose.

The idea of drug testing for masters would be laughable for most of us. I would probably quit before I had to pee in a cup. The last thing I need is the man taking away the one form of recreation (a healthy one at that) I have left.

But I suppose those of you that are top ten in the nation could understandably feel different? Would the drug tests only be at nationals or if you set a record or something.

BigNoodler
March 8th, 2010, 09:44 PM
I'm sure there are lots of people who use PEDs just so they can look better (e.g., gym rats that aren't competing in bodybuilding), so it certainly isn't a stretch to think people would use PEDs to do better in actual competitions, "just masters" or otherwise.

Please excuse my ignorance on this subject, but I really thought PEDs made women look WORSE and not better? Which ones make us look better and in what way? :)

BigNoodler
March 8th, 2010, 09:46 PM
I think it is up to you to decide if your behavior is the irrational kind to which Chris was alluding.

I thought it was up to Chris to decide!

The Fortress
March 8th, 2010, 10:03 PM
Please excuse my ignorance on this subject, but I really thought PEDs made women look WORSE and not better? Which ones make us look better and in what way? :)


What about HGH?

BigNoodler
March 8th, 2010, 10:04 PM
What about HGH?

I don't know too much about it other than it's the hot thing right now. How would it make us women look better? If it will turn me into Adriana Lima, I will consider it!
Oooo and better yet, do you have before and after pics of women?
Just did some quick research on it and sounds like it does little for us other than increase our risk of breast cancer so yuck.

The Fortress
March 8th, 2010, 10:33 PM
I don't know too much about it other than it's the hot thing right now. How would it make us women look better? If it will turn me into Adriana Lima, I will consider it!
Oooo and better yet, do you have before and after pics of women?
Just did some quick research on it and sounds like it does little for us other than increase our risk of breast cancer so yuck.

I don't know anything about it either, but I thought it was a "fountain of youth" drug. So perhaps better skin, more energy etc?

Chicken of the Sea
March 8th, 2010, 10:38 PM
Please excuse my ignorance on this subject, but I really thought PEDs made women look WORSE and not better? Which ones make us look better and in what way? :)

beer makes us look better :chug:

poolraat
March 8th, 2010, 11:18 PM
beer makes us look better :chug:



:rofl: :lmao:

Allen Stark
March 9th, 2010, 01:10 AM
I don't drink before or during a meet,but then I don't drink(significant alcoholism in the family.)I wouldn't fly across the country for a meet,hole up in a hotel to save my legs during the meet,and own 2 LZrs and a Jaked if I didn't take it seriously.To me part of taking it seriously is playing by the rules which means such things as not trying to sneak in a 2nd dolphin kick in the the BR pulldown as well as no PEDs.

gobears
March 9th, 2010, 07:37 AM
To me part of taking it seriously is playing by the rules which means such things as not trying to sneak in a 2nd dolphin kick in the the BR pulldown as well as no PEDs.

Well said.

joshua
March 9th, 2010, 09:45 AM
I think that this thread presents an interesting question: when does a healthy hobby become an unhealthy obsession?

I have a work associate who has been a serious triathlete as long as I've known him (22 years) and before. He is also a vegan. As a result of tri training he has had a few bad bike accidents and developed serious bone spurs from all that running. He has had numerous operations. On top of all that, he recently developed skin cancer on his nose from all those hours in the sun (ironically, he didn't use sun screen). I would say that he is obsessed.

There is no money in masters swimming and very limited fame. And yet some people are willing to risk their health for a little fleeting glory. That's when the line has been crossed.

aquageek
March 9th, 2010, 09:58 AM
I have a work associate who has been a serious triathlete as long as I've known him (22 years) and before. He is also a vegan. As a result of tri training he has had a few bad bike accidents and developed serious bone spurs from all that running. He has had numerous operations. On top of all that, he recently developed skin cancer on his nose from all those hours in the sun (ironically, he didn't use sun screen). I would say that he is obsessed.

There is no money in masters swimming and very limited fame. And yet some people are willing to risk their health for a little fleeting glory. That's when the line has been crossed.

This really isn't your call to make and sounds a lot like gossip. All athletic achievement is fleeting and momentary, so why bother at all?

gobears
March 9th, 2010, 10:07 AM
There is no money in masters swimming and very limited fame. And yet some people are willing to risk their health for a little fleeting glory. That's when the line has been crossed.

I always assumed that many of us trained for the love of the training as opposed to the love of any kind of fame or glory. I'm addicted to the endorphins and I'll train with no goals but that I love to get my heart rate up (and my stress levels down). I'm sure I'd be classified as obsessive when it comes to loving to train. However, I can always find those around me who do so much more they make me feel balanced :)

mindy
March 9th, 2010, 10:10 AM
I had a masters swimmer publicly and privately berate me as a coach because I didn't get that masters swimming was all about fun and friendly social interaction...
This swimmer who is over 55 years of age, openly cried on deck in frustration over race times and performance.

Ask any coach. There are a few in every club who care - in the most unhealthy ways.
I don't really understand where crying fits in with drug use, but maybe you were trying to say people take swimming too seriously. Some people cry during movies and commercials, and their emotions are closer to the surface than others. to say crying at a meet is unhealthy, may be a little judgemental. I never showed emotion for about twenty years, and after seeing a therapist about marital issues , he said I did not cry enough. You should try it, It feels great!!!!! I think I'll go watch a commercial about puppies, and have a good tear or two.

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 10:42 AM
I don't know anything about it either, but I thought it was a "fountain of youth" drug. So perhaps better skin, more energy etc?

Ha ha - I'm too old to believe there is such a thing.

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 10:46 AM
Ha ha - I'm too old to believe there is such a thing.

Advertising claims are just that -- claims or puffery.

Plain old exercise seems to work the best for staying young(er).

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 10:50 AM
Advertising claims are just that -- claims or puffery.

Plain old exercise seems to work the best for staying young(er).

Agreed. And not smoking. And not doing drugs. And limiting alcohol. Get enough sleep. And try and limit stress. Eat healthy. There's the fountain of youth. Good genetics help too.

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 10:52 AM
Because exercise is viewed as generally healthy, people often have a difficult time associating anything unhealthy about it. Nonetheless, it can turn into an addiction that is as destructive as a gambling or drug addiction. As with any addiction, those addicted throw out common sense so that they can focus on their addiction.

Ten years ago, I got into triathlons and did very well on my first one. Like a gambler high on his win, I started training like a nut, losing any sense of when to let my body rest. I ended up with a nasty femoral neck stress fracture, narrowly avoiding surgery and a likely hip replacement down the road. Fortunately, I recovered 100% from the injury and was able to do triathlons again, but I learned my lesson.

On the other hand, I have found that there are people, usually non-exercising types, that are quick to judge people as OCD for doing something a little out of the ordinary. Goodness knows, around here, I've been judged as obsessive for swimming 3,000 yards or biking 35 miles (didn't do these the same day). These distances aren't even that much to most that train in these disciplines.

There is, however, a line. I think each line should be drawn based on the particular individual and his/her life circumstances. What may be a little nutty for me might be completely routine, "normal," and healthy for somebody else.

aztimm
March 9th, 2010, 10:56 AM
I see nothing wrong with drug testing anyone who places in the national top 10 list. Actually, I'm surprised it isn't already happening. After all, these swimmers represent USMS on both a national and international scale. They are featured on the website, in the USMS magazine, and in some cases local media. I could see our local media here having a field day in finding out that a top 10 swimmer purposely took drugs to get that ranking. I would hesitate to renew my membership if this ever happens. Certainly if someone elected not to be tested, that would be their choice, but they should be stripped of their top 10 listing.

I would be opposed however of passing the cost for this on to the general membership.

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 11:13 AM
I see nothing wrong with drug testing anyone who places in the national top 10 list. Actually, I'm surprised it isn't already happening. After all, these swimmers represent USMS on both a national and international scale. They are featured on the website, in the USMS magazine, and in some cases local media. I could see our local media here having a field day in finding out that a top 10 swimmer purposely took drugs to get that ranking. I would hesitate to renew my membership if this ever happens. Certainly if someone elected not to be tested, that would be their choice, but they should be stripped of their top 10 listing.

I would be opposed however of passing the cost for this on to the general membership.

What is the purpose for testing masters swimmers? I feel that unlike USA-S for example where kids/ young adults can get college scholarships or turn pro and make a living off of it or go to the Olympics, we really don't have that here at masters. If I get a slew of #1s or even All Star status or a National Record (which I don't have), I don't see my life changing one bit in any way. And as for any fame or glory, my family doesn't really even know what these accomplishments mean. And I have to say they don't care either. And strangers/ friends get a glazed look in their eye when hubby tries to explain what I did. :) Now I also belong and swim with USA-S and it doesn't bother me that I can be drug tested at any time.

pwb
March 9th, 2010, 11:13 AM
I see nothing wrong with drug testing anyone who places in the national top 10 list ... I do. I've got nothing to hide, but it's hard enough to get meets run with volunteer Meet Directors, Officials, etc. without having to then get certified drug-testers,equipment, etc. It would lead to a dramatic decline, I think, in the number of meets hosted.

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 11:13 AM
Seriously? That seems to be casting a rather wide net. Our local media seems unaware that masters swimming even exists. I've heard the usual rumor about X or Y possibly taking PEDs, but I'm inclined to think most TT masters don't. And just out of curiosity, do other masters athletes get tested?

And how often are you tested? Couldn't the drug tests get rather expensive for the swimmer that happened to train hard and swim fast?

gull
March 9th, 2010, 11:15 AM
Hey are those real?

Chris Stevenson
March 9th, 2010, 11:16 AM
I see nothing wrong with drug testing anyone who places in the national top 10 list. Actually, I'm surprised it isn't already happening. After all, these swimmers represent USMS on both a national and international scale. They are featured on the website, in the USMS magazine, and in some cases local media. I could see our local media here having a field day in finding out that a top 10 swimmer purposely took drugs to get that ranking. I would hesitate to renew my membership if this ever happens. Certainly if someone elected not to be tested, that would be their choice, but they should be stripped of their top 10 listing.

I would be opposed however of passing the cost for this on to the general membership.

So who should pay, exactly? The people being tested? That's certainly not fair. It seem like you would derive value from knowing the top performances are clean, and yet you think someone else should pay for that.

The main thing "wrong" with it is the cost and inconvenience; I guess some have privacy issues too. If it were easy, cheap and infallible, I would agree that everyone should be tested.

Since it isn't, like anything else, I think we should go with majority rules, with the cost being covered by increased fees. If the membership decides it isn't worth the cost, then that's the will of the people.

Honestly, despite this thread, I haven't seen any groundswell of support for even voting for such a thing. Probably because most masters swimmers think there isn't much PED use, so who wants to pay for a solution to a problem that probably doesn't exist?

I think it would be interesting to do a (more limited, probably anonymous) study to even see if there IS a problem. Then an informed decision can be made. I suspect even that won't happen anytime soon.

ourswimmer
March 9th, 2010, 11:17 AM
Certainly if someone elected not to be tested, that would be their choice, but they should be stripped of their top 10 listing.

