Article image

by Linda Shoenberger

August 1, 2009

Speaking for myself I first and foremost call Scott Young, a professional triathlete, my swim coach.  He’s been coaching me for 12 years and over that time we’ve grown in many ways.  He’s taught me many things throughout the years.  In return I have responded by always listening, always showing up and always letting him know how much I appreciate what he does for me.

In other ways, I have learned my swim techniques by sharing my feelings and reactions with Coach Scott when I notice a change in my swimming.  Together we explore the possibilities of what is happening and he’s learned new things from me.  So I am not only his student but his coach too.

My swim partner Martine contributes tremendously to my circle of coaches.  By showing up to swim with me, she gives me the joy of camaraderie, the challenge of competition and the fun of sharing our days and lives together.

My son Deacon swims with us sometimes too.  Although he is much, much faster than both of us, we enjoy his enthusiasm and his constant questions about technique that we try to share with him.  He is so proud that I am a swimmer that he inspires me to just enjoy the sport and the opportunity to share time with my grown son.

I coach triathletes twice a week at my swim club.  By watching their strokes I gain valuable knowledge about what makes swimmers move through the water.  Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn, or at least try something new, gives me greater insight into my own swim technique.

My travel roommates never cease to amaze me with their dedication to the sport of swimming.  We share nightly talks when we’re travelling about racing, technique, cute swim t-shirts, good brands of equipment and when our next trip will be (plus a little gossip too).

USMS SWIMMER MAGAZINE prints regular features on swim technique, swim workouts, events coming up and profiles of swimmers among other things.  There’s always something in there that intrigues me and pushes me to make small or large changes. 

My racing teammates from Tamalpais Aquatic Masters have helped me overcome a lot of deficiencies in my swim stroke.  Their enthusiasm and willingness to watch me race, then give me critiques, has inspired me to move to different levels of swimming – some that I never dreamed I’d reach!  Marie, the coach at Tamalpais is always ready to cheer us on and give us new challenges and goals to meet.  What she says goes, and she’s pretty forceful about us ALL completing the annual USMS One Hour Postal Swim.

And then there’s my husband George who always has a smile on his face when I come home from a swim meet or an open water event. Sometimes he grumbles when the clock goes off at 5 a.m. or when the American Express bill arrives showing how much I spent on a swim trip, but then he melts when he sees how happy and healthy it makes me. 

Thanks to all of my coaches – those on deck, those in the water with me, those asking me questions, those who write books and articles, those who put on swim clinics, those who organize events, the Go The Distance committee members (especially our leader Marcia Anziano), the U. S. Masters Swimming organization and those who enjoy the sport of swimming as much as I do.