Tuesday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewy
Don't remember exactly what I did anymore but the main sets were:
4 x 25 IM order @ :30
1 x 50 EZ @ 1:30-2:00
10 x 25 AFAP futter kck @ 1:00
Thursday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ LA Fitness
8 x 50 burst + cruise
20 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :25 rest
-- done as 4 x 5 x 25 M order
20 x 25 breast @ 100 pace @ :25 rest
20 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :25 rest
-- done as 4 x 5 x 25 IM order
I was bummed that the pace clock at LA Fitness was broken again. I just counted to 25 myself between 25s on the 100 pace stuff. I used fins during the 100 pace stuff today. My left shoulder is bothering me. I sleep on my left side and have very fitful sleep as of late. Still coughing and ears hurt too. Hopefully, this will all subside.
Updated May 5th, 2016 at 07:25 PM by The Fortress
About 1000 M easy fr, bk, and drills with fins, with snorkel most of the time
3 x 100 well rested with fins
50 easy sprint NB (29's) / 50 easy kick on back
2 x 50 fr without fins easy sprint, taking one breath
4 x 50 fr with fins
18 M AFAP from a shooter / 32 M easy
Slept on couch last night. Didn't rest well. My neck hurts. But I had a very pleasant swim today.
Weights - every muscle group worked at about 85%
It's not the fuel pump. I hooked up a 9VDC battery to the pump and it worked. I believe it may be the alternator. First, it has 240,000 miles. Second, engine actually runs when jumped from another car but as soon as the cables are disconnected, it dies.
About the car, Thursday morning, 1 hour before I left for Nationals it died while my wife was driving. I had to pick her up and push the car up a small hill in a parking lot for a tow truck. I was so worried about my legs. I can't say if it had an impact or not, but I did exert 100% force pushing it. I am thankful however, it happened while I was still home. Will be looking for a reasonable replacement car this summer.
Miss them already
Updated May 5th, 2016 at 10:01 PM by __steve__
3 X 100 1:50
1 X 200 3:30
3 X 100 1:45
1 X 300 5:00
3 X 100 1:40
1 X 400 negative split
4 X 150 kick 3:30
last 50 fast
12 x 50 1:15
odd: easy even: fast
8 X 150 2:30
Build to 100/last 50 fast
#8 is warm down
Some light weights, abs and stretching this morning before heading out to make Uncle Sam some money. It's been months since I've been in the gym so I took it pretty easy
2 x 200 choice
4 x 50 kick @ 1:10
4 rounds of
2 x 50 kick @ 1:10 fast
4 x 25 fly slide drill with fins @ 1:00
150 free cruise @ ??
**I'm not sure why it is called fly slide. It is a 25 divided into thirds. Fly (push off and swim ~ 3 strokes), kick, free swim all AFAP
600 done as
50 stroke, 100 free breathe 1/5 (went BR)
4 rounds of
100 IM sprint @ 1:50
100 free EZ @ 2:00
100 w/d and I needed to go pick up our oldest daughter
I swam well but felt like a rock. My little gym session may have had something to do with that. I hope to sneak in a solo swim tomorrow morning to continue my breaststroke work.
I had another solid night of sleep last night but I was really tired when I woke up. Sort of back to the routine I have been in for a while.
Try as I might I don't have any speed right now in the pool. I guess it's ok since I am in between seasons. Normally after a taper I feel awesome in the pool and fly with lots of easy speed. This taper and season in general have been different!
I got my heart rate up today but did not give my all today on the pace work.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on :50
8x75 Rotating IMs on 1:10
16x25 free AFAP on :30
4x4x50 free at 500 pace rd1 on 1min, rd2 on :55, rd3 :50, rd4 on :45
6x150 kick on 2:30 done as 100 flutter, 50 breast
i was holding :13s on the 25s and :28/:29s on the :50s.
Fish Oil and Exercise in Older Women
A recent study published on PLOSOne found that fish oil has many beneficial effects for older women who exercise. This small study recruited 24 females between 65 and 67 years old who were in good health. Half were given 3 g worth of fish oil supplements (2 g EPA and 1 g DHA)per day, while the other half were given the same amount in organic olive oil. A side note here is that olive oil has many benefits for the cardiovascular system, so it may not always be the best placebo. Extensive measurements were taken preceding the experimental phase, as well as at the conclusion. The experimental phase was 12 weeks, during which the women ate and exercised as usual. The group who supplemented with fish oil showed a significant increase in resting metabolic rate (14%), energy expenditure during exercise (10%), a 19% increase in the rate of fat oxidation during rest and a 27% increase during exercise. Fish oil consumption lowered triglyceride levels by 29% and increased lean mass by 4% and functional capacity by 7%. No changes were noted in the olive oil group.