I would be opposed however of passing the cost for this on to the general membership.

Do you mean, then, that if testing were free you'd want us to do it, but because it isn't free and because it isn't worth any cost to the membership we should forget about it?

Or are you proposing that people who swim fast enough to TT should pay extra for the privilege of being tested and so appearing on the list? I am pretty sure that the number of people who would do so is vanishingly small; you'd have a Top 2 list pretty quick, neither of whom would be anywhere near the fastest actual swimmers in that event that year.

Anyway, you rather seriously overestimate the glory of making the TT.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
March 9th, 2010, 11:25 AM
You should try it, It feels great!!!!! I think I'll go watch a commercial about puppies, and have a good tear or two.

Ha Ha Ha!

Crying when I need to? I am the master of that baby!

aquageek
March 9th, 2010, 11:33 AM
Drug testing for USMS makes me laugh out loud. Why in the world would we do that and who really cares? If there's a swimmer that is fast that uses PED's, so what? I don't swim for him/her and he doesn't swim for me. This would be a beurocratic nightmare and well beyond the scope of the mission of USMS.

Who wants to go to a small local meet with friends and have to pee in a cup? Talk about destroying the atmosphere of Masters. You do-gooders already took my suit, leave the rest of me alone, geez louise.

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 11:34 AM
Seriously? That seems to be casting a rather wide net. Our local media seems unaware that masters swimming even exists. I've heard the usual rumor about X or Y possibly taking PEDs, but I'm inclined to think most TT masters don't. And just out of curiosity, do other masters athletes get tested?

And how often are you tested? Couldn't the drug tests get rather expensive for the swimmer that happened to train hard and swim fast?

It would be interesting to know what other sports test masters athletes and how they do it.

Testing does seem unrealistic. What if, however, somebody is blatant and open about his/her PED use, knowing they aren't going to be tested? I suppose about the only thing that can be done is to give that person the "hairy eyeball."

Ahelee Sue Osborn
March 9th, 2010, 11:39 AM
Again, perhaps a bit off topic...

I've had swimmers in the programs who openly admit to having used PEDs in a previous sport - or era of their training.
All have had some serious physical ailment they struggle with daily.
And surprise surprise - they're not swimming at all close to their own perceived best potential.

I like the suggestion made about a coach dealing personally with these individuals to bring their confidence forward. Sometimes a low self-esteem can be a years long project.
Masters swimming can offer those years of support among friends.

fritznh
March 9th, 2010, 11:41 AM
I see nothing wrong with drug testing anyone who places in the national top 10 list. Actually, I'm surprised it isn't already happening. After all, these swimmers represent USMS on both a national and international scale. They are featured on the website, in the USMS magazine, and in some cases local media. I could see our local media here having a field day in finding out that a top 10 swimmer purposely took drugs to get that ranking. I would hesitate to renew my membership if this ever happens. Certainly if someone elected not to be tested, that would be their choice, but they should be stripped of their top 10 listing.

I would be opposed however of passing the cost for this on to the general membership.

I agree with Chris on this one. I'm perfectly willing to get tested if I make a TT, but it should be free for the one subject to the test. It is probably more trouble than it is worth to the sanctioning body. Is it actually an issue? Really?

I could see the benefit at the elite Olympic level with endorsements, TV, etc. but being the fastest 50 free swimmer in the category of 45-49 year old males who watch ESPN on Thursday, drink Long Trail and drive Fords is not exactly a big thing on a national level -- it is a very small group. I would expect those who drink lighter beer would be faster, too. But I digress. The point is that there is not much incentive to take steroids at this level, so why bother doing the tests?

Just a thought.

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 11:42 AM
Drug testing for USMS makes me laugh out loud. You do-gooders already took my suit, leave the rest of me alone, geez louise.

What? All that extra cash you'll be saving on suits you don't want to spend to prove you're clean? Oh wait, never mind, the new low tech paper suits cost almost as much ... :rolleyes:

Chris Stevenson
March 9th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Oh wait, never mind, the new low tech paper suits cost almost as much ... :rolleyes:

Depends on your gender. I raced in a $30 pair of briefs last weekend and was not significantly slower than with a $100 pair of jammers. Both of which are a heck of a lot less than I paid for my last B70.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
March 9th, 2010, 11:52 AM
What? All that extra cash you'll be saving on suits you don't want to spend to prove you're clean? Oh wait, never mind, the new low tech paper suits cost almost as much ... :rolleyes:

Did I miss a post or has anyone noted the actual cost of drug testing an individual?

Sheez... don't worry - it will never happen in masters swimming!
(TT in how many events over how many age-groups?)

Remember, this is a sport where athletes complain about paying $20.-$30. for a day of swimming at a meet - $40 for USMS dues - And $55. a month for 20 + available coached weekly workouts!

Lets' talk about things that are going to happen.

Like WHERE is the meet information for LC Nationals in Puerto Rico?

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Depends on your gender. I raced in a $30 pair of briefs last weekend and was not significantly slower than with a $100 pair of jammers. Both of which are a heck of a lot less than I paid for my last B70.

Shocker -- a rule that benefits men and disadvantages women. :bolt: Speedo is certainty taking advantage of ripping off women to help subsidize the revenue loss on the men's side.

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 12:00 PM
Did I miss a post or has anyone noted the actual cost of drug testing an individual?



I have no idea how much it costs. I'm assuming a lot. It cost me plenty just to find out I was allergic to gluten.

I agree, it'll never happen. More important things to worry about.

Chris Stevenson
March 9th, 2010, 12:05 PM
Shocker -- a rule that benefits men and disadvantages women. :bolt: Speedo is certainty taking advantage of ripping off women to help subsidize the revenue loss on the men's side.

Please. There have been large cost differentials in men & women suits for decades, it is hardly the result of this one rule. It was only recently that Speedo was able to overcharge men to the same extent as women.

And they are still doing it to men too, or haven't you noticed the $280 pair of jammers?

As tech lovers noted many times in the past, no one is forcing you to buy the fancy suits. Though I'll admit they aren't quite so fancy anymore.

But in an attempt to get back to the original question for the thread: I don't think anyone knows the extent of doping in masters swimming (well, except for me and my extrasensory powers), and no one seems much in a hurry to find out.

no200fly
March 9th, 2010, 12:10 PM
So who should pay, exactly? The people being tested? That's certainly not fair. It seem like you would derive value from knowing the top performances are clean, and yet you think someone else should pay for that.

The main thing "wrong" with it is the cost and inconvenience; I guess some have privacy issues too. If it were easy, cheap and infallible, I would agree that everyone should be tested.



If you compare the Rx Drug Poll/Thread to the Global DRO mentioned in the article, you will see that some of the drugs currently taken by people in that thread are either prohibited in competition or require declaration. I really doubt that anyone who publicly stated their use on this site are taking those drugs to enhance their performance. That's why I think it would be a real pain to start testing masters swimmers. If there are a few who take PEDs and beat me, they will just have to get in line with all of the other people who beat me without them.

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 12:11 PM
Please. There have been large cost differentials in men & women suits for decades, it is hardly the result of this one rule. It was only recently that Speedo was able to overcharge men to the same extent as women.

And they are still doing it to men too, or haven't you noticed the $280 pair of jammers?

As tech lovers noted many times in the past, no one is forcing you to buy the fancy suits. Though I'll admit they aren't quite so fancy anymore.

But in an attempt to get back to the original question for the thread: I don't think anyone knows the extent of doping in masters swimming (well, except for me and my extrasensory powers), and no one seems much in a hurry to find out.

I was really just joshing.

However, the last big meet I attended for kids was a sea of kneeskins. Nary a tank in sight. I'm sure it will be the same for female competitors in the big masters SCM meets or LCM meets. And I'm not sure I ever said the bolded part. (Though perhaps I did, as I'm not taking any drugs to prevent senility.) Now, if you really are just swimming for yourself and don't care about rankings or racing, then no, no one is forcing you to buy a low tech tech suit.

I'm sure most have some idle curiosity about doping (and perhaps it goes on more than we realize), but as you say, no one wants to devote the time or resources to find out.

aquageek
March 9th, 2010, 12:17 PM
Here's how it all would play out:

75% of USMS members don't compete and therefore have no chance of getting at top ten but will be required to underwrite the majority of the drug program. That will eliminate about 50% of them from our rolls.

20% of the membership set have some paranoia anti government thing going about drug testing and will quit USMS.

50% of swimmers are super cheapskates and will quit when their dues rise.

20% will quit thinking drug testing grandparents who love to swim is ridiculous.

After all of this, USMS is left is 1% of it's original popoulation, .25% of which compete so everyone is a top 10 by default. Nationals is attended by 12 people and it takes 2 hours and held at the Holidome in Gary, Indiana. Fort still attends but is pissed about the order of events.

JimRude
March 9th, 2010, 12:20 PM
I see nothing wrong with drug testing anyone who places in the national top 10 list. Actually, I'm surprised it isn't already happening. After all, these swimmers represent USMS on both a national and international scale. They are featured on the website, in the USMS magazine, and in some cases local media. I could see our local media here having a field day in finding out that a top 10 swimmer purposely took drugs to get that ranking. I would hesitate to renew my membership if this ever happens. Certainly if someone elected not to be tested, that would be their choice, but they should be stripped of their top 10 listing.

I would be opposed however of passing the cost for this on to the general membership.

I propose drug testing anyone who DOESN'T make the TT. 'Cause if you don't make TT, you MUST be high...:banana: (insert dancing banana, as there is no stoner emoticon).

Just joking, of course, but this is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read on these boards.

Karen Duggan
March 9th, 2010, 12:20 PM
I could foresee dope testing at the international level.
FINA could dope test the TT world list...
That would cover some USMSers.

(fffffftttt, hear that can of worms opening)

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 12:25 PM
I could foresee dope testing at the international level.
FINA could dope test the TT world list...
That would cover some USMSers.

(fffffftttt, here that can of worms opening)

Haha, instigator!

Just imagine FINA attempting to formulate and adopt a drug testing rule for masters: OK, we'll use the current FINA/NCAA list and it's effective on May 1. No, we forgot that we're old and all taking some of those drugs (and are pharma companies masters sponsors?), so let's winnow down the list of banned drugs to accommodate geezers. OK, here's the new list effective August 1. What? We have to test at Worlds? No, we don't have the personnel and testing procedures in place in time for that. Let's move the ban to Dec. 31 and maybe in the interim we can come up with a viable plan. Dec. 30 announcement: sorry, we couldn't manage it. To avoid hypocrisy, we'll let you go back to wearing rubber -- PEDs all the way!

orca1946
March 9th, 2010, 12:27 PM
A lot of OTC stuff is on the T & F ban list .

