Earlier this year, assistant Coach Marcia Anziano, chair of the U. S. Masters Fitness Education Committee, challenged the Inverness Masters swimmers to try one of the programs offered by her committee. One of the program that tracks how far you swim, Go the Distance, is free to members and while tracking distance offers some great milestone awards that can be purchased along the way. The second program challenges swimmers to try all 18 pool events, but does not require that they be done at a meet, they can be done during regular workouts.
Many of the swimmers responded positively to the second program, known as the Check Off Challenge. So the Inverness Masters are taking this challenge on as a group. Many have ordered their shirts. Details about this event can be found at http://www.usms.org/fitness/content/checkoff. Each year this event has a different theme that is presented on a t-shirt. You simply purchase the shirt and you are on your way to lots of challenges. Every pool event is shown on the shirt, and once you swim it, you mark it off with permanent marker. The goal is to mark all 18 events.
The Inverness swimmers will begin in March checking off the shorter events, the 50's of each stroke, the 100 and 200 free, and the 100 IM. After Nationals, prior to summer, they will work to complete the 100 back, 100 breast, and 100 fly.
During the summer months, when workouts are focused on distance and open water, they will target the 400, 800, and 1500 free events.
At this point, they will have completed 13 of the 18 events, with 5 difficult events to go. Many of you swim some or all of these events at meets during the year and probably think that this is not a big accomplishment. But think of all the swimmers that you train with that never attend meets, many of whom revert to freestyle during your workouts. These are the very swimmers that are going to work to meet this challenge. Working together with their teammates, supporting one another, they hope to reach these lofty goals.
Moving in to the Fall, Inverness turns it's focus back to pool competitions, and last year introduced the month of "Stroketober". "Stroketober" extends from late September into early November. It is during this time that focus is put on each stroke, and it will be during this time that the swimmers will meet the challenge of swimming the 200 back, 200 breast, and the 200 fly!
During the remaining part of the year, the team will be challenged with the 200 IM and the 400 IM. The plan is there to support all that want to meet the challenge to be able to do so. With support from their coaches and fellow teammates, swimmers that now only think about such things as a 200 fly, hope to be able to complete it themselves.
I am sharing this as it is not too late for you to take the challenge along with your teammates. Hammerhead Aquatics of Florida, the workout group sponsoring the 2009 event, and will mail shirts each month, so it is not too late to take up the challenge. Just check it out on the web and let the challenge begin.