The study is available here in full text.
Greenville LCM meet next month - approaching fast. My 50 fr will be 2nd event of the day on June 18 early afternoon. Also considering the 100 fr, 50 bk, 50 br, 50 fl, and not sure if we will have enough attendants for relays. Pushing the legs now, they are the first to go in LC, so I can taper them properly.
500 warmup with fins and snorkel
- 100 kick on 3:00 as 50 flutter fast / 50 frog easy
49 on first flutter, slower after
- 50 flutter kick on 2:00
easy kick first then build each to all-out last 18 M (60's + - 2)noticed kicking from hip more pronounced gave me 2 extra seconds to rest
1 x 50 fly with fins and snorkel relaxed, loose and flat (34)
I don't keep tabs on my distance, but that was about 1200 LCM - plenty for me
Drylands: stretching and yoga poses for about 90 min
Nationals was such an experience. Was also the greatest learning curve I've had at a meet. I watched how the stars accomplish races. I took it all in. Everyone seems to have their own process, but when they are on the block, they are confident and ready.
Did an interesting plyometric exercise yesterday: hop forward ten times each leg X 10 while holding arms forward (classic Frankenstein arms). Worked those muscles not worked often
Need to fix one of our cars. I believe it could be a fuel pump. Hope I can swap it without dropping the tank.
Updated May 4th, 2016 at 09:23 PM by __steve__
6 X 100 1:50
4 X 150 2:40
1 X 100 kick 2:30
8 X 50 kick 1:20
1 X 100 swim
4 X 50 strong 1:20
1 X 100 @ 100% 3:00
6 X 200 pull 3:20
Negative split all 6
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
Once again, we had a great time in Greensboro. I absolutely love that facility and being within a three hour drive from my house is a major plus. My training has been quite sporadic the last few years so I was curious to see what I could do.
Thursday- Arrived around 3 and made it through the check in process quickly. Jumped in the pool and got in about 1000 yards. Mixed in a few starts and tried out the backstroke "wedge". I liked them but you need to be a little coordinated to use them.
Friday- My only event was the mixed FR and went a 27.16 which I was very happy about. My fastest 50 fr is a 27.52 back in 2012. Since then I have been stuck in the mid 28's. Successful start to my meet.
Sat- 200 IM seed time 2:39.66, went 2:36.22 (-3.34)
Very pleased and the fastest I have been in awhile. The clear difference in this race was me having a much better front half. It took me forever to get my heart rate back down.
Mixed MR, Swam backstroke and opted not to use the wedge. I slipped to the left off the start and tried my best to recover. Went 34.46. Not a good swim at all and I felt like I let my team down. They still talk to me though.
Sun- 400 IM seed time 5:44.72, went 5:44.37 (-.40) Happy but was expecting more. I shouldn't complain because it is still faster than I have been in some time. The goal was to relax through the fly and then build each hundred. Once again my front have was great and I had an average back half. I hit the wall at the 200 mark and told myself "You're half way done". After my breaststroke breakout I realized my legs were shot. I then told myself "You're ONLY half way done" OUCH!!
200 Back seed time 2:37.27, went 2:37.27 (-.16) Well, I was really pumped for this one but I think I was just tired. Even with a slow start and no legs the first 150 went really well and then my mind, body and soul suffered through the last 50. No complaints.
Overall, I had a nice meet and a even better time with my teammates. I was able to see some old friends and meet some new ones. Bravo to everyone that took part in putting this thing together. This is by far one my favorite meet venue that I have been to. Time to train for the next one. Hopefully I can make it back to the USA Masters Games in July.
