- Human Interest
Meet GTD Swimmer Jill Gellatly
Loves a good workout
Jill Gellatly is a CPA who spent twelve years as a “bean counter” (external auditor). Currently, she is in a financial reporting role for an oil field services company. She has always liked numbers and she never changed her major in college. "I am not the 'creative type' and my dad was a CPA so I figured I would do the same," says Gellatly. To Gellatly swimming is a lifestyle. She loves a good workout and she also loves to compete.
"Traveling to participate in pool meets and open water events is a blast and the friendships made are amazing in the swim community," she says. Gellatly has been swimming competitively since she was five. Her parents had a pool at their house in Florida and that is where she learned to swim. Gellatly tried gymnastics for a few years but says she was not very good at staying on a four-inch balance beam.
Gellatly says she did not swim in college. During that time she enjoyed adult beverages and greasy late night food. She started swimming again when she was 23 and got talked into her first Masters pool nationals when she was 26.
Gellatly's swimming workouts vary depending on work hours, which can be long at certain times of year, and athletic goals. On the average she swims three to four times a week. She swims alone, sometimes with a group and sometimes with high school kids. During the past two years she has been more involved in triathlon, but says: "it has beat up my body so I have decided to hit the pool again for 2010."
Gellatly 's favorite stroke is backstroke and she prefers distance, although she doesn’t do a lot of distance training; an average workout is between 3,000 to 4,000 yards. Very rarely does she swim more than 4,000. She is a true believer of quality over quantity.
She loves open water swimming but living in Houston makes it difficult. "It is hard to get excited about a murky lake."
"I love the GTD program because it doesn’t lie. The last two years, I have set the goal of swimming 300 miles and both years I have failed. I am on-track this year after three months, so hopefully I can keep it up. It has motivated me to go the pool on the last day of the month, just so I can meet my monthly goal."
Gellatly also loves the enhancements to the program and the online version that allows her to log all her other activities. Cross training is a big part of her workout regime and it prevents her from getting bored with swimming. "My advice to other participants is to do your workout in the morning—I always find if I plan to go at lunch or after work something comes up or I am just too tired," she says.
She loves college sports and traveling. In the fall, she is either attending a game or glued to the TV watching games from sunrise to bedtime.
When asked what her friends might say about her, she answered: "My friends would say I am social, loyal, and competitive."
Gellatly’s favorite swim story? "When I was sixteen, I was able to talk my coach into scratching my 1500 freestyle at a national meet because I had swam so slow in my first four events. My teammates were shocked he bought into my argument for scratching."
Gellatly's favorite swim event is Maui Channel Relay: "The water is warm and it is beautiful."
Jill Gellatly Receives The 2012 USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award
Jill Gellatly has worked at all levels of the Gulf LMSC. She has served as LMSC Secretary (2006 to 2010) and President (2011 to present). In her roles with the Gulf LMSC, she has brought new ideas, which have fostered growth and involvement. She is also a strong advocate of spending Gulf LMSC funds to support our members and coaches.
At the national level, Jill has been very active since 2006 in a variety of roles. Because of her accounting background, she is active on the Finance Committee and serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. In addition, she has served on the Long Distance Committee, the Championship Committee, the Strategic Task Force, and is currently Chair of the Membership Product Task Force. Finally, she has served as the South Central Zone Chair for the last four years.
Jill is not the kind of individual who asks for, nor expects recognition. But she is certainly one who is deserving of the USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award.
All-American Elizabeth Gellatly
Enjoying open water too
Elizabeth Gellatly was born in Royal Oak, Mich., and grew up in Houston, Texas. She learned to swim at the age of five, and swam age group and high school. She became involved in Masters in 1993, joining the Heart of Texas Swim Masters team, and although she only swims in two or three local meets a year, she has competed in several national championship meets.
She achieved All-American status in 1990, 1991 and at the age of 27 in 1995 she claimed the top spot in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:08.62. She also became a long distance All-Star that same year and again in 2000. On December 7, 2002 at the age of 35, she competed in the second Annual Bonaire Eco 5K Swim, finishing second overall, behind 15 year old Vincent Van Rutten, with a time of 1:15.21. Warming up, prior to her 5K swim she was also the winner of the one-mile swim, finishing in 25:24. In 2003 she set records in both the one and two-mile cable swims attaining All-American status.
Jill normally swims 3,000 to 4,000 yards, three to four times per week. She also trains for and competes in triathlons.
Jill, single with no children, is a CPA.