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RobH
March 16th, 2015, 02:20 PM
There is a person that I know who qualified for and will be competing at 2015 Spring Nationals next month (in 50 fly). This person did not swim as a child but came to swimming in their late 30s. Their first swim meet was at age 40.

Is anyone aware of others who came to swimming in middle age and have been able to qualify for Nats? We're having a fun discussion about how common this is. We believe that there might be in some distance freestyle events given the popularity of triathlons. But suspect its less likely in stroke events.

Anyone know of anyone? Thank you.

ElaineK
March 16th, 2015, 10:33 PM
There is a person that I know who qualified for and will be competing at 2015 Spring Nationals next month (in 50 fly). This person did not swim as a child but came to swimming in their late 30s. Their first swim meet was at age 40.

Is anyone aware of others who came to swimming in middle age and have been able to qualify for Nats? We're having a fun discussion about how common this is. We believe that there might be in some distance freestyle events given the popularity of triathlons. But suspect its less likely in stroke events.

Anyone know of anyone? Thank you.

Before returning to swimming in 2010, my only competitive swimming experience was in high school. My coach was a P.E. teacher who didn't know how to swim and got stuck with the swim team. I learned breaststroke by watching the girl in front of me in my lane. She was the only other breaststroke competitor at my school.

I joined Masters in 2010 when I was 48 years old and made NQT's in the 50 Breaststroke when SC Nationals were in Mesa (2011). I made them again in all three breaststroke events when LC Nationals were in Mission Viejo in 2013.

I had hip surgery in December and just started kicking again last week, so I'm probably looking at aging up before I have any possibility of making NQT's again-- if ever. I'm still not sure about returning to competitive breaststroke again, because of the amount of training I would need to do in breaststroke to qualify.

RobH
March 17th, 2015, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the reply, Elaine. Hope that your surgical recovery goes well. You have a good story. And how knows, just feeling better and being consistent may lead to more NQTs.

ElaineK
March 17th, 2015, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the reply, Elaine. Hope that your surgical recovery goes well. You have a good story. And how knows, just feeling better and being consistent may lead to more NQTs.

Thanks, Rob! :D So, what's your story?

orca1946
March 17th, 2015, 04:36 PM
A lady at the Evanston illinois swim meet on March 15th is 81. This is the 3rd meet she has ever done. She just started this year I an told. Sorry I do not know her name. Good for her !!!!

Karlene
March 17th, 2015, 07:15 PM
A former teammate at Indy Swim Fit started swimming as an adult and has not only qualified for Nationals but has placed in the top three at Nationals in the breaststroke events. She is currently in the 55-59 age group.

RobH
March 17th, 2015, 09:34 PM
Good stories, Karlene and Orca. Some great stories there.

mmlr38
March 19th, 2015, 10:40 AM
There is a person that I know who qualified for and will be competing at 2015 Spring Nationals next month (in 50 fly). This person did not swim as a child but came to swimming in their late 30s. Their first swim meet was at age 40.

Is anyone aware of others who came to swimming in middle age and have been able to qualify for Nats? We're having a fun discussion about how common this is. We believe that there might be in some distance freestyle events given the popularity of triathlons. But suspect its less likely in stroke events.

Anyone know of anyone? Thank you.
That's super impressive that your teammate was able to make qualifying times for the 50 fly coming to the sport very late! I think this is very uncommon from what I've heard from other masters swimmers.

Elaine's story is another super impressive one, having only swum in high school and then coming back to the sport so late in life and being able to make NQT's. And Elaine, if it turns out that breaststroke doesn't work out for the hip, I'm sure you can work on something else and have success! That's one of the things I find really exciting about swimming: that there are so many events and each one is different in terms of what training it takes to do well.

Sharing my story here, I had never swum competitively in my life until 2011 at the age of 34. I didn't know how to do any of the strokes other than freestyle, had never set foot on a block, couldn't do flip turns, etc.

As a triathlete in my mid-20s, I had learned how to swim fairly well in open water but a knee injury forced me to give them and running (my primary sport) up. A friend convinced me to do a USMS 5K open water swim in August of 2011. That was my first ever swim-only event. I trained a bit for it and I actually finished first in the 5K. After that I decided to join the local masters team and give swimming a dedicated try.

Since then I've learned to do flip turns, dive off the blocks and do all of the strokes (well -- I can do breaststroke, but not very well!). I've earned USMS long-distance All-American and long-distance All-Star honors the last 3 years (2012 through 2014), won the distance events in my age group at summer Nats in 2013 (400, 800 and 1500), got qualifying times for Spring Nats in three events this year (500, 1000, 1650), was close in a 4th (200 free) and have earned top 10 times the last 4 years, finally getting a top 10 time in a non-freestyle event in 2014 (400IM LCM). For reference, here's my Swimmer Info page (http://www.usms.org/people/1500F).

The coolest part about it all for me is that every time I swim, I almost always set a new personal best. Knowing that I am continually improving and getting faster keeps me highly motivated during workouts. I wish we had a coach (I swim for a very small team in southern Oregon that cannot afford one), because I'm sure that would help speed up improvement, but I'm grateful for my teammates who have helped me out in this incredibly fun journey into the world of competitive swimming!