So when it rains it pours. I went to bed as soon as I got home from my workout last night and slept solid the entire night. When I woke up I noticed that the hallway light was on. I crept around the bedroom like I normally do to get ready and as I went out the door I caught myself thinking that DeAnna was very quiet. As I left the bedroom I realized she was not in bed and was instead in the living room. When I got to the living room she had a bucket and mop in hand. Apparently our refrigerator/freezer decided to dump water into the kitchen last night. Unfortunately this had been going on a while and the water had run into several other rooms and ruined carpet. DeAnna said she had everything in hand and we could talk after I swam. She assured me I needed to go and swim. I guess I must have looked pretty wound up. When I returned from practice I saw that apparently the refrigerator must have been slowly leaking for a while because we had mood behind the unit and several of the base boards in adjoining rooms had warped. We pulled out all the attending carpets and base boards and started crying things out with our dehumidifier. I don't know the extent of the damage but it's probably not going to be cheap.
Anyhow, today's workout was tough and a hard welcome back to drylands.
15 minutes on stationary bike
2x(shoulder band exercises)
3x(5x:45 second ab exercises with :15 second transition) and 1mjn between rounds
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on :50
i still felt hideous in the water and my stomach hurt from abs.
When I got back to the house DeAnna had a plan for taking care of the water and some thoughts about insurance vs out of pocket. Either way this will be taken care of ASAP since we don't want mold. Just one other thing to deal with I guess.
So everything was going great on my return from Nationals and then I arrived in Atlanta on my lay over to discover that most of the flights out of Atlanta had been delayed by bad weather. My flight ended up being delayed about 2.5 hrs and I ended up not landing until just before 2am Monday morning. To make matters worse there was no empty gate for the plane in Dallas which delayed us even further. How can they not have an open gate at 2am. Come on,it's not that f**king complicated. Needless to say I was tired yesterday and decided to swim in the evening after I had finished coaching my kids group.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on :50
5x200 with snorkel on 2:30
8x50 kick on 1min
4x100 IM on 1:30
i felt absolutely hideous in the water and could not wait for this workout to be done.
4 X 100 2:00 1:45
2 X 200 3:30 3:30
Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.
5 X 100 kick 2:30
Second 50: build to fast
5 x 100 choice 2:30
First 50: long and strong
Second 50: build to fast
1 X 200 IM 4:00
1 X 100 stroke(no free) 2:30
WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy
400 mix up
2 x 125 (75 free/25stroke/25drill)
200 social kick
8 x 25 @ 60 went IMO
-odds EZ, evens strong
4 x 75 @ 1:20 cruise
3 x 100 @ 1:35 a little stronger
2 x 150 @ 2:15 a little stronger
100 double arm backstroke
300 with snorkel and bouy + hot tub
Just what my body needed. I need to blog my splits and thoughts from Greensboro. Maybe later on today.
I enjoyed checking in on results and catching the video from Nationals this weekend - congrats to all of the forumites that swam and especially my teammate Matt, who despite being under the weather was able to swim his events yesterday. It was neat seeing our team cap on the national stage!
Yesterday after a busy day at work I went to the nursing home, where we have finished looking at the miracles that Jesus preformed and now have turned our attention to the Ten Commandments. Should be a good study.
Today I was off due to a meeting my boss needs to attend tomorrow at the main office, so I was able to get in for a swim after supper.
200 free/200 back/200 im drill
100 FR with FF
100 kick/200 pull/200 with AP (all snorkel)
4 x 50 as 25 DPS, 25 IMO Fast
100 BK with FF
100 loosen and out
(Solo/Rec/1700 yds/30 min)
A natural outcome of competition is that sometimes coaches and swimmers may disagree with decisions of officials. What provisions are in place to appeal or protest a disqualification or other decisions?
Can I protest my disqualification?
By rule, protests of judgements made by stroke, turn, and relay take-off judges may only be considered by the referee and those decisions are final (102.14.3). The rationale for this rule is that it is not very practical to overturn a call made on deck by the officials. Our system relies on human observation on deck by officials with review and approval by chief judges (for larger meets) and deck referees. This process is designed to ensure that swimmers are afforded the benefit of the doubt and lead officials can confirm that a good observation has been made by an official in the proper jurisdiction and we have a rule basis for the infraction. It would be impossible to second-guess these judgements after the fact.
