I had a wonderful weekend swimming with the Mud Sharks in the Short Course Meters Championships, held at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek Oct. 12-14, 2018.
Seven individual events and 4 relays was an ambitious schedule, but it was well worth it, as I tied with Cheryl Harms for High Point in our age group! I placed first in my 100 freestyle, with a fast time for me, 1:22.9, 2nd in all my other events, 50 free, 50 backstroke, 100 back, my signature 200 back, and for fun, I swam the 50 butterfly and the 100 Individual medley (IM). I’m still stoked! As I once read on the back of a T-shirt, “I swim, therefore IM.”
The mole rat, a spirit animal
Linda and most of the delegates at the USAS convention in Jacksonville, Florida listened to Dr. Tanaka’s presentation. He started out showing a group of ugly, almost fetal-looking mole rats. He said they live long lives, showing not much aging until they die. He made the room laugh when he said, “I don’t want to look like them. I want to live like them. The Mole Rat is my Spirit Animal.” He included many graphs of age related/exercise related/ studies. Swimming is beneficial, but is not actually proven to cause more longevity, citing Pub Med Data Base and the National Library of Medicine.
Although older swimmers are swimming faster now (a mediocre swimmer today could easily beat the first Olympic champions of 1896), the age of Olympic champions has remained constant. He showed a muscular Dara Torres at age 41 as an exception.
Then he brought up sexual prowess with a graph of sexual frequency (in percentile):
Among the general population:
Men 49, Women 26 in their 40s, and Men 24, Women 24 in their 60s
Men 100, Women 100 in their 40s, and Men 100, Women 100 in their 60s
Dr. Tenaka mentioned that any study showing 100% as any answer cannot be scientifically trusted, but the audience seemed to puff up with pride nevertheless.
Linda just returned from Jacksonville, Florida where she attended the 2018 Annual Convention of United States Aquatic Sports. She represented Pacific Masters Swimming, a division of United States Masters Swimming (USMS). Also attending were members of USA Swimming; a young, very vocal group of synchronized swimmers, USA Synchronized Swimming; and one member of USA Water Polo. Linda met him, the #2 man in the organization, Bill Smith.
The convention was very well planned with 1400 attendees from all over the country. Meeting rooms were clearly marked. Maggie and Linda were kept busy with general HOD (House of Delegates) meetings, interspersed with committee meetings and workshops. There was something to do all day, every day.
Daily swim practices were scheduled, but alas, too early. The bus left promptly at 5:25 AM for a 6:30-7:30 practice. With the East Coast time change, making these practices seemed, well, impractical. A small over-heated but pleasant pool on the roof served well for one taper workout scheduled tightly between meetings.
Along with her Update Editing Team, Linda won the June Krauser Award for communication.
Linda had the pleasure of rooming with the iconic 1952 Helsinki Olympian Gail Roper. Gail was a fantastic companion, a font of information with an amazing memory. Understandably, she sits on the History and Archives Committee. A small, intimate, dignified ceremony inducted new members into the International Masters Swimming Hall of fame. Among the presenters, Gail Roper was selected to present one of the honors to her friend, Maurine Kornfeld. Maurine is 97 and said to lively applause, “If you can’t out-swim them, out-live them.”