Jazz Hands
March 9th, 2010, 12:58 PM
I think the following things are both pointless in masters swimming:

Drug testing
Official rankings and records

So I guess if a bunch of people decide they really really care about being officially recognized as the bestest most special masters swimmers, they can pay to be drug tested.

gobears
March 9th, 2010, 01:04 PM
I think the following things are both pointless in masters swimming:

Drug testing
Official rankings and records

So I guess if a bunch of people decide they really really care about being officially recognized as the bestest most special masters swimmers, they can pay to be drug tested.

Wow. And my statement was haughty?? :afraid:

gull
March 9th, 2010, 01:20 PM
I think the following things are both pointless in masters swimming:

Drug testing
Official rankings and records

So I guess if a bunch of people decide they really really care about being officially recognized as the bestest most special masters swimmers, they can pay to be drug tested.

I care about rankings. I even like the medals. How pathetic is that?

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 01:40 PM
I think the following things are both pointless in masters swimming:

Drug testing
Official rankings and records

So I guess if a bunch of people decide they really really care about being officially recognized as the bestest most special masters swimmers, they can pay to be drug tested.

I agree with the drug testing, but why the official rankings and records?

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 02:12 PM
I agree with the drug testing, but why the official rankings and records?

Maybe b/c in the big picture they mean nothing? Don't get me wrong, I like them at times, usually when I'm ranked well! LOL!

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 02:12 PM
I care about rankings. I even like the medals. How pathetic is that?

I really cared about getting a 4 inch tall high point trophy @ a recent masters meet. I have no idea why. Instead of swimming a few events well, I had to swim lots of events poorly! My husband laughed when he saw it and so did I. Perhaps these little trinkets are a fun diversion. . .

__steve__
March 9th, 2010, 02:55 PM
I think members of congress need to be drug tested.

aquageek
March 9th, 2010, 03:02 PM
I totally dig medals, get some of that Jazzdingle!

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 03:18 PM
Maybe b/c in the big picture they mean nothing? Don't get me wrong, I like them at times, usually when I'm ranked well! LOL!

True enough. I am curious, however, to hear Jazz's reasoning. People have different reasons for believing what they do. Who knows? I might agree with him.

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 03:26 PM
I really cared about getting a 4 inch tall high point trophy @ a recent masters meet. I have no idea why. Instead of swimming a few events well, I had to swim lots of events poorly! My husband laughed when he saw it and so did I. Perhaps these little trinkets are a fun diversion. . .

Perhaps for you. For my friend who swam her last swim meet at Auburn a year ago before losing her life to breast cancer three months after the meet, such trinkets gave her a reason to live.

I don't think you should laugh at such things. Be glad you can swim at all. Tomorrow, you could be in a car wreck and never be able to swim competitively again. I suspect that you would appreciate the trinkets and the rankings more than you know.

lefty
March 9th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Jazz's reasoning.

Don't hold your breath on that...

Records, top ten, official rankings etc: they motivates many people to train harder and smarter. Some people use them as goals. Some people use them as confirmation that, while they may be getting older, they are doing better than their peers. If it does not matter to you, so be it, but it doesn't take much intelligence to recognize that there is value in recording this data. To make a broad statement that those kind of things are pointless is quite self abosrbed.

knelson
March 9th, 2010, 04:03 PM
For all of you who don't care about ranking, I noticed the 2009 world rankings are up on the FINA site. I haven't seen the full listing yet, but 2009 is available in the online search for both short course and long course.

Karen Duggan
March 9th, 2010, 04:09 PM
I will usually pick up awards if I earn them. But I really don't care if a meet has awards or not.

If you won it (whatever place) why not get it?

Jazz Hands
March 9th, 2010, 04:10 PM
Don't hold your breath on that...

Records, top ten, official rankings etc: they motivates many people to train harder and smarter. Some people use them as goals. Some people use them as confirmation that, while they may be getting older, they are doing better than their peers. If it does not matter to you, so be it, but it doesn't take much intelligence to recognize that there is value in recording this data. To make a broad statement that those kind of things are pointless is quite self abosrbed.
Indeed, I have very little intelligence and I am self abosrbed.

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Indeed, I have very little intelligence and I am self abosrbed.

Not true! :) Although, what is abosrbed? Just kidding!

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 04:29 PM
Perhaps for you. For my friend who swam her last swim meet at Auburn a year ago before losing her life to breast cancer three months after the meet, such trinkets gave her a reason to live.

I don't think you should laugh at such things. Be glad you can swim at all. Tomorrow, you could be in a car wreck and never be able to swim competitively again. I suspect that you would appreciate the trinkets and the rankings more than you know.

I see no reason to not chuckle with my hubby (it was either get mad at him or join in) and some of the other high point winners at our little (and by that I mean actual size) award for which we all slaved over to earn.
Obviously, we all saw some kind of personal growth, value in the process otherwise we would not have bothered with it.

Nor do I need to be told how fortunate I am to have my health and to be able to swim each day. After having whiplash recently from your suggested car wreck that I actually was in; major eye surgery with a risk of blindness; a father with a fatal aortic aneurysm; a close family member who is an alcoholic; and a mother with cancer I'm well aware of the value. Sorry sweetie, but I need to be able to laugh some of the time.

Jazz Hands
March 9th, 2010, 04:31 PM
True enough. I am curious, however, to hear Jazz's reasoning. People have different reasons for believing what they do. Who knows? I might agree with him.

BigNoodler basically got it. It all seems awfully abstract. The more I think about it, the more I think that what it actually means to be ranked number X in such-and-such a division is close to nothing. The reasons that each of us swims, and the reasons that each of us might be proud of a particular time, are hopelessly separated from the giant mess of factors that determine 1) how fast everyone else is and 2) whether they get lumped into a division with you.

Let's say Joe Freestyle does the 50 in 22 seconds, and he's 35 years old. He is ranked X in USMS in the year Y in the 35-39 age group. He's proud of his time because it's reasonably close to what he did in college, and now he has things in his life that make it more difficult for him to train, plus he's older now and spent several years out of shape, so it represents a comeback. Basically, he likes that he trained smart and made improvement. This is a fairly typical story. So how does he compare himself to the X minus 1 swimmers ahead of him in the rankings? A lot of them maybe have < Z children to look after whereas he has Z. Maybe some of them have enough money to hire expert personal trainers. Maybe one or two of them are still professional athletes who devote themselves full time to the sport and only slum it in masters. But hey, Joe Freestyle is on the young side of the age group, and that's not fair either. You know, in the year Y minus 1 Joe would be ranked < X, but maybe in Y plus one he'll be > X. Of course, everyone is always getting smarter in the way they train, so does he care how smart he is relative to this year's crop or last years? Is it an unfair advantage to read Fort's blog? Etc.

How, exactly, is Joe Freestyle supposed to use the number X to get any sort of feel for what he accomplished?

swimmj
March 9th, 2010, 04:36 PM
Perhaps for you. For my friend who swam her last swim meet at Auburn a year ago before losing her life to breast cancer three months after the meet, such trinkets gave her a reason to live.

I don't think you should laugh at such things. Be glad you can swim at all. Tomorrow, you could be in a car wreck and never be able to swim competitively again. I suspect that you would appreciate the trinkets and the rankings more than you know.

No kidding! I am fairly serious about my swimming - that said, in the grand scheme of things, I swim for fitness, because it's fun, because I like being in a team sport that also has an individual aspect. I compete because I enjoy racing and it makes my practice time more meaningful. I was a reasonably good swimmer in age group and college but wasn't close to qualifying for Jr. Nats or NCAA's in Division 1. It's really neat that now I do qualify for nats and have gotten a few rankings.

I would not consider PEDs. I'm grateful that swimming helps me feel great and look better.

--mj

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 04:39 PM
For all of you who don't care about ranking, I noticed the 2009 world rankings are up on the FINA site. I haven't seen the full listing yet, but 2009 is available in the online search for both short course and long course.

I can't find them, Kirk. Where are you looking? I am absolutely pathetic enough to want to see how my 50 LCM back held up. And if it did, I will be psyched! But, as Jazz notes, I'm happy with the time wherever it ends up and I swam it at a meet where I had a blast.

Just because we age doesn't mean we lose our desire to race and compete and have fun and enjoy life. Fading away into our dotage where nothing matters or has value sounds dull and rather frightening.

Chris Stevenson
March 9th, 2010, 04:44 PM
BigNoodler basically got it. It all seems awfully abstract. The more I think about it, the more I think that what it actually means to be ranked number X in such-and-such a division is close to nothing. The reasons that each of us swims, and the reasons that each of us might be proud of a particular time, are hopelessly separated from the giant mess of factors that determine 1) how fast everyone else is and 2) whether they get lumped into a division with you.

...[lots of gibberish involving relational operators]...

How, exactly, is Joe Freestyle supposed to use the number X to get any sort of feel for what he accomplished?

You've been watching too many Olympics on NBC. The fact that everyone has a different backstory is what is meaningless. The watch doesn't lie, it doesn't care how many kids you (don't) have, how many hours you have to work, etc.

A ranking is very simple: it tells you how many people in your age group beat you in that particular year. No more, no less. What value you attach to it is completely up to you.

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 04:44 PM
I can't find them, Kirk. Where are you looking? I am absolutely pathetic enough to want to see how my 50 LCM back held up. And if it did, I will be psyched! But, as Jazz notes, I'm happy with the time wherever it ends up and I swam it at a meet where I had a blast.

Just because we age doesn't mean we lose our desire to race and compete and have fun and enjoy life. Fading away into our dotage where nothing matters or has value sounds dull and rather frightening.

I too am excited about your ranking!!! Would that be your first #1 in the world possibly? I find you completely NOT pathetic! Although apparently I'm a pathetic monster for having a laugh at a meet. Sheesh.

knelson
March 9th, 2010, 04:45 PM
I can't find them, Kirk. Where are you looking? I am absolutely pathetic enough to want to see how my 50 LCM back held up. And if it did, I will be psyched!

You will be psyched! :)

http://www.fina.org/database/main/tabulations.php

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 04:46 PM
I see no reason to not chuckle with my hubby (it was either get mad at him or join in) and some of the other high point winners at our little (and by that I mean actual size) award for which we all slaved over to earn.
Obviously, we all saw some kind of personal growth, value in the process otherwise we would not have bothered with it.

Nor do I need to be told how fortunate I am to have my health and to be able to swim each day. After having whiplash recently from your suggested car wreck that I actually was in; major eye surgery with a risk of blindness; a father with a fatal aortic aneurysm; a close family member who is an alcoholic; and a mother with cancer I'm well aware of the value.

Now, now Big Noodler. No need to get so defensive. It just appeared to me that you were being a little cavalier ("a fun diversion") about something that quite a few masters swimmers will never have a chance to get. I apologize if I misinterpreted your position on the issue.

The tiniest of awards can mean so much to many. I got the award you are refering to 3 years ago at the Auburn meet and really treasure it. I think it is actually the same size and same model. One year prior, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to compete again.

Sorry to hear about the whiplash. That's no fun.