Protests concerning interpretations of the rules in part one shall be submitted in writing to the Rules Committee Chair within 10 days. (102.14.4) This is not a question about the observation, but rather asks if we got the rule correct. Before considering this route, make sure to get an explanation from the officials at the meet, preferably in writing. Most officials are glad to offer an explanation of the decision and the rule basis. If you have received an explanation, reviewed the rules (the rule book is available online), and still feel that there was an incorrect interpretation of the rules, consider asking a coach, club representative, or an LMSC representative for help in submitting a protest. A little homework will make for a more productive discussion!
Any other protest arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the race in which the alleged infraction took place. If the protest is not resolved, the protester shall at that time file a written protest with the chair of the LMSC or the chair's representative having jurisdiction over the event. (102.14.4)
My friend has a video on his or her cell phone. Can I send that to someone for review?
Unfortunately, we do not look at video replays of races. We do get asked this question often, but understand that we cannot be assured that any video would at the same perspective of the officials on deck. What might look clear to someone standing at another position on deck or in the stands may look completely different to an official in the proper jurisdiction. Referees take great care to define positions and jurisdictions to ensure that each official has the correct viewpoint for specific infractions. This process necessarily relies on human observation and judgement.
The rules do have a provision for video replay, but this provision was only recently inserted following advances within FINA and USA Swimming. Our sport has only recently begun to implement video review for elite meets, such as the Olympics, World Championships, and USA Swimming Senior Nationals. These video systems require underwater and on-deck cameras at several different angles and perspectives in order to be complete and to provide appropriate procedures for review. To date, we have not approved any such use in USMS. Technology may perhaps move us in that direction someday, but most likely we would only use official video cameras operated and reviewed by meet officials, not videos provided by swimmers, coaches, or spectators.
It is understandable that, as athletes, we might disappointed in decisions by officials and outcomes from competitive events. We rely on experienced and dedicated officials who are committed to a fair and equitable application of rules. They are trained to spot legitimate infractions and scrutinize potential calls for compliance with the rules. Many calls are overturned by referees because there was a question about the observation, jurisdiction, or rules basis without swimmers ever knowing about it.
If you have a question about a disqualification, the best advice is to ask the officials for an explanation, be informed about the rules, and work with your club or LMSC representatives if you still have questions. Our goal is to make completion fair, equitable, and enjoyable for everyone who participates.
Fun is over, back to work. Was a great experience at Nationals. My team was very supportive and awesome, and many of us had personal and age group bests
All of my frees had terrible turns to varying degrees. One even had a locked knee push-off using just the calves LOL. I blame that on the locations I choose to train. I also navigate solely on the bottom markings, perhaps I should've peaked forward. I noted the turn markings at GAC were about 5'10 from the wall.
Other than freestyle turn issues, I managed a PB in 50 Br and 50 Fl. And as a bonus, little old me was placed on a relay team of studs to anchor us a 6th place finish in the 25+ Medley Relay! I got my first medal
I also drank wine again just a few times.
Men 50-54 50
Yard Freestyle Finals 25.47
Men 50-54 50
Yard Freestyle from Split Requests NT
100 Yard Freestyle Finals 57.90
27.48 58.79 (31.31)
Men 50-54 50
Yard Breaststroke Finals 35.66
Men 50-54 50
Yard Butterfly Finals 31.41
Men 50-54 100
Yard Individual Medley Finals 1:20.00
Men 25+ 200
Yard Medley Relay
'A' M25+ GSMS 1:43.001:38.75 10.00 1) Costa, Leonardo (M38) 2) Silva, Fabio M (M38)
3) Fachin, Andre A (M26) 4) Dalpiaz, Steve R (M50) 24.11 (24.11) 40.28 (16.17) 1:13.86 (33.58) 1:38.75 (24.89)
Mixed 45+ 200
Yard Freestyle Relay
29 GSMS 'A' X45+ GSMS 2:25.00
1:58.11 1) Dalpiaz, Steve R (M50) 2) Chappell, Melinda E (F55)
3) Hilton, Patti K (F63) 4) Alderson, Pat (M64) 25.67(25.67) 59.11(33.44) 1:32.54(33.43) 1:58.11(25.57)
Also did a fly in a 3rd relay, swam a 29.64. But I looked 24 yrs older
Coach suggested I should work on my fly. I've been improving this stroke each consecutive meet with just the event as the only time I actually swam it. I plan to proceed with caution however, using fins, moderation, extra rest, and one length at a time.
