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by Linda Shoenberger

June 30, 2011

Spreading open water joy to the next generation

The Lake Del Valle Open Water Swim is sponsored by the TriValley Masters. It offers a .75 mile swim followed by a 2.5K swim. The lake is nestled in the hills outside of Livermore, Calif. It’s a lovely place to visit and picnic, swim, ride bikes and hang out.

My son Deacon and his wife accompanied me to the swim again this year. My son swims and his wife is a champion sunbather. She’s also good at parking the car if we’re late, carrying all our gear to the beach, babysitting for swimmer friends (grandpa Rich Burns’s grandson) and shoe holding at the finish line.

This year we invited my niece and her family to join us at the lake. Zoe, her husband Carl and their son Abe showed up after the .75 mile swim and began searching for us. Pacific Masters swimmers love a good open water swim and Lake Del Valle attracts more and more participants every year.

Once they found us and surveyed the lake, the happy people, the kids skipping around and the volunteers hard at work, they became quite curious. Zoe couldn’t believe that her aunt (me) had just done a .75 mile swim. “Are you out of your mind?” she said as I prepared for the 2.5K swim. To her, the buoys looked so far away that she couldn’t imagine anyone swimming that far, let alone her 63-year-old aunt.

They were duly impressed as Deacon and I came out of the water a little later. Enthusiastically snapping pictures and watching intently, they came away from that day with a new understanding of the joy of fitness swimming.

Zoe’s email to me a couple of days later sums up the role we play in society as we go out daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to pools, lakes and oceans all over the U.S.


Thanks for sending that photo.  Here are two that I took.  One is similar, but your expressions are a bit different in this one.

We were literally inspired by this.  I have been thinking about it for two days now.  I have always been a fairly thin person--relatively--so I never thought much about exercising, because I have never had to, to stay on the thin side. 

But you look so strong and happy and it really got me thinking:  I want to look like that!  I honestly was so impressed.

I also love that you and Deacon share this hobby.  That is wonderful, too.

I don't think I can do swimming, because of my ear, but I really am thinking about what could be my thing!!!  All because of Aunt Linda!!!




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