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 04:50 PM
You will be psyched! :)

http://www.fina.org/database/main/tabulations.php

Thanks!
:bliss:

no200fly
March 9th, 2010, 04:51 PM
I can't find them, Kirk. Where are you looking? I am absolutely pathetic enough to want to see how my 50 LCM back held up. And if it did, I will be psyched!

It did - try here: http://www.fina.org/project/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=707&Itemid=331

go to "check tabulations online"

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 04:51 PM
You will be psyched! :)

http://www.fina.org/database/main/tabulations.php

And thanks from me too! Double psyched! I think that makes me a bad person. Good!:angel:

Jazz Hands
March 9th, 2010, 04:53 PM
You've been watching too many Olympics on NBC. The fact that everyone has a different backstory is what is meaningless. The watch doesn't lie, it doesn't care how many kids you (don't) have, how many hours you have to work, etc.

A ranking is very simple: it tells you how many people in your age group beat you in that particular year. No more, no less.

Emphasis added. Why age groups, or gender groups? Men, largely due to hormonal differences, swim faster than women. If that factor is worthy of creating divisions, maybe those with hormonal assistance should have their own division, too? What if I have low testosterone and I only want to supplement it to equal my rival? What's more unfair, a genetic testosterone advantage or a synthetic testosterone advantage? What about being genetically predisposed toward having the type of personality that enjoys tedious-yet-beneficial swim training? What if you get that personality by taking Ritalin?

Chris Stevenson
March 9th, 2010, 05:03 PM
Emphasis added. Why age groups, or gender groups? Men, largely due to hormonal differences, swim faster than women. If that factor is worthy of creating divisions, maybe those with hormonal assistance should have their own division, too? What if I have low testosterone and I only want to supplement it to equal my rival? What's more unfair, a genetic testosterone advantage or a synthetic testosterone advantage? What about being genetically predisposed toward having the type of personality that enjoys tedious-yet-beneficial swim training? What if you get that personality by taking Ritalin?

Geez, you need to lay off the caffeine this late in the day.

You can tabulate and divide them any way you wish, if that is your desire. All these (meaningless) data are available for downloading, slicing and dicing for your pleasure.

(And did I just hear you admit that tedious swim training might in fact be beneficial? Who ARE you, really? Will the real Jazz Hands ever come back?)

knelson
March 9th, 2010, 05:03 PM
What about being genetically predisposed toward having the type of personality that enjoys tedious-yet-beneficial swim training?

That already covered by having events such as the 400 IM and 1500 free!

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 05:06 PM
What about being genetically predisposed toward having the type of personality that enjoys tedious-yet-beneficial swim training?

Or god forbid, my personality which is the tedious-yet-NON-beneficial swim training a la Paul Smith's (correct) observation. 200 fly. . .excellent event for that kind of training!

BigNoodler
March 9th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Now, now Big Noodler. No need to get so defensive. It just appeared to me that you were being a little cavalier ("a fun diversion") about something that quite a few masters swimmers will never have a chance to get. I apologize if I misinterpreted your position on the issue.

The tiniest of awards can mean so much to many. I got the award you are refering to 3 years ago at the Auburn meet and really treasure it. I think it is actually the same size and same model. One year prior, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to compete again.

Sorry to hear about the whiplash. That's no fun.

No prob Elise. That's what makes these boards interesting at times.
My first three words on that post were, "I really cared. . . "
And very sorry to hear about your friend.

Chris Stevenson
March 9th, 2010, 05:29 PM
The tiniest of awards can mean so much to many.

Well...you have to admit that it IS kind of funny how small (most) USMS awards compared to the awards/swag at triathlons.

From where I am sitting, I can see a 5th place award that is HUGE, way bigger than anything I have ever gotten at masters swimming. What is even funnier is that it is bigger than the 4th place award from the same race a few years prior. Talk about inflation! I didn't think much about my performances, but after seeing the size of the awards, I thought "man, I must have done better than I realized!":banana:

Of course, you pay out the nose to enter those things.

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 06:02 PM
Well...you have to admit that it IS kind of funny how small (most) USMS awards compared to the awards/swag at triathlons.

From where I am sitting, I can see a 5th place award that is HUGE, way bigger than anything I have ever gotten at masters swimming. What is even funnier is that it is bigger than the 4th place award from the same race a few years prior. Talk about inflation! I didn't think much about my performances, but after seeing the size of the awards, I thought "man, I must have done better than I realized!":banana:

Of course, you pay out the nose to enter those things.

This is true. I got a large beach towel every year from one triathlon for finishing in the top three in my age group. Still have those beach towels! Good quality stuff.

Can't always say that the tri awards are the greatest though. In 2001, the female overall winner of the Rocketman Triathlon got either $300 or a $300 gift certificate. The next year, I was the female overall winner and my award was smaller than the trophy Big Noodler was talking about. The award was a trophy consisting of a 3.5 inch tall astronaut. Don't know why they decided to "size down" on the award, but so be it.

Still, that little award brings back some good memories. I showed up at the race figuring I would be lucky to place in my age-group. They accidently made the open water swim too long (around 1,000 yards instead of 800), so I ended up beating the previous year's winner. The difference in our swim times cancelled out the difference on the run (3.2 miles, a little longer than a 5k), and I got her by just an edge on the bike split. Thank goodness for "approximated" open water swims! :banana:

Jazz Hands
March 9th, 2010, 06:53 PM
You can tabulate and divide them any way you wish, if that is your desire. All these (meaningless) data are available for downloading, slicing and dicing for your pleasure

Well, no, but I like your pluralization of "data."

My point is that you are choosing to divide swimmers a certain way (age, gender), which you apparently think is meaningful. And you dismiss all other divisions with some macho "no excuses" talk, which must be some kind of reflexive response whenever people talk about the fact that there are other factors at play. Fair enough. I guess people who talk like that tend to be whining about how they rank. I'm not whining. If anything, I would prefer you actually adopt your macho response with regard to any discrimination in rankings.

Remember that all of this is within the very limited world of masters swimming, and it's well known that the fastest swimmers in the world are not generally swimming in masters meets. Hence they don't go in the rankings. Chris, you're obviously one of the best masters swimmers around (in any age group), but you just aren't going to make any top-10 or even top-100 lists of the fastest swimmers in existence. I mean the fastest swimmers, period. That's what you want to talk about, right? Everything else is just an NBC soft-focus piece, right?

rtodd
March 9th, 2010, 07:18 PM
I would say if you break a WR, you should be ready to pee in a cup. It is after all the WR that we are trying to preserve. If you can't set one, take all the PED's you want. Trouble is, the when and where. How to plan for that WR, which can be borken at any time and in any pool that is sanctioned to submit it, can be a problem and costly.

Chris Stevenson
March 9th, 2010, 07:56 PM
Well, no, but I like your pluralization of "data."

My point is that you are choosing to divide swimmers a certain way (age, gender), which you apparently think is meaningful. And you dismiss all other divisions with some macho "no excuses" talk, which must be some kind of reflexive response whenever people talk about the fact that there are other factors at play. Fair enough. I guess people who talk like that tend to be whining about how they rank. I'm not whining. If anything, I would prefer you actually adopt your macho response with regard to any discrimination in rankings.

Remember that all of this is within the very limited world of masters swimming, and it's well known that the fastest swimmers in the world are not generally swimming in masters meets. Hence they don't go in the rankings. Chris, you're obviously one of the best masters swimmers around (in any age group), but you just aren't going to make any top-10 or even top-100 lists of the fastest swimmers in existence. I mean the fastest swimmers, period. That's what you want to talk about, right? Everything else is just an NBC soft-focus piece, right?

Does all this apply to 8-year olds too? Lump them in with Olympic gold medalists? That'll grow the sport...

Dividing into age groups has been done for pretty much all sports for a long time, in some attempt at "apples to apples." Does that mean everyone in a single age group is identical? Of course not; everyone is a snowflake. So I guess that means that everyone is ranked #1 in his or her unique universe.

By the way, I routinely DO "lump all masters together" and see how I rank for my own amusement. Because I agree that person X can be very unlucky to have some superstars in her age group who takes the top spots, where if she was a little younger or older, she'd be getting better rankings. Lumping everyone together smooths out some of the sampling noise.

Reasoning along those lines is why I also like age-adjusted ratings (http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi) for times, since they don't depend at all on who else is in your age group bracket.

That Guy
March 9th, 2010, 08:04 PM
Does all this apply to 8-year olds too? Lump them in with Olympic gold medalists?

Heh heh... that reminds me of when I really WAS 8 and opened up the Guinness Book of World Records to see how my 25 free time compared with the best. At that time the 50 free hadn't been recognized yet, so the closest thing to my 25 was the 100 free. And I think there was something in there that explained that only LCM records were listed; I had not swum in an LCM pool yet. So as an 8 year old, I wasn't able to relate what I did to the world records in any way, shape, or form. Yet I continued with the sport :angel:

The Fortress
March 9th, 2010, 08:15 PM
Everyone is a snowflake. So I guess that means that everyone is ranked #1 in his or her unique universe.



Is this sort of crunchy granola thought allowed by professors?

I don't want to be a snowflake. Can I be a daffodil?

stillwater
March 9th, 2010, 08:28 PM
I say test for PEDs for world record times. No test no record. I'll chip in to pay for it. I know it would be a logistical nightmare, but not insurmountable.

I would prefer to not spend a dime for tests for top ten USMS times. If top ten times are so dang important I would think that the proud swimmers would happily fork over the dough to see their name in the limelight.

In the end however, all a man has is his integrity.

lefty
March 9th, 2010, 08:44 PM
Indeed, I have very little intelligence and I am self abosrbed.

Jazz I don't believe that any more than you believe that top 10 lists have do not have a place in Master's swimming. It is fun, though, to see someone defend an asinine position because someone called the position unintelligent.

aquageek
March 9th, 2010, 09:05 PM
...and it's well known that the fastest swimmers in the world are not generally swimming in masters meets. Hence they don't go in the rankings.

Well known where? I just witnessed Cullen Jones cheering Nick Brunelli on in the 50 free at a USMS meet, with Brunelli going 19.23. I've seen countless Olympians at USMS meets as well over the years. Heck, I was at a tiny little meet in SC a few months back and saw two Olympians swim there. You need to get out more.

Rich Abrahams
March 9th, 2010, 09:42 PM
Well, no, but I like your pluralization of "data."

My point is that you are choosing to divide swimmers a certain way (age, gender), which you apparently think is meaningful. And you dismiss all other divisions with some macho "no excuses" talk, which must be some kind of reflexive response whenever people talk about the fact that there are other factors at play. Fair enough. I guess people who talk like that tend to be whining about how they rank. I'm not whining. If anything, I would prefer you actually adopt your macho response with regard to any discrimination in rankings.

Remember that all of this is within the very limited world of masters swimming, and it's well known that the fastest swimmers in the world are not generally swimming in masters meets. Hence they don't go in the rankings. Chris, you're obviously one of the best masters swimmers around (in any age group), but you just aren't going to make any top-10 or even top-100 lists of the fastest swimmers in existence. I mean the fastest swimmers, period. That's what you want to talk about, right? Everything else is just an NBC soft-focus piece, right?