500 warmup with fins and snorkel
7 x 50 on 2:00 as 25 AFAP / 25 easy fr with fins
AFAP's: Fr, Fl, Bk, FK, back FK, UWDK, back UWDK
8 x 13m on 1:00 AFAP kick on 1:00 as belly or back FK
30 seconds 6 mph (run) / 3 min 2 mph (walk)
30 seconds 7 mph / 3 min 2 mph
30 seconds 8 mph / 3 min 2 mph
30 seconds 9 mph / 3 min 2 mph
30 seconds 10 mph / 3 min 2 mph
30 seconds 11 mph
Hack squats machine heavy - 5 reps
Pushups on blocks with added band resistance - 10 reps
Negative pullups - 5 reps
Dips / knee lifts
explosive leg extensions
Standing calf raises
side plank shoulder raises with DB
pushup position on DBs alt rows
negative leg raises
The pushup position while holding DBs and raising one to shoulder I found, is an excellent core exercise. I used the #15's and alternated L and R each set for 4 sets of 5 reps each arm . It was actually more difficult keeping both feet on the ground.
Updated May 3rd, 2016 at 08:51 AM by __steve__
We made it home from nationals safe and sound -- after a bit of a harrowing drive in the midst of hail and a tornado watch. The best part of nationals for me was hanging out with great swim friends and my RAM team. And I love the spectating at nationals -- got to see so many great races and was really happy for my friends and fellow bloggers that kicked ass. My coach and friend Bill White, who hadn't competed in SCY since 2002, swam out of his mind. Hopefully, we can persuade him to come to more USMS meets! And my Jimby was very happy to grab a well paced win in the 500 free. Of course, it was great hanging out with Stewart and Mark and I finally got to meet Mr. Unruh (who also swam out of his mind).
For various reasons, this was an extremely challenging meet for me. I had felt pretty good a couple days before leaving. But whatever was blooming in NC did not agree with me and I had a bad allergy/asthma flare starting Friday afternoon. Lot of hacking and not enough oxygen to power the SDKs. Hindsight is 20/20 of course. But I was probably pushing the envelope to have competed in the meet. And so it was a mixed bag.
50 back, 1st, 27.7
I did two starts with the backstroke ledge in warm up, and they seemed fine. But at race time, I fumbled around with the ledge and couldn't seem to get it in the right place. It ended up being a little lower than I would have liked. Then the starter held us for a long time and my arms were shaking. I was a little deep on the start, but it was solid. But then I had a glide into the turn. I was just happy to get the win. And anytime you beat the speedy Susan Williams that is saying something.
Mixed 200 free relay (can't remember our time), 24.7 split
I didn't execute this very well either. I jammed the turn and went off the wall way too deep. I had trouble breathing after the race and it seemed to precipitate a 5-6 hour coughing spree.
Started off the day by tearing a hole in a new tech suit that I had only worn once at the Albatross meet ... Grr!
50 breast, 32.8 DQ
More bad execution here. My start was not very good and my heels broke the surface on my breakout. Off the turn on my pulldown, I could feel my feet move. I knew I was at risk for a DQ and sure enough it was enough undulation to draw the call. Obviously, I need to be hyper vigilant about this (and I was in my 100 breast).
50 free, 4th, 25.4
I can't say that I was too excited to swim this race and was worried about air/breathing. This time, I had a great start but instead of jamming the turn, I only got my toes on the wall. So my Lochte turn, which is usually an asset, was a liability. This is a pretty mediocre time for me; I went faster at the Sprint Classic. No idea why I had such trouble with my freestyle turns this meet.
50 fly, scratch
I didn't feel like I had the lungs to SDK well, so opted to scratch and rest on my 26.0 from a month ago. Was happy for Susan who crushed the field in my absence.
100 breast, 1st, 1:13.7
I really wanted to end nationals on a positive note and, hey, at least you get to breathe in breaststroke. I felt like I had very good walls and a good 4th 25. It was a dogfight to the finish. It is a very rare occasion indeed when this drop dead sprinter comes from behind to win a 100. So I was happy with the result, which is only .3 off my PR from a few years ago.
