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by Linda Shoenberger

June 1, 2010

Just keep swimming!

Go the Distance now boasts over 1700 swimmers and the FLOGs have another 1,100 swimmers using them without being formally entered in the Go the Distance event. That’s over 2,800 swimmers counting their time and yards for fitness swimming.

Those of us on USMS’s Fitness Committee have experienced numerous magnificent moments this year while watching those numbers grow. Each time another swimmer enters the event or logs onto the Fitness Logs, we experience a special feeling of accomplishment.

Fitness swimmers know a magnificent moment when they feel it, but often we tend to overlook the importance of these small but significant events. They can add up to a lifetime of joy in fitness swimming.

Take for instance the times we arise at 4:30 a.m. pull on boots, hats, parkas and gloves and traipse out to the car in the winter darkness to head for the pool. It doesn’t feel very special driving down the dark, quiet streets but arriving at the pool is magnificent. The lights are on, the music plays energetically, people are greeting each other and the pool beckons. Ah, a magnificent moment.

Is there anything more magnificent than acquiring a new swim suit? We spend hours in these suits and purchasing one that’s a new color, a new style or a new texture can be a thrill; another magnificent moment to notice and savor.

What’s your favorite nourishment after a workout? I’ve seen people more excited about a carton of chocolate milk sucked down after practice than a 3-year-old is when given a giant sucker. It’s another experience in magnificent moment history.

Have you ever seen people slowly sliding into the pool while loudly complaining that it’s cold? They act like it’s the most excruciatingly painful experience of their lives, yet they do it day in and day out when they come to do their fitness workout. A friend of mine told me she always says to herself before jumping joyously into the pool, “This is the best moment of my day!”

We have a hot tub at our pool and it makes the perfect socializing spot for swimmers after practice on a Saturday when no one has to rush off to work. These times together are special. They’re memorable. They feel good.

Interval training can sometimes be intimidating and frustrating. Perhaps you want to hit a certain time every 100 and you’re just not making it. They day you do make the interval feels so good! It’s another magnificent moment.

The more fitness swimming you do, the more opportunity you will have to experience magnificent moments. When I stop to think about the magnificent moments I have experienced in my swimming life, I can’t believe how enriched I feel and how proud I am of these many times of joy that have added up in my life.