Brian, by your reasoning we're being arbitrary by excluding other species and just ranking humans.

elise526
March 9th, 2010, 10:11 PM
Sorry sweetie, but I need to be able to laugh some of the time.

Nothing like a good laugh. Admittedly, there are some awards that when you look at them, you have to laugh. Wish I had time to go up into the attic, unpack a box, and take a picture of some trophy I won in college that is topped with a Budweiser Beer can. No, it wasn't a drinking contest. It was the Sigma Chi Road Race during Sigma Chi Derby Week. How can you not laugh at a trophy topped with a beer can?

Peter Cruise
March 9th, 2010, 10:19 PM
Gee, The Geek being such a competitive guy, it must be really grinding on him that his beloved Tar Heels were lunch for the Dookies...

To me those swimmers that do not consider taking PED's are those that are really serious about our sport.

knelson
March 10th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Heh heh... that reminds me of when I really WAS 8 and opened up the Guinness Book of World Records to see how my 25 free time compared with the best.
...Yet I continued with the sport :angel:

That was a real decision point in your life. Should you continue swimming or try to grow your fingernails really long like that Indian guy? I applaud your choice! :banana:

lefty
March 10th, 2010, 10:34 AM
That was a real decision point in your life. Should you continue swimming or try to grow your fingernails really long like that Indian guy? I applaud your choice! :banana:



*****

(5 stars!)

Those two twins on the motorcycles also wouldn't have been a good choice. Espeically if you don't have a twin.

knelson
March 10th, 2010, 12:07 PM
Those two twins on the motorcycles

Wait, wouldn't "two twins" be four total people?

That Guy
March 10th, 2010, 12:33 PM
That was a real decision point in your life. Should you continue swimming or try to grow your fingernails really long like that Indian guy? I applaud your choice! :banana:
:rofl:

Chris Stevenson
March 10th, 2010, 12:35 PM
Gee, The Geek being such a competitive guy, it must be really grinding on him that his beloved Tar Heels were lunch for the Dookies...

Blows below the belt do not indicate gentlemanly behavior. You must be on PEDs, right? It is well known that Dookies are an unethical, unsavory lot...

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 01:09 PM
Blows below the belt do not indicate gentlemanly behavior. You must be on PEDs, right? It is well known that Dookies are an unethical, unsavory lot...

Not to worry. The Terps will take care of the Dookies in the ACC Tourney.

gull
March 10th, 2010, 01:10 PM
Perhaps we should propose "Mr. Overly Competitive Masters Swimmer" for the Real Men of Genius ad campaign.

Karen Duggan
March 10th, 2010, 01:28 PM
I would like to see (for real, no sarcasm intended) what people here think that "overly competitive" is.

I ask b/c I am having a hard time coming up with a definition. Although, Tonya Harding does come to mind!

Chris Stevenson
March 10th, 2010, 01:40 PM
I would like to see (for real, no sarcasm intended) what people here think that "overly competitive" is.

"More competitive than me." Unfortunately, that's also almost everyone else's definition.

I know you were looking for something serious and this is tongue-in-cheek, but only half. What crosses the line probably depends on the person. Doing anything illegal or against the rules of competition ought to qualify, but what else?

I certainly thought Carl Edwards crossed the line but he gets what seems to me to be a slap on the wrist (http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/news/story?id=4979018).

That Guy
March 10th, 2010, 01:56 PM
"More competitive than me." Unfortunately, that's also almost everyone else's definition.

I know you were looking for something serious and this is tongue-in-cheek, but only half. What crosses the line probably depends on the person. Doing anything illegal or against the rules of competition ought to qualify, but what else?

I certainly thought Carl Edwards crossed the line but he gets what seems to me to be a slap on the wrist (http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/news/story?id=4979018).

How about this: an "overly competitive" swimmer is characterized by bad behavior. Throwing goggles after a race. Taking PED's. Neglecting other aspects of life. Etc.

aquageek
March 10th, 2010, 02:13 PM
How about this: an "overly competitive" swimmer is characterized by bad behavior. Throwing goggles after a race. Taking PED's. Neglecting other aspects of life. Etc.

Some of the greatest athletes of all time have been characterized as overly competitive so I say it's a positive trait, not a negative one.

Karen Duggan
March 10th, 2010, 02:21 PM
I guess I'm formulating the definition that anything you do to a competitor that is detrimental to them (physically, of course), or to yourself would be overly competitive.

Any other behaviors we see such as crying, throwing things, being pissy, etc. we'll call "passionate". :D

The Fortress
March 10th, 2010, 03:17 PM
Some of the greatest athletes of all time have been characterized as overly competitive so I say it's a positive trait, not a negative one.

Excellent. I find I'm bad and "passionate." I've thrown my goggles (Worlds 2006, appalling backstroke finish), cried in frustration after a LZR zipper explosion at a taper meet, filed an appeal with the rules committee when a time was disallowed, dropped an f bomb after a race, written a not so nice email to TT recorders not doing their jobs, threatened retirement from the 100 fly after a couple agonizing swims, always willing to "cheat" by purchasing tech suits, etc etc. I'm just one bad ass. And, according to John Smith, this is all very unseemly as I was an un-credentialled college drop out swimmer with no big meet experience whatsoever. But, since this puts me in good company with Big Noodler, I'm not sweating it.
:angel:

I've seen loads of people disappointed, furious, frustrated, jubilant, and thrilled after swims. Seems the norm to me.

Oh, no PEDS though. Except for my inhaler (which permits normal breathing), I apparently only take things that make me go slower.

BigNoodler
March 10th, 2010, 04:01 PM
Excellent. I find I'm bad and "passionate." I've thrown my goggles (Worlds 2006, appalling backstroke finish), cried in frustration after a LZR zipper explosion at a taper meet, filed an appeal with the rules committee when a time was disallowed, dropped an f bomb after a race, threatened retirement from the 100 fly after a couple agonizing swims, always willing to "cheat" by purchasing tech suits, etc etc. I'm just one bad ass. And, according to John Smith, this is all very unseemly as I was an un-credentialled college drop out swimmer with no big meet experience whatsoever. But, since this puts me in good company with Big Noodler, I'm not sweating it.
:angel:

Hey! Wait a minute!! :)

But, yup. All that and more for me.

Ashamedly, I verbally violated my high point trophy by calling it "stubbin" and laughing in its plastic, faux chrome face. It may never forgive me. I'm considering anger management classes. :) Although admittedly, my hubby is the one who accidentally dropped it on its little bald head upon returning home from the meet. Whatever you do Les, DON'T go there!

pwb
March 10th, 2010, 04:09 PM
I would like to see (for real, no sarcasm intended) what people here think that "overly competitive" is.
As a hyper-competitive person in just about all aspects of my life*, there is no such thing to me as "overly competitive" in a competitor**. As long as you're playing / competing legally, go for it.


*Did I tell you about the "zig-zany" combo with triple word scoring I played at Scrabble the other night that helped me crush my wife and daughters? 55 points with a mere 3 letters played.

**Parents, however, can be "overly competitive" on behalf of their competitor children.

lefty
March 10th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Excellent. I find I'm bad and "passionate." I've thrown my goggles (Worlds 2006, appalling backstroke finish), cried in frustration after a LZR zipper explosion at a taper meet, filed an appeal with the rules committee when a time was disallowed, dropped an f bomb after a race, written a not so nice email to TT recorders not doing their jobs, threatened retirement from the 100 fly after a couple agonizing swims, always willing to "cheat" by purchasing tech suits, etc etc. I'm just one bad ass. And, according to John Smith, this is all very unseemly as I was an un-credentialled college drop out swimmer with no big meet experience whatsoever. But, since this puts me in good company with Big Noodler, I'm not sweating it.
:angel:

I've seen loads of people disappointed, furious, frustrated, jubilant, and thrilled after swims. Seems the norm to me.

Oh, no PEDS though. Except for my inhaler (which permits normal breathing), I apparently only take things that make me go slower.

Fort, if everyone behaved as you do, would swimmeets be able to get officials? I am not sayiing this accusingly, I am asking. You have been to dozens of meets and swam many races the past couple of years so obviously I don't mean if everyone behaved the way you do at your "worst" all the time. I guess what I am saying is your bad behavior truly reserved for those moments that warrant it! If so, well, good for you!

(and I don't really mean "bad." But it works for this discussion.)

gobears
March 10th, 2010, 04:12 PM
I don't really have a problem with "over-competitive" athletes. Not sure at all how I'd define that term. At least these people are athletes and getting their competitive urges out for themselves. My problem is with the over-competitive parents try to compete via their kids' performances. That just makes me ill...

gull
March 10th, 2010, 04:12 PM
From what I understand, the key is to pretend that rankings, records, and awards don't matter to you. You shave to get rid of unwanted hair, not to swim faster. The Blue Seventy? Just happened to be on sale. And those sets of 200s? Purely for fun.

lefty
March 10th, 2010, 04:16 PM
As a hyper-competitive person in just about all aspects of my life*, there is no such thing to me as "overly competitive" in a competitor**. As long as you're playing / competing legally, go for it.


*Did I tell you about the "zig-zany" combo with triple word scoring I played at Scrabble the other night that helped me crush my wife and daughters? 55 points with a mere 3 letters played.

**Parents, however, can be "overly competitive" on behalf of their competitor children.


Well I would hope so. Anyone who leaves ANY hanging out there is just asking for it.

aquageek
March 10th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Fort, if everyone behaved as you do, would swimmeets be able to get officials?

Being an official means officiating, not just standing by while everything goes smoothly.

thewookiee
March 10th, 2010, 04:21 PM
Well I would hope so. Anyone who leaves ANY hanging out there is just asking for it.

If more did, it would make meets more fun.

Karen Duggan
March 10th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Patrick, you remind me of my husband !
When our first son was little I had to remind him to let him win once in awhile. That was a foreign concept!!! Even today I need to give gentle reminders. My husband does not lose well (not that he's a bad sport), so it's a good thing it doesn't happen very often!

(of course he won't play golf or bowl with me, as he knows I'd beat him) :D

The Fortress
March 10th, 2010, 04:27 PM
Fort, if everyone behaved as you do, would swimmeets be able to get officials? I am not sayiing this accusingly, I am asking. You have been to dozens of meets and swam many races the past couple of years so obviously I don't mean if everyone behaved the way you do at your "worst" all the time. I guess what I am saying is your bad behavior truly reserved for those moments that warrant it! If so, well, good for you!

(and I don't really mean "bad." But it works for this discussion.)

My bad behavior is limited, generally, to occasions warranting/eliciting badness. I know it's shocking, but most people think I'm fairly, for lack of a better word, nice. However, I am hyper competitive. And I could kick Patrick's ass in scrabble any day.

