- Human Interest
Meet GTD Swimmer Sara Jelley
Rock a 10K on 300 miles
In her words, Sara Jelley has a "pretty good mix of really fun jobs." She is a personal trainer and yoga instructor, does internet marketing for a vegan chef and works at a Whole Foods Market to supplement her income. She loves to practice and teach yoga and its “amazing healing abilities.” She grew up in Fort Collins, Colo. and still lives there. “Life is pretty busy but I wouldn't have it any other way," she says. Jelley also plays guitar and sings.
Swimming is an important part of both her personal and professional life. Jelley swam in high school, which led to other forms of exercise and it taught her how to be good to her body. Jelley competed in high school and in her first year of college. Nowadays, she competes as often as she can in Masters meets.
Jelley has recently started open water swimming and she competed in the Horsetooth Open Water 10k the last two summers. Jelley loves to teach people to swim and she has encouraged and helped many of her Masters friends to swim open water with her. Her teammates also inspire her, including one man who swam the English Channel last summer and another who, at 71 is training for the Channel and has swum and organized the 10k swim every year for 11 years.
During spring and summer when time is available, Jelley tries to swim four to five times a week to train for open water season. Other times, she swims at least twice a week. Jelley loves distance freestyle sets. Although she’s learning how to be more of a sprinter and IM'er with the help of her coaches, her heart lies in distance and swimming under the sun. "I swim as much as I can with my Masters team, FAST (Fort Collins Area Swim Team) in the pool and with our little open water group which we call the OWLS (Open Water Lake Swimmers) but I love to train by myself in the quiet and beautiful lakes around my town," she says.
When asked why she likes Go the Distance, Jelley responds: "I like tracking how far I've swum each week, month and year. I also like knowing that not many other people in the world would be crazy enough to swim 250 miles or more in a year. Some advice I got from another swimmer friend was to set a goal of how many practices a week I think I can make easily to reach my goal for the year, and if I make more than that, I reward myself with praise and maybe a little ice cream here and there. My goal for 2012 is to rock the 10k again and get to 300 miles in 2012. Maybe 365, but we'll see."
Jelley says that swimming will always be a part of her life. "My favorite swim story is when I swam the 10k in the middle of my 23-day intensive yoga training this past summer. My arms were exhausted as I rounded the last impossibly long corner into the dock. I even told my paddler friend "I hate swimming! I'm never doing this again!" But then as I came out of the water I saw five of my fellow yoga teacher training students standing on the deck, each with a sign with a letter, spelling out my name! I never expected to see them there and it made me the happiest I've ever been at the end of a swim. I love having such wonderful friends both in the swimming community and all over the world."