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Back in the Pool at 39

Loves the never-ending array of challenges

Lee Nessel | July 19, 2000

Having swum for only two years as a teenager, Jayne Bruner decided to take the plunge again at age 39. Her motivation: to lose weight in the post-holiday season. But since attending her first nationals in 1974 at the age of 40, swimming has become an addiction for her. "I do it because it makes me feel physically fit, and, mentally, it's just so great. There's nothing like going to the pool."

The retired nurse/midwife trains about 4,000 yards five days a week. In 1996, Bruner's top sprinting ability garnered 19 first place finishes, eight national and four world records. But she is very modest about her accomplishments and rather uninterested about the "details" of all her records. "That's not the primary reason why I swim. I really do enjoy challenging myself, and I'm kind of fascinated with what I can get my body to do as it ages."

When she's not training, Bruner and her husband spend a lot of time in the water scuba diving all over the world. She is also still working on last year's goal of swimming a "decent" 200 fly. It doesn't have to be fast, or even pretty, she says. She just wants to feel in control. "That's what's so nice about Masters swimming: there's a never-ending array of challenges. You can always find something to motivate you, some new goal to set. I have always wanted to be able to swim a 200 fly."

published in SWIM magazine, March-April, 1997

Jayne Bruner lives in Reston, Va., and swims for DC Masters.

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