I will cop to swearing. I'm a big bad swearer. It's usually unrelated to swimming though. I've been very happy with my swimming times the last couple years, so no reason to swear! Now, when I become slow as molasses and sink into depression from tech suit withdrawal, well, we'll see what happens to nicey mcnice then. Ha!

ourswimmer
March 10th, 2010, 04:58 PM
And I could kick Patrick's ass in scrabble any day.

I am not sure that I believe this statement. Have you tested it?

Anyway, I could take either or both of you, as long as you refrained from playing dopey non-words like "gridge" or proper nouns like Atlanta and as long as I did not draw all Es.

The Fortress
March 10th, 2010, 04:58 PM
Being an official means officiating, not just standing by while everything goes smoothly.

And being a meet director and TT recorder means getting times in in an accurate and timely manner.

But, as Gull notes, we're apparently all supposed to pretend none of this matters.

The Fortress
March 10th, 2010, 05:00 PM
I am not sure that I believe this statement. Have you tested it?

Anyway, I could take either or both of you, as long as you refrained from playing dopey non-words like "gridge" or proper nouns like Atlanta and as long as I did not draw all Es.

I have a huge lexicon of arcane and unusual words after much Wordscraper play on FB.

gull
March 10th, 2010, 05:21 PM
But, as Gull notes, we're apparently all supposed to pretend none of this matters.

Isn't it true, counselor, that you are only pretending that it matters to amuse Mr. Smith and his beer drinking cronies?

BigNoodler
March 10th, 2010, 05:29 PM
But, as Gull notes, we're apparently all supposed to pretend none of this matters.

Yet if we call this a fun little diversion from the hardships of regular life, it's possible to get nailed on that as well. There's just no pleasing everyone!

lefty
March 10th, 2010, 05:48 PM
if we call this a fun little diversion from the hardships of regular life, it's possible to get nailed

This is a fun little diversion from the hardships of regular life. Now where do you want to meet?

Fort, I think you are nice.

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 05:50 PM
Yet if we call this a fun little diversion from the hardships of regular life, it's possible to get nailed on that as well. There's just no pleasing everyone!

Big Noodler - Let it go. I simply misread you. You're fine! I think of you as a friend I could be honest with, so don't sweat it.

aquageek
March 10th, 2010, 05:55 PM
Here's an example:

1. A person who you beat goes around telling others that you must have cheated.

2. A person who kicks your foot out out from under you when you get ahead of them in a road race.

3. A person who tells others that you have swim secrets you won't share with others.

4. A person who tells the wife of the fastest guy in your biking group that you have the hots for him, making her uncomfortable about him training with the group and thus, you lose the fastest guy in your biking group.

5. A person whose eyes gleam when you tell him/her that you have an injury.

6. A person who thinks you want to know their workout secrets and what they are doing, even though you don't give a d*%#.

Yes, such a person exists.

Yeah, and his name is wookie.

That Guy
March 10th, 2010, 06:54 PM
As a hyper-competitive person in just about all aspects of my life*, there is no such thing to me as "overly competitive" in a competitor**. As long as you're playing / competing legally, go for it.

Before we race, I'll tell you "good luck." After we race, I'll shake your hand and say "good job," no matter who won. In between, I will do everything in my power to beat you. I think I'm doing it right.

My son plays Little League baseball. I tell him to have fun and be a good sport. There are days when he does neither of those, so we keep working on it...

BigNoodler
March 10th, 2010, 07:13 PM
This is a fun little diversion from the hardships of regular life. Now where do you want to meet?

Fort, I think you are nice.

:rofl: Thnx for making me laugh lefty. I'm sick as a dog out here and not able to swim for the next few days. So I'm afraid you'd want to avoid me. :afraid:

BigNoodler
March 10th, 2010, 07:21 PM
Before we race, I'll tell you "good luck." After we race, I'll shake your hand and say "good job," no matter who won. In between, I will do everything in my power to beat you. I think I'm doing it right.

My son plays Little League baseball. I tell him to have fun and be a good sport. There are days when he does neither of those, so we keep working on it...

Nice story!

For my situation, I just cut out the middle man. No kids! Probably a good thing in my case. ;)

BigNoodler
March 10th, 2010, 07:28 PM
Big Noodler - Let it go. I simply misread you. You're fine! I think of you as a friend I could be honest with, so don't sweat it.

Ay ay Captain! :)

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 07:43 PM
Yeah, and his name is wookie.

Where is wookie these days? I had hoped he would be at the Auburn meet. Hope to see him at Nationals.

Unlike wookiee, the person I descibed was truly a hairy nightmare. I got accused of all kinds of things. Even got accused of playing a practical joke on the person. Now as serious as I am, how could that be possible?

I'd put a winking smiley face on the end of my last sentence because while I can be serious, I can also be very silly at times. In the event the person I described ever reads this post, if I put a smiley face there, that person might actually think I was admitting that I played the joke (even though I never saw the item that was used in the practical joke). All h%# would break loose if that happened.

Unlike Big Noodler and myself, some folks have a hard time letting things go!

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 07:51 PM
Ay ay Captain! :)

Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. I'm in the same boat. Haven't swam since Monday night and doubt I'll be able to swim tomorrow.

My goodness! That is quite an unusual avatar you have put up!

Edit: I see you switched pics. That Darth Vader one made me laugh. What a costume!

stillwater
March 10th, 2010, 08:00 PM
I would like to see (for real, no sarcasm intended) what people here think that "overly competitive" is.



I find I'm bad and "passionate." I've thrown my goggles (Worlds 2006, appalling backstroke finish), cried in frustration after a LZR zipper explosion at a taper meet, filed an appeal with the rules committee when a time was disallowed, dropped an f bomb after a race, written a not so nice email to TT recorders not doing their jobs, threatened retirement from the 100 fly after a couple agonizing swims, always willing to "cheat" by purchasing tech suits, etc etc.

BigNoodler
March 10th, 2010, 08:02 PM
Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. I'm in the same boat. Haven't swam since Monday night and doubt I'll be able to swim tomorrow.

My goodness! That is quite an unusual avatar you have put up!

Edit: I see you switched pics. That Darth Vader one made me laugh. What a costume!

LOL! Darth Vadress it is! Note: I am NOT Darth Vadress. I'm the other person being choked by Vadress. Dragon Con. What can I say?

What do you have? Warren and I have been sick since last Friday/ Saturday (took a turn for the worse today). It's AWFUL! I really don't know what it is other than terrible headache, sore throat, coughing, fatigue, slight fever. Obviously, I have waaaaaay too much time on my hands when ill. So sorry you're sick.

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 08:11 PM
LOL! Darth Vadress it is! Note: I am NOT Darth Vadress. I'm the other person being choked by Vadress. Dragon Con. What can I say?

What do you have? Warren and I have been sick since last Friday/ Saturday (took a turn for the worse today). It's AWFUL! I really don't know what it is other than terrible headache, sore throat, coughing, fatigue, slight fever. Obviously, I have waaaaaay too much time on my hands when ill. So sorry you're sick.

Same exact thing. Hubby had it over the weekend and it hit me with a vengeance yesterday. Even had to cancel my class today because I lost my voice!

Now, if I could get some PEDs, maybe I'll feel like Superwoman when I get back into the pool instead of a weighted-down old woman.

Hope you are feeling better soon!

The Fortress
March 10th, 2010, 08:14 PM
I would like to see (for real, no sarcasm intended) what people here think that "overly competitive" is.




That's OK, Mr. Ninny. I've already said I'm fine with being "bad," "passionate" and even, if you like, "overly competitive. Go me.

However, I'm thinking that there, in fact, are many others like me who might also offend your sense of decorum. For example, being pissed off after completely slipping on a backstroke start at a taper meet (August 2008 at CZ) is not what I would consider highly unusual behavior. But I'm sure you shrug off all adversity or bad luck with perfect equanimity. I'm just not a type B person.

And on the upside, I try to cheer for and encourage my friends, lend them my tech suits, give aways suits, give advice if solicited, put people up at my home for local meets, etc. Go figure.

BigNoodler
March 10th, 2010, 08:15 PM
Same exact thing. Hubby had it over the weekend and it hit me with a vengeance yesterday. Even had to cancel my class today because I lost my voice!

Now, if I could get some PEDs, maybe I'll feel like Superwoman when I get back into the pool instead of a weighted-down old woman.

Hope you are feeling better soon!

Thanks!
Uh oh! Isnt' it strange how it sneaks up on you?! Yeah, the terrible voice is awful! Warren's boss made fun of him so good thing you canceled your class. How long was he sick? Warren's going on 6 days and counting. I would soooo not wish this on my fiercest competitor! LOL!

Chris Stevenson
March 10th, 2010, 08:52 PM
I would like to see (for real, no sarcasm intended) what people here think that "overly competitive" is.

I don't know if this qualifies as "overly competitive" but here are signs I look for in my OWN behavior that I'm taking (the competitive aspect of) masters swimming too seriously.

-- training is cutting too much into family time
-- spending too much on training gear/aids
-- too many meets away from home

My wife -- a swimmer herself who also wants me in good health (I have genetic pre-dispositions to bad blood chemistry) -- is nevertheless not shy about letting me know when I cross the line on these things, so that's good.

Last thing is important to me, too:

-- if a swimmer congratulates me on a swim that I feel was rather stinky, I can still smile and thank the person, rather than grimace and complain about how slow I swam.

That doesn't mean I have to be happy inside, it just means I'm not a grouch about it. But -- as Elise rightly mentioned elsewhere in this thread -- being injury-free, able to train and being in good health isn't something I ever want to take for granted.

The items on Elise's list are as incomprehensible to me as taking PEDs.

rtodd
March 10th, 2010, 09:01 PM
if a swimmer congratulates me on a swim that I feel was rather stinky, I can still smile and thank the person, rather than grimace and complain about how slow I swam.

That doesn't mean I have to be happy inside, it just means I'm not a grouch about it. But -- as Elise rightly mentioned elsewhere in this thread -- being injury-free, able to train and being in good health isn't something I ever want to take for granted.

Chris, this is a great point to raise. I am so thankful I can train the way I do. The meet times are the meet times. If I am a second or two off that day for whatever reason, I was there, I swam, I should go home happy.

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 09:10 PM
Thanks!
Uh oh! Isnt' it strange how it sneaks up on you?! Yeah, the terrible voice is awful! Warren's boss made fun of him so good thing you canceled your class. How long was he sick? Warren's going on 6 days and counting. I would soooo not wish this on my fiercest competitor! LOL!

It sure did sneak up! I felt fine yesterday morning and then it hit me about 10 a.m.

Hubby is still getting a few headaches, but generally much better. He never stays sick as long as I do though. He rarely gets sick, but this one really knocked him out.

Chris - Talking about my list, some folks can really go off the deep end. Next time I take up something outside of swimming, I'm going to take up something that I am so bad at, people will laugh. This shouldn't be too hard - golf, tennis, softball, or any other sport hitting a ball. I want people laughing at me instead of being mad at me for infringing upon their little kingdoms.

I have never encountered anything but encouraging competitors in USMS. My list is drawn from my experience as a triathlete.

