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by Marguerite Meyer

January 6, 2003

"Good, clean, healthy fun!"

Marguerite Meyer writes: "I was born into a very active family in 1959 in Carmel, Calif. If we weren't skiing, hiking or camping I was playing softball, kickball or field hockey. At school I was always out on the playground first. I loved to swim but didn't go near the water without the little round float that belted around my waist.

Until one hot day, I couldn't wait to get into my aunt's swimming pool. Forgetting my "floaty" in great anticipation and glee I dashed full speed into the beautiful blue water. That's when, at six years old, I realized I could swim.

It wasn't until I was a sophomore in high school though that I joined the swim team. Soon I made the school record in the 25-yard butterfly! I then went off to college and earned a scholarship on the women's swim team at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I was one of the only teammates who loved the 6:00 a.m. workouts. While most of the team was suffering from burnout from years of competitive training and meets I was fairly new at it and raring to go.

To keep in shape in the springtime I ran 10k road races and summers were spent bicycling to work in New Hampshire to teach and coach swimming on Lake Sunapee.

I noticed an advertisement for a triathlon in 1979 on the Mystic Seaport of Connecticut. A one-mile swim, a 25-mile bike and a 10-mile run ensued. Winning that first race hooked me on triathlons. I finished up my college swimming and began racing more triathlons, competing in the national US Triathlon Series circuit in the mid 80s and the Hawaii Ironman in 1983 and 1984.

When I moved to Alabama in 1986 I organized and coached a Masters swimming program, as there was nothing like that available there. We soon grew into a nice sized team called the Shoals Sharks and we started to travel to the local and national meets. Since joining US Masters swimming I have made numerous Pacific Masters records, several national records and I once held the world record for my age group in the 1500 short course meters freestyle.

Swim meets are a great excuse to travel. But I also love to visit exotic lands for different adventures and dip my toe in the water along the way. I've kayaked in Tierra del Fuego and swum in its glacier-filled fjords. I've rafted the upper reaches of the Yangtze River at 14,000 feet in Tibet and swum alongside our boats. On a dory boat trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon I tackled the 48 degree water and swam butterfly down the rapids. I've even found an adventure on frozen water, like climbing Mt. Blanc in France, the highest mountain in Western Europe, on skis with my father.

I like to combine my two career skills with my love of swimming and sport. Using my graphic design I've created the t-shirt designs for several swim meets, open water swims and triathlons. And as a massage therapist I take my table to swim meets and give massages to tired swimmers, in between my own events.

The best part of Masters swimming for me has been getting my mother into the sport. I entered her in her first meet in 1987, the Short Course Nationals at Stanford, Calif. From there on we have gone to all the local, national and world swims together, meeting all sorts of friendly and interesting people and having so much fun along the way. (See story on Margery Meyer.) My mom and I have been swimming for the Olympic Club since 1994 and we will surely participate in Masters swimming our whole lives because it's just such good, clean, healthy fun!"