So this was definitely not the meet I had hoped for. But so goes life. Hopefully, my lungs/ears/sinuses will be happier heading into Canadian Nationals. I was in the mood for a workout today and so headed to Sewy and did the following:
Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewy
8 x 25 shooters
20 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :45
-- done as 5 x 4 x 25 IM order
10 x 25 fly w/fins @ 100 pace @ :45
20 x 25 breast @ 100 pace @ :45
10 x 25 dolphin kick @ 100 pace @ :45
Updated May 2nd, 2016 at 05:53 PM by The Fortress
3 X 100 2:00
2 X 150 2:40
1 X 200 KICK 5:00
8 X 50 KICK 1:20
3 X 100 1:40
2 X 150 2:30
6 X 100--choice-- 2:30
ALL 6 strong--85/90%
10 X 50 1:20
25 sprint/25 easy
3 X 400 pull 6:40
Negative split all 3
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
Well I had every intention of blogging each day but just never got an opportunity during the meet to write. This is sort of a catchup blog I guess. I had some really good swims and some not so good swims. Despite wishing I swam faster I was happy with my performances and had an absolute blast with my team mates. Just like last year the relays were a bunch of fun and we did great winning both the men's 45+ free and medley relays.
As I described in my last post the 1000 was a good swim and my splits were great with a slight negative split.
The 500 must have been a fun race to watch with a line of us turning at 450. I tried going up a gear at about 350 and for about a 25 felt like it was there before my body decided that it was not. My time of 4:55 was not what I was hoping for but was better than last year so no complaints. My splits were also really consistent like the 1000.
The 100 free was one of those swims I wish I had just not done. I actually felt good before I swam this one so it was weird that I died with about 30 yards to go. I don't know if I just need to swim this a little differently. Currently I just go all out. This was reminiscent of my swim at our zone meet where I also died in the last 25. My 49.8 was .8 slower than last year.
The 100 back was actually a good swim but it had lots of technical problems. I have struggled with raw speed this meet and this 100 was particularly tough to get going. My back starts and under waters have been off the whole meet. I went way deep and stayed under way too long as a result. One of my team mates showed me the video after the race and I was at least 3/4 of a body length down at the first turn. I turned too far from the wall and got next to no push off. I really tried hard to get some speed and came home really well. I lost my heat by .01 and could feel myself pulling the guy in the lane next to me the whole second 50. My time was slightly slower than last year and a second slower than I thought I would go. Despite this I was happy with the back half of the race and unlike the 100 free did not die.
The 200 free was a really good swim and probably my best swim of the meet. I did not die and my splits were terrific. 25,27,27,27. My 1:47 was faster than last year and I felt strong the whole way. The only thing with this one was that I tried going up another gear on the last 50 and for about 10yards felt like it was there but alas like the 500 my body said no. Still very happy with this swim.
The 200 back was a race too far. I had very heavy arms and legs before I even got in. I had a better start than the 100 but just had no tempo and struggled the whole way. My 2:03 was slower than my zone swim 3 weeks ago. Despite this being a bad swim I don't think it's indicative of anything other than I was really tired.
Considering I was contemplating not coming to this meet a few weeks ago I swam well. The highlight of my meet was the two relays with Steve Unruh, Bill White and Mark Cox. We won both relays and had a lot of fun swimming them.
I was also very fortunate to swim with Leslie who as always was terrific to cheer on and watch. We had two team dinners and these were awesome. When you get on so well time flys! We had a blast and I can't wait for next time.
USMSís new CEO offers perspectives on challenges and opportunities
Swimming has a way of sticking with you. Whether you learned to swim early or later in life, its impact is significant, and the lessons learned and skills acquired are numerous. For anyone who swam as a child, the chlorine call back to the pool is strong.
Fortunately for USMS, our new CEO, Dawson Hughes, a sports marketing professional with a strong background in leadership and nonprofit management, also happens to be a former swimmer. Dawson joined the National Office in March, after a nationwide search overseen by a special task force appointed by the Board of Directors.
Dawson most recently served as vice president of business development for the Orange Bowl Committee, a South Florida nonprofit sports organization that features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl, a top-tier college football postseason bowl game. Heís also worked for both the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball franchises.
However, as much as heís accomplished in the greater sports world, Dawsonís heart is with swimming, the sport he started at age 5 and the one that eclipsed his other childhood sports interests.
SWIMMER asked him about his swimming background and his ideas for USMS moving forward.
SWIMMER: Whatís first on deck for you?
Dawson Hughes: Iím currently getting to know USMSís history, the team at the National Office, and our volunteers, including members of the Board, LMSC officers, and sponsors. Most important, Iím focused on getting to know our members.