Allen Stark
March 10th, 2010, 09:20 PM
Behind the blocks I also always try to shake the hands of the swimmers next to me and wish them good luck.The guys I most want to beat are also among my best friends in Masters.That is one of the best things about Masters.

The Fortress
March 10th, 2010, 10:42 PM
Behind the blocks I also always try to shake the hands of the swimmers next to me and wish them good luck.The guys I most want to beat are also among my best friends in Masters.That is one of the best things about Masters.

Me too.

Elise's list is rather scary. "Eyes gleaming" at the mention of an injury?!?! I'd stay well away from such a person.

pwb
March 10th, 2010, 10:53 PM
Before we race, I'll tell you "good luck." After we race, I'll shake your hand and say "good job," no matter who won. In between, I will do everything in my power to beat you. I think I'm doing it right.Right on. In some cases, it seems to me people are correlating being competitive with being obnoxious or an ***hole. Good sportsmanship should be practiced and encouraged ... but that has nothing to do with whether or not you're competitive. I'd argue that its bad sportsmanship to not bring your "A" game / ambition / drive / competitive spirit to the race. I've generally swum my best when pushed the hardest by my fellow competitors.

Compete as hard as possible, but bring your good manners, win or lose.

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 11:04 PM
Right on. In some cases, it seems to me people are correlating being competitive with being obnoxious or an ***hole. Good sportsmanship should be practiced and encouraged ... but that has nothing to do with whether or not you're competitive. I'd argue that its bad sportsmanship to not bring your "A" game / ambition / drive / competitive spirit to the race. I've generally swum my best when pushed the hardest by my fellow competitors.

Compete as hard as possible, but bring your good manners, win or lose.

Agreed. Doesn't competition, however, bring out the ***hole tendencies in some people?

elise526
March 10th, 2010, 11:26 PM
Me too.

Elise's list is rather scary. "Eyes gleaming" at the mention of an injury?!?! I'd stay well away from such a person.

One of the disadvantages of living in Mayberry is that such people can sometimes be hard to escape. What is scary is that I could add a few more items to the list! Fortunately, most of this stuff happened 8 or 9 years ago. When anybody brings it up now, talking about laughing at things, I have to in this case.

I tend to agree with what pwbrundage says - show up and be at your best when you compete. If you are going to bother to pay for a race and show up that day, why not "race?"

Chris Stevenson
March 10th, 2010, 11:46 PM
What is scary is that I could add a few more items to the list!

I've heard a number of nasty stories about the local fast weekly group bike ride. A triathlete friend of mine -- fast cyclist -- joined them once. He was, of course, roundly disparaged for having aerobars but was allowed to ride with the group if he promised not to use them (he had a TT bike, he could hardly take them off). Totally understandable, that's a safety thing. I actually wish more triathletes understood this.

Anyway, towards the end of the ride there was a customary mass sprint. My friend was unfamiliar with the ride and didn't realize the custom. Before he realized it, he lost the wheel of the person in front of him, splintering the group into two. Eventually they caught back up, but afterward one of the other cyclists rode beside him and told him that if he ever did that again, "I'll put you in the ditch." Nice.

These are not pros, mind you, but the cycling equivalent of masters swimmers.

All in all, I'll take swimming any day.

BigNoodler
March 11th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Eventually they caught back up, but afterward one of the other cyclists rode beside him and told him that if he ever did that again, "I'll put you in the ditch." Nice.


Strangely, I've really stepped up my game after comments like these. They are rather shocking to hear at first, aren't they?

elise526
March 11th, 2010, 09:03 AM
All in all, I'll take swimming any day.

I'm with you! I'm always amazed at how genuine, positive, and encouraging folks are at the USMS meets.

Like Big Noodler, unkind comments motivated me to go harder, but who wants to be around such garbage all of the time? One can really get sucked into what I call "The Dark Side."

I think Ahelee mentioned something earlier about low confidence and how a coach can work with such individuals that act in a destructive way. At the meets and on this forum, I get a sense of people really wanting to help others achieve their goals. Masters swimming seems to carry more of a team spirit of working together and encouragement than some other sports involving masters athletes.

pwb
March 11th, 2010, 09:48 AM
All in all, I'll take swimming any day.


I'm with you! I'm always amazed at how genuine, positive, and encouraging folks are at the USMS meets...Masters swimming seems to carry more of a team spirit of working together and encouragement than some other sports involving masters athletes.

Agreed and the reason is simple: swimmers are the greatest group of people in the world*:bow:

Semi-seriously, my wife and I often ask ourselves a question after being around a bunch of (generally) well-behaved age group swimmers: does swimming attract good people or does the sport help to produce good people? I know it's not 100% of the people, but having watched my kids interact with numerous different 'groups' of kids (e.g., chess club, general school population, soccer, basketball, kids who do nothing outside of school, etc.) I am consistently impressed with the overall 'generally a good human being' quality of age group swimmers. I get that positive vibe as well from masters swimmers as I train (around the country and sometimes the world) and compete.

*I did say I was competitive about everything, didn't I?

__steve__
March 11th, 2010, 11:12 AM
I've got scars, creaking joints, and a shoulder that's tore up all from disrespectful behavior of other cyclists (I was a cat III, did mostly crits in the 1990's). I have one friend who fractured his neck riding with the same person who caused my shoulder to dislocate on a mountain bike training ride in UT. Cycling is terrible on the teeth too. People fail to make good judgement when their brains are starved of O2 at top speed on bikes, and it's too dangerous of an environment for me these day's.

Karen Duggan
March 11th, 2010, 01:39 PM
I agree with the A/G swimming thing producing overall nice people.

If you think about swimming compared to soccer, basketball, etc., swimming is rather an individual sport. Everyone is in the same boat (or pool!). You train, you sleep, you swim. Some are faster, some aren't. And in the end the clock doesn't lie (and hopefully the official doesn't either!) If you don't have a good race, you can make any excuses you like, or you can reflect and say, "Hmm, how could I do better?" All swimmers can do this no matter their level.

With soccer, baseball, basketball the score doesn't lie, but there is a whole lot more room for human error in these sports (ie bad calls by the ump, tripping that isn't called, etc.) and these can affect the outcome of the game.

Also, obviously, with team sports you depend on other people in your game, not so in swimming (relays excepted). It's easier to blame other people on your team, when you're on a team. "So and So missed the pass," or "You should have made that shot!" There can be a lot more external pressure with team sports. (Now I know that there are obnoxious A/G coaches out there, but that's another topic). I think this leads to a lot of the obnoxious little brats and their parents being overly competitive, and unfortunately, chasing some kids out of a sport. I have never seen anything like this in swimming.

I think most swimmers' motivation is internal, and therefore we can be a little more mellow. In swimming you either put up or shut up (oops, sorry, did the competitor in me come out?) :lmao:

nkfrench
March 11th, 2010, 02:12 PM
I've heard a number of nasty stories about the local fast weekly group bike ride. A triathlete friend of mine -- fast cyclist -- joined them once. He was, of course, roundly disparaged for having aerobars but was allowed to ride with the group if he promised not to use them (he had a TT bike, he could hardly take them off). Totally understandable, that's a safety thing. I actually wish more triathletes understood this.

Anyway, towards the end of the ride there was a customary mass sprint. My friend was unfamiliar with the ride and didn't realize the custom. Before he realized it, he lost the wheel of the person in front of him, splintering the group into two. Eventually they caught back up, but afterward one of the other cyclists rode beside him and told him that if he ever did that again, "I'll put you in the ditch." Nice.

These are not pros, mind you, but the cycling equivalent of masters swimmers.

All in all, I'll take swimming any day.
Cycling has pretty big stakes - most USMS swim injuries aren't nearly as traumatic as on the road. Doesn't matter whether you're a pro or a cheesy rec rider, tensions get high if safety is being compromised. Hard to tell if he was getting that nasty threat just for the splintering or if he wasn't following that particular peloton's etiquette.

Was he invited to participate, or did he just inject himself into an established group? I've read some cycling posts from the other point of view. Part of belonging in a group is that you also have compatible objectives and performance.

Redbird Alum
March 11th, 2010, 02:48 PM
...
Was he invited to participate, or did he just inject himself into an established group? I've read some cycling posts from the other point of view. Part of belonging in a group is that you also have compatible objectives and performance.

Let's see... how many of us have been given the evil eye for joining in a lane where we may not be totally "compatible" in our objectives or performance? :bump:

Chris Stevenson
March 11th, 2010, 07:07 PM
Cycling has pretty big stakes - most USMS swim injuries aren't nearly as traumatic as on the road. Doesn't matter whether you're a pro or a cheesy rec rider, tensions get high if safety is being compromised. Hard to tell if he was getting that nasty threat just for the splintering or if he wasn't following that particular peloton's etiquette.

Was he invited to participate, or did he just inject himself into an established group? I've read some cycling posts from the other point of view. Part of belonging in a group is that you also have compatible objectives and performance.


Let's see... how many of us have been given the evil eye for joining in a lane where we may not be totally "compatible" in our objectives or performance? :bump:

Redbird, cycling is a little different, I will grant that, because one person who doesn't know what s/he is doing can endanger the safety of many others.

In answer to your question, nkfrench, my friend had been invited on several occasions and knew quite a few of the participants from races. He was simply unfamiliar with when the final mass sprint began and the anger was due to that, not some sort of safety thing. The person who yelled at him was drafting off him and, when my friend -- sensing the impatience behind him but unable to pull his group up to the group ahead -- move to the side and signaled for him to take the lead, the person refused to do so and kept drafting instead.

But I grant your more general premise, that cycling groups are more less welcoming in general because of safety issues. But IMO it does go a little beyond that, too. I rode with many of these same people once and suffered a mechanical (busted spoke), and not a single one of them offered any aid or even slowed to see what the problem was (eg, injury). That doesn't happen when I ride with the local triathletes, even ones I don't know that well.

But certainly YMMV. I am not claiming this group is representative of cyclists as a whole.

knelson
March 12th, 2010, 01:57 PM
The person who yelled at him was drafting off him and, when my friend -- sensing the impatience behind him but unable to pull his group up to the group ahead -- move to the side and signaled for him to take the lead, the person refused to do so and kept drafting instead.

This part sounds a little like swimming! The difference is in swimming no one would expect the lead swimmer to increase the pace. If you want to go faster you're expected to pass the lead swimmer.

BigNoodler
March 12th, 2010, 02:34 PM
This part sounds a little like swimming! The difference is in swimming no one would expect the lead swimmer to increase the pace. If you want to go faster you're expected to pass the lead swimmer.

Agreed!

And in masters swimming I also agree with swimmers not expecting the lead swimmer to increase the pace towards the end of a set or the end of practice.

