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by Linda Shoenberger

July 1, 2009

Creating Opportunities

Most of us started fitness swimming thinking we would get in shape.  Little did we know what a wonderful world it would open up for us.  Marcia Anziano, your Fitness Committee chairman, didn't even learn to swim until she was 50 years old.  Next month at age 64 she will be swimming across the English Channel on a relay team with five fellow swimmers from her Colorado Masters Swim Club.

They will be staying in Dover England from August 26th through September 23rd in order to complete the relay once given the go ahead by officials. Tidal conditions in the Channel are treacherous as is the crossing of many, many vessels.  They may swim during the day or night or both.  They must be prepared during that entire stay to go out into the water at anytime, whether it's noon or midnight.  Water temperature will be 63 to 65 degrees and it's anybody's guess how rough the water will be. 

Currently Marcia and her fellow Colorado Masters teammates, Kathy Garnier, Mark Johnston, Chris Nolte, Susan Nolte and Nicole Vanderpoel are training in the mountain lakes around Denver Colorado.  This weekend they will test themselves for the first time swimming long stretches at night.  During the relay each swimmer must swim an hour leg before the next swimmer enters the water.  Then they repeat the process until they reach France.  Expected swim time is around 12 hours but may be more or less depending on the tides and currents.

Marcia created an opportunity of a lifetime for herself by learning to swim as an adult and never looking back.  Once exposed to the swim fitness lifestyle a swimmer can find just about any imaginable way to create an opportunity to participate in an event and make friends doing it.

Marcia not only became a swimmer, she also became a USMS coach in Denver.  She enjoys coaching, attending clinics, working out herself and traveling to swim meets and open water competitions.  I met her at the USMS Convention in Houston a couple of years ago when we ended up on the Fitness Committee together.  I live in Reno so had she not become a swimmer I never would have met her.  She and I created the opportunity for us to meet.  Since then we have become friends and have shared hotel rooms at Kerry O'Brien's swim camp in Walnut Creek and at the USMS Short Course Yards Championship this year in Clovis, California. 

I'm grateful for Marcia's friendship and I'm grateful for all of the wonderful friendships swimming has brought my way.  Anyone can be a fitness swimmer and the opportunities are boundless to meet people, have fun and enjoy exciting adventures together.