RobH
March 19th, 2015, 12:07 PM
MMLR, that's fantastic! Congratulations!! I'm amazed to hear about folks that not only qualify, but also place nationally. Amazing

ElaineK
March 19th, 2015, 03:34 PM
MMLR, that's fantastic! Congratulations!! I'm amazed to hear about folks that not only qualify, but also place nationally. Amazing

There is something else Fly Trap forgot to tell you. He was in a horrible accident last year, broke all sorts of bones, and STILL made it back strong to make NQT's! :applaud:

Fly Trap, you are truly and inspiration. :bow: Thanks for your encouragement in your post (above) as well as throughout my hip surgery and recovery. I appreciate it! I will be cheering you and Rob on at Nationals from my computer here in Georgia! :cheerleader::cheerleader:

mmlr38
March 19th, 2015, 04:44 PM
MMLR, that's fantastic! Congratulations!! I'm amazed to hear about folks that not only qualify, but also place nationally. Amazing
Thanks Rob! Learning the other strokes has been challenging, to say the least. It's super impressive that your teammate was able to qualify for a sprint stroke event in SCY. That's super challenging. The only stroke events I do somewhat regularly are the 400 IM and 200 fly. I've not made NQTs for those in SCY yet, though I did place in the top 10 in both last year in Santa Clara, but I intend to keep chipping away at my times and hopefully someday will get the NQTs for them :)


There is something else Fly Trap forgot to tell you. He was in a horrible accident last year, broke all sorts of bones, and STILL made it back strong to make NQT's! :applaud:

Fly Trap, you are truly and inspiration. :bow: Thanks for your encouragement in your post (above) as well as throughout my hip surgery and recovery. I appreciate it! I will be cheering you and Rob on at Nationals from my computer here in Georgia! :cheerleader::cheerleader:
:blush: -- Elaine! You're making me blush!

Really wish that you were able to come to Nationals. Bummer that the injury kept me out of summer Nats in Maryland last year when I would have been able to meet you. And now you're in the same position this spring. Hopefully we'll both be healthy at some point!

Any chance you'll be healthy enough to go to Ohio this summer? I'm planning on attending and probably giving up bike riding so a bike wreck won't keep me out this year!

ElaineK
March 19th, 2015, 10:40 PM
Thanks Rob! Learning the other strokes has been challenging, to say the least. It's super impressive that your teammate was able to qualify for a sprint stroke event in SCY. That's super challenging. The only stroke events I do somewhat regularly are the 400 IM and 200 fly. I've not made NQTs for those in SCY yet, though I did place in the top 10 in both last year in Santa Clara, but I intend to keep chipping away at my times and hopefully someday will get the NQTs for them :)

:blush: -- Elaine! You're making me blush!

Really wish that you were able to come to Nationals. Bummer that the injury kept me out of summer Nats in Maryland last year when I would have been able to meet you. And now you're in the same position this spring. Hopefully we'll both be healthy at some point!

Any chance you'll be healthy enough to go to Ohio this summer? I'm planning on attending and probably giving up bike riding so a bike wreck won't keep me out this year!

:D

It was recommended by my first physical therapist, Skippy Mattson, a Masters breaststroker that I don't even start kicking breaststroke until six months out from surgery. Once I decided to have surgery and learned of the timeline required to be back 100%, I decided right then and there to not go to any Nationals in 2015 including the National Senior Games that I had planned on competing at in July.

It's going to be a lot of trial and error in my training. Although I am back to kicking other strokes, right now my still-not-100%-healed hip flexor is telling me that I better take it slow. 2,000 yards without the pull buoy was fine, but when I tried to increase yardage and/or intensity, that ol' familiar hip flexor pain returned. :censor: The pull buoy is back out of the bag again, and I'm needing to alternate swimming and pulling when my leg gets fatigued.

I've been told it's going to take awhile to get completely past this, so it wouldn't give me enough time to train for Nationals this year. At this point, I'm planning on Greensboro.

mmlr38
March 21st, 2015, 02:34 PM
It sounds like you're making great progress, Elaine! Keep up the good work and the positive attitude and you'll be back in no time :)

I probably won't go to Greensboro next spring (all that turning in SC drives me crazy!), but we (Oregon) are hosting summer nationals, so I'll definitely be there. Hope you can make it up here!

ElaineK
March 22nd, 2015, 07:12 PM
It sounds like you're making great progress, Elaine! Keep up the good work and the positive attitude and you'll be back in no time :)

I probably won't go to Greensboro next spring (all that turning in SC drives me crazy!), but we (Oregon) are hosting summer nationals, so I'll definitely be there. Hope you can make it up here!

Thanks, Fly Trap!

I had planned on going to Oregon when the location was first announced; however, my husband and I decided to take a river cruise next year. Knowing the budget wouldn't allow us to do both, we went ahead and booked it for next summer.

mmlr38
March 23rd, 2015, 11:01 AM
Thanks, Fly Trap!

I had planned on going to Oregon when the location was first announced; however, my husband and I decided to take a river cruise next year. Knowing the budget wouldn't allow us to do both, we went ahead and booked it for next summer.
Bummer! Well, hopefully we'll hook up at a meet sometime in the future :)