Weíll be updating our strategic plan over the next several months and we want to continue to provide great benefits and opportunities, motivation, and support for adults who want to take advantage of all that swimming has to offer. Whether itís learning to swim for the first time, getting in shape and staying fit, or competing, we want to ensure weíre able to meet the needs of all our members and potential members.
S: Whatís your swimming background?
DH: Learning to swim started shortly after learning to walk. I grew up in Southern California and we had a backyard pool, so it was looked upon as a life skill in my family. The Balboa Island Yacht Club (which was more summer camp than yacht club) had programs that included paddle boarding, swimming, diving, rowing, and sailing competitions in Newport Harbor every summer for kids aged 4 to 16, so I was in the water constantly from age 5.
At the same time, I was swimming in summer league meets in the pool. After a couple of years competing at BIYC, I decided I didnít like coming in second to the same kid every week and I wanted to start training all year so I could beat him the following summer. Around that time my parents realized that swimming was a good way to keep me tired and out of trouble, so I joined a year-round age-group team. The plan worked on both accounts, and I went on to swim competitively through high school and two years in college.
S: How have your early swimming experiences affected your life?
DH: While considering the opportunity to take the helm at USMS, I spent time reflecting upon my swimming background and realized that, although Iíve been away from the pool for 19 years, swimming has continued to have an influence on many aspects of my life. The teamwork, goal setting, work ethic, self-motivation, and competitiveness I learned as an age-group and college swimmer are characteristics Iíve carried into my career.
On the personal side, lifelong friendships were fostered during those years. And a fitness base was built that has helped me recover from stretches of inactivity a bit more quickly. My wife and I had our kids in water safety and swim lessons as early as possible, just as our parents had done for us. I could never have predicted that my career path would bring me back to my swimming roots, and Iím excited to be in a position to provide opportunities for adults to discoveróor rediscoveró all the benefits of swimming.
S: What are some of USMSís opportunities and challenges?
DH: USMS has a strong tradition of competitive swimming and that will continue; for our members who love to compete, weíll continue to provide great events.
And I believe there are opportunities to include many more adults of all ages and backgrounds.
There are thousands of former swimmers who find it challenging to balance their careers and family lives, let alone find time for a fitness routine. I put myself in this category. Throughout my 20s and 30s, building a career and starting a family has been my focus, and carving out time to exercise is a constant struggle.
Swimming was always in the back of my mind, but I didnít feel I was in shape enough or could commit the time that I assumed would be necessary for a Masters Swimming program. So I ended up at the gym with an inconsistent fitness routine: usually warming up on a treadmill followed by poorly executed weight training or the occasional outdoor run. Without a resource to easily obtain swim workouts, the encouragement of fellow swimmers, or a coach to provide structure, my motivation to get back to the pool waned.
Finding ways to make fitness swimming fit into the busy lives of those with careers and families is both a challenge and an opportunity for us. The misconceptions about perceived time commitment and getting in shape before starting need to be addressed. Providing resources and programs that donít require more time than a run in the neighborhood, a visit to the local gym, or other fitness programs will be important.
Fitness is a trend that isnít going away, and swimming is regularly acknowledged as a great way to get and stay in shape. But too often the ease of entry to other fitness activities stands in the way.
S: How are we going to accomplish this?
DH: USMS wants to appeal to adults regardless of their prior experience, fitness level, or competitive inclination. This includes adults who never had the opportunity to learn to swim. To do that, we must offer programs and benefits that appeal across many demographics, lifestyles, and goals.
In starting to get to know our members these past few weeks, it has become clear that theyíre our biggest cheerleaders. Iíve been asking folks how they initially got involved with Masters Swimming. The answer is almost always that a member of a club or workout group approached them and convinced them not to be intimidated or concerned about their fitness level.
Those tens of thousands of passionate swimming ambassadors, combined with simple options and encouragement to help people learn to swim, meet fitness goals, compete if they want to, or simply live a healthier lifestyle, will be our best avenue to introducing more adults to Masters Swimming.
S: When can we expect to see you back in the pool?
DH: Iíve been back in the water a few times recently and I plan to stick with it as best as I can while balancing my family life and the responsibilities of my new role. My goal is simply to stay fit enough to keep up with our 3-year-old twins.