View Full Version : Question on competition

January 16th, 2005, 09:58 PM
I'm more curious than anything, but:

Is there anyone out there whose ONLY swim meet experience is as a Master's swimmer? Judging from my casual readings of the posts here, it seems most people who compete now (or are about to return) are former age-group swimmers.

Here are two conversation starters related to my question:

1) If you returned to competition after a long layoff, why the interruption?

2) If you've never competed before, what made you decide to start?


January 16th, 2005, 10:17 PM
Hi Adam!

I was a swimmer since I was 9, age group and then high school.....I started swimming Master's a few months ago, because I desperately missed being in the pool for more than what my sister calls "swimming", which basically involves sitting in the pool. Please. I can do that in my bathtub and get the same effect.

Anyway, my reason for absence was a knee injury late in my junior year of high school. I've been out of the water for four years because after surgery, my doctors all told me i would never swim competitively again. After some major PT, and some good old fashioned stubborness, my knee is actually holding out really well (knock on virtual wood), so I again found myself in the pool, and I can't wait to compete in a couple weeks.


January 16th, 2005, 11:56 PM
I swam when I was little, but never competively. I was about to start competing when I stopped for personal reasons, mostly school got harder. I took about three years off, and just got back into the pool about 4 months ago after watching the Olympics this summer. They finally reignited that spark that had gone out. The Olympics had always got my mind back on swimming, but the incredible year that the US Swim team had this year really drove home the fact that I missed the pool. I was starting as a fitness swimmer, but then when I found out about Master's I decided to take up where I left off and make the leap into competition. Couldn't tell you exactly why, just wanted to prove to myself mostly that I could do it. Especially through this site, and realizing that other people are just starting out competing later in life, has been really inspirational and helped to jump start me....especially being unattached, knowing that others are doing the same thing helps make those lonely laps more bareable!


January 17th, 2005, 05:54 AM
I took lessons at age 38 to learn to swim at the goading of the YMCA Master's coach who was also my kids coach. She assumed since my kids swam I knew how to swim and wanted me on the Master's team. I took 2 5 week sessions in the spring of 2000 of the adult class and then practiced over the summer on my own trying to get better. In the fall I joined the masters team and could do stellar 100's on the 3:00!

The same coach helped me improve and over time I moved from the extremely slow lane to the fast lane. In February of 2002 I decided to go to a meet as a lark(sorry serious masters, I treat most meets as a lark), and had a good time.

I still don't go to many meets as my time is limited with my kids swimming too, but have hopes as they get older and out of the house that I will go to more.

And now since it is almost 5am, I need to get to the pool!

January 17th, 2005, 12:54 PM
i started swimming at age 8. swam YMCA and high school, then for a while at 2 different colleges (USNA and PSU). my reason for quitting??? i decided to major in biochemistry- which doesn't mix well with division 1 swimming. so i switched to water polo for the rest of college. how did i come back to the sport??? i was working out on my own the summer of 2003, trying to stay in shape for my last semester of water polo. my assistant coach from PSU was swimming masters and asked if i was there to swim with the masters team. (i had no idea there was a masters team at PSU!) i said i wasn't but she convinced me to join in with their workout. and it was that afternoon that i realized just how much i had missed swimming- water polo just wasn't the same. and i've been doing masters ever since and i'm loving every second of it.

January 17th, 2005, 06:48 PM
The closest I got to a swim meet as a kid was the two triathlons I did at ages 17 & 18. I never did a flip turn til I was in my late 30s.

My first meet was as a masters swimmer. And I just did it for fun. I plan on doing my second later this month. Again, just for fun!

January 17th, 2005, 07:04 PM
I began swimming for the health of it. Also to rehab a total hip replacement. To my suprise I'm an ok swimmer. I will compete for the first time in Feb. '05. Just for the hell of it.

January 17th, 2005, 11:02 PM
I swam as an older age group swimmer then three years in college and didn't start back up again til I was 35. I have to say that although I enjoyed swimming as a teen and had some amazing experiences with my college team, the most fun I have had with swimming is as a Masters swimmer. I love swimming on a team (relays are the BEST!) and I love setting my own goals and training for whatever event I choose. I was never a star swimmer in college so I swam limited individual events and even less as I got older (those darn fast freshmen) but as a masters swimmer I choose when what and where I swim.

January 18th, 2005, 12:29 AM
My interruption was due to the fact that I spent my childhood swimming aiming to get to National Championships. I put alot of hardwork into swimming and gave up some social activities in high school. When I wasn't able to make the cut and my times didn't move for three seasons(junior and senior year of high school and Freshman year of college), I decided enough was enough and retired. I just wouldn't be happy swimming slower and slower throughout college. I said that I would never swim again. That turned out to be false because I started swimming again in 2002, 5 years after I quit, and then, in 2004, I started doing Masters meets again and enjoyed swimming again. I just think that I needed a good 5 years out of the swimming world. I am really glad that I am doing Masters swimming now. The meets are fun and meet alot of interesting people.

January 18th, 2005, 10:46 AM
That is the exact same reason that I stopped swimming. I spent the better part of two years trying to get to JO's and when I did and it was over.......I really had little drive to go anywhere else because it took so many years to get there. I didn't think I wanted to spend another five years to get to the next level. I wanted to live a little. I stopped swimming for 6 years and when I saw the Olympics on I got those same butterflies that I always used to get when I would swim. I joined in August and am having great fun. I have also taken up coaching my daughters team which is just as rewarding!!! With less pressure on myself I have actually done alright---

January 18th, 2005, 01:36 PM
I swam competitively for 16 years. From 8 under to senior in college. I have coached at the college level for 2 years, age group for a year and high school for 13 years. I never really had the desire to get back in the water until I found out running hurts my hips. Also my 7 year old son began swimming and is actually pretty good at it. 18.1 in the 25 free and 20.2 in the fly. I like to get in during his workouts in the extra lanes and do my workout and occasionally swim next to him to him beat me to the wall. His smile is worth putting the speedo on. We are trying to start a club at our new Y in Hilliard, Ohio. Hope to meet some of you in the future at meets.

January 18th, 2005, 04:53 PM
My father says I could swim before I could walk. I don't know, I can't remember. I was never as dedicated to swimming as I was to running. IN 1997, I HAD A COLECTOMY WITH LOTS OF COMPLICATIONS. I even swam with an oestomy bag for four months. NOW WHEN i RUN, i GET REALLY SICK & FEEL LIKE i'M GOING TO THROW UP MY STOMACH (pretty, no?). SO I ONLY SWIM. i'M NO LONGER FAST AT ALL but love it. I swam in high school, some in college and in some masters prior to the operation. It is such a joy to be in the water moving fast. If you've ever experienced pain, you know what it is like to be inthe water & realize your pain is gone.Not as great as running through Rock Creek park in DC though.

Bob McAdams
January 19th, 2005, 04:09 AM
Originally posted by Sparky
Is there anyone out there whose ONLY swim meet experience is as a Master's swimmer?


Originally posted by Sparky
If you've never competed before, what made you decide to start?

It's fun, it's exciting, it's challenging - pretty much the same reasons that kids start doing it. Why should your age have anything to do with your reasons for starting? It's true that I don't have the possibility of winning a swimming scholarship (since I've already finished my college education), but I don't think many kids are thinking of that when they start.