However, in swimming with the national team, I found out the hard way that this is absolutely the case. I was blindsided the first few times I swam with them. Everyone increased the pace (the leader was expected to to this and everyone else adjusted accordingly) towards the end of the (long) set at the end of practice. Usually this surge in speed takes place after 6-7K had already been swum. It's fabulously exciting when you can hang and rather painful if you can't. Thank goodness no one yelled at me when I was spun around in confusion the first few times (only got an eye roll from one kid)! The kids were very kind. I think of it as a sort of magical mojo time where you can either shift into another gear and show your stuff or not.

aquageek
March 12th, 2010, 02:51 PM
I'm a big fan of faster pacing at the end of a workout. After all, the quicker you swim it, the sooner you get the hot shower. I think there's also a psychological boost to finishing a swim as hard and fast as you can, within the confines of the set.

knelson
March 12th, 2010, 03:30 PM
There's a derisive term for people who do this: Sammy Save-Ups.

aquageek
March 12th, 2010, 03:35 PM
There's a derisive term for people who do this: Sammy Save-Ups.

Sammy gets all the hot water, Steady Eddie pays for the breakfast since he's the last one out of the locker room. Sammy is the man.

BigNoodler
March 12th, 2010, 03:40 PM
There's a derisive term for people who do this: Sammy Save-Ups.

Certainly NOT for this group! They go from working hard to near killing themselves. :angel: Typically, the intervals drop as the set goes on, so you're forced to go into a new gear or get run over.

aztimm
March 12th, 2010, 03:44 PM
Let's see... how many of us have been given the evil eye for joining in a lane where we may not be totally "compatible" in our objectives or performance? :bump:

I've witnessed some near fistfights in swimming, some almost involving me (I didn't realize it at the time). One time involved two women were fighting over intervals or something while everyone else just enjoyed the show. The more crowded the lanes get, the more often I've seen it happen. It can get tough to have 6+ swimmers per lane in a scy pool, especially adults of various abilities.

I just don't get this whole group ride thing, or for that matter running as a group. The primary reason I workout is for fitness and stress relief, so I avoid most things that could cause stress. I despised out group runs in the Army (try doing a brigade run a thousand others). but I've come to enjoy solo runs (nice weather permitting) recently. I'll run or ride with a few others once in a while, but the bulk of that training is solo.

That Guy
March 12th, 2010, 03:49 PM
There's a derisive term for people who do this: Sammy Save-Ups.

There's a bad flip side to that though. If you hold back at the end so that you don't get Sammy status, then you've wasted something, and a dangerous "loser" mentality can creep in. I think the Sammy label should be used only for egregious cases, like someone who lurks at the end of the line for the first 90% of practice but then puts on a show at the end.

aquageek
March 12th, 2010, 04:24 PM
I never knew there was not a unified definition of Sam(antha)my Save Up. My defintion is one who loafs or cuts way back during a set or workout in order to knock it out of the park at the very end, not a group that intentionally gets stronger and works harder as the workout progresses in unison. I'd have to say I side with the Noodler on her definition.

I, as opposed to competition-phobic aztimm, love the atmosphere of group events. It's fun to be pushed beyond your normal capabilities and increases the competition. Riding, running or swimming solo is for the birds.

pwb
March 12th, 2010, 04:55 PM
I've witnessed some near fistfights in swimming, some almost involving me (I didn't realize it at the time). One time involved two women were fighting over intervals or something while everyone else just enjoyed the show. The more crowded the lanes get, the more often I've seen it happen. It can get tough to have 6+ swimmers per lane in a scy pool, especially adults of various abilities.Wow. I've never seen this. It definitely gets more difficult with crowded lanes, but, like you said about exercising for stress relief, people should just chill out. After all, it's just Masters, right?

knelson
March 12th, 2010, 05:41 PM
I think the Sammy label should be used only for egregious cases, like someone who lurks at the end of the line for the first 90% of practice but then puts on a show at the end.

I agree. Anyone who leads the entire workout really can't be called a Sammy. It's definitely the guy/gal who drafts right on your feet the entire time and then finally passes you on the final swim.

Jazz Hands
March 12th, 2010, 06:10 PM
God forbid anyone should actually swim fast at any point in a workout.

That Guy
March 12th, 2010, 06:18 PM
God forbid anyone should actually swim fast at any point in a workout.

Hey now, I swim at 200 fly race pace or faster in almost every main set I do! OK granted, this is because I don't have any idea of how to swim fly aerobically... :censor: ...but... wait what are we arguing about again? :dunno:

:chug:

Jazz Hands
March 12th, 2010, 06:20 PM
Hey now, I swim at 200 fly race pace or faster in almost every main set I do! OK granted, this is because I don't have any idea of how to swim fly aerobically... :censor: ...but... wait what are we arguing about again? :dunno:

:chug:

Hm. The topic is "Does this happen in Masters Swimming?" I don't remember what "this" is, but I'm pretty sure it does.

AnnG
September 16th, 2010, 01:03 AM
This was a fun thread to re-read several months down the road . . .For those who think we should just test Top Ten achievers, how will you know at the time of the swim? A person can achieve a top ten swim at any meet during the season, and we won't know which swims make the final list until after the season ends, going back and testing each swimmer at that point is a waste of time. Therefore, there would still need to be the capability of drug testing at each and every masters meet so that if there is a really good swim that person can be tested right then and there. There would also be the risk of not testing a person swimming a "mediocre" time that somehow makes it into the top ten anyway because not many people swam that event during the season. Someone right there at the meet would have to decide who pees in the cup and who doesn't have to today, otherwise we would have to test every swimmer every meet and I sure don't want to do that.

orca1946
September 16th, 2010, 01:08 AM
Dopers should be banned - unless it's a med that is needed to stay healthy at our age.

rtodd
September 17th, 2010, 09:00 AM
This was a fun thread to re-read several months down the road . . .For those who think we should just test Top Ten achievers, how will you know at the time of the swim? A person can achieve a top ten swim at any meet during the season, and we won't know which swims make the final list until after the season ends, going back and testing each swimmer at that point is a waste of time. Therefore, there would still need to be the capability of drug testing at each and every masters meet so that if there is a really good swim that person can be tested right then and there. There would also be the risk of not testing a person swimming a "mediocre" time that somehow makes it into the top ten anyway because not many people swam that event during the season. Someone right there at the meet would have to decide who pees in the cup and who doesn't have to today, otherwise we would have to test every swimmer every meet and I sure don't want to do that.

That's a good point and in general, I just don't think testing is worth the cost. It would need to come out of our dues. Even if you say you will only test at Zones or Nationals (where I think most records are achieved) and only when NR or WR are achieved, it might be a turnoff to those who can achieve that. There is a risk amoungst amatures that what you are taking can test positive even though you think it is alright. That can be the fault of the nutrition company or you not knowing the myriad of substances tested or how the body can convert supplements into banned substances whithin the body. Most Masters don't have nutrition experts whose sole resposibility is to keep an athlete clean. I think that is what happened in Val Barnwell's case.

In Masters, we get to know the people setting these records through interviews and we read about their training and their behavior makes strong cases for clean athletes here. We should keep the testing out of it in this country.

At the elite open level, you only need to look at the work that goes into getting to the highest level that makes testing mandatory. When you are descending 10x1500M, or doing 40x200's LCM on 2:30, you want to make sure you are not being cheated.

Redbird Alum
September 17th, 2010, 11:13 AM
...

In Masters, we get to know the people setting these records through interviews and we read about their training and their behavior makes strong cases for clean athletes here. We should keep the testing out of it in this country.

...

Here's a hypothetical situation to get you thinking....

You go to USMS nationals (pick whichever course you want) and a completely unknown, 54 year old, soft looking guy climbs in the pool for the 200 back. He rips a world record (USMS mind you) time, climbs out, and disappears into the locker room, not to be seen again at the meet.

What would you think? Cheater? PEDs user? Recluse? (And yes, I've had this dream about myself around each Olympic season!)

stillwater
September 17th, 2010, 11:27 AM
Recluse.

rtodd
September 17th, 2010, 12:42 PM
I'm thinking to do that, he/she would have a swimming pedigree and enough people would know who he is and they could either vouch for him, for example, his workout partners or coach would say, yea we can never get him to go to meets, but he comes real close to the world records in practice on "fast friday's", he's the real deal. Or they could give winks and nods and roll their eyes when asked about his swim training.

bzaks1424
September 17th, 2010, 01:24 PM
Here's a hypothetical situation to get you thinking....

You go to USMS nationals (pick whichever course you want) and a completely unknown, 54 year old, soft looking guy climbs in the pool for the 200 back. He rips a world record (USMS mind you) time, climbs out, and disappears into the locker room, not to be seen again at the meet.

What would you think? Cheater? PEDs user? Recluse? (And yes, I've had this dream about myself around each Olympic season!)

Personally I'm a little hard pressed to believe it's worth cheating. Then again - my perspective is winning at a USMS meet is just that. Winning a USMS Meet. You don't get a cash prize that I know of (otherwise my training is about to step it up about 40 notches), you don't win any specific level of fame outside of the USMS, and you don't really "get" anything except for maybe your name is in a record book that to my understanding only other USMS members look at.

So my vote: Recluse.

MickYoung
September 17th, 2010, 02:33 PM
Just a few odd data points.

1) I asked a local randoneur about why they always started their bike events in places away from the city that most people would need a car to get to. (Driving to a bike event strikes me as not right). One of the reason he gave is that it is easier to prevent cheaters.

Randoneuring is putatively non-competitive, but does have a series of requirements to be eligible for participation in some events. The requirements are difficult (three days of 180+ miles per day on a bike is typical). There is some prestige involved but no prizes. The prestige is minor compared with personal accomplishment.

If the Randoneurs have cheaters, then the USMS has some.

IMO? Having a few people cheat in a bike event would be a much smaller price than making the event bike in-accessible.

2) As an adult, I was diagnosed as having ADD. I was prescribed amphetamines. The first race (non-USMS) I did as an adult, I had taken my normal daily prescription. I didn't really think about it as a PED until mid-race.

I considered that if I placed in my age group, I should politely disqualify myself. That could have been an embarassment for both me and the race organizers, though. Luckikly for all involved, I didn't even come close to placing for my age group, so no matter.

I eventually decided that the drugs were not curing what ailed me, so I gave them up. I occasionally think it would nice to have one of those pills for a long drive or perhaps a social event where I want to be outgoing.

There is no question but that the drugs would improve my athletic performance. If I was marginally competitive in my races, it would have been hard to give them up.

Are there stories of athletes that need ADD drugs for work or school, but then have to clean up for events?

For someone with ADD, it would be odd to take amphetamines maybe 50 weeks a year and stop a few days before each race.

3) Marijuana is on typical lists of PEDs that are tested for. To me, this is an indication that drug testing is somewhat based on some puritanical ideology that has nothing to do with the fairness of racing, or with preventing athletes from harming themselves to gain a competitive advantage. Detectable traces of pot stay in the blood for months. I'll go with Michael Phelps on this one ;)


4) When people can get their names into world records, that is an advantage to people's career. Translates to money.

Candidate A: I'm a good geometry teacher, can coach sports, and I'm a sucessful triathlete.

Candidate B: I'm a good geometry teacher, I can coach sports, and I'm a world record holding athlete.