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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


I spend a lot of time watching my children do gymnastics these days. It reminds me of the days I watched the older children perfect their strokes hour upon hour in the hot humid room with a pool. Then, I’d talk about how wonderful the water looked, and how badly I wanted to join the children. One of the swim fathers jumped in and kept up with the kids for a while. I was so jealous. I thought, surely I couldn’t do what these children are doing. Another parent, a mother, would bring her baby in a carseat, sit the baby at the head of a swim lane, and jump in and do her workout. I was amazed.

When the children changed teams, there were more adults of various levels in the water with the children. I talked to one of the more advanced adults, who also had children on the team. I told him of my dream to join them one day. He was very encouraging, telling me to join them as soon as my baby was born. . .

That was four years ago, and we had complications with the birth of that baby, and we haven’t returned to the pool since. I plan to return this summer with the young ones. It’s high time they learned to swim well.

Now, as I stated, I’m sitting in a crowded room of a cooler temperature, watching hundreds of children perfect the same moves endlessly. And, I’m still talking about swimming. I talked to one woman who grew up loving swimming, and has had her daughter in the water from infancy. They go to the beach almost daily in the summer, and they have a boat. They really enjoy life on the water. She told me a great story of how, during one of their beach visits, her old lifeguard training kicked in and she was able to save a father and son who’d gotten in over their heads.

I was much impressed; glad to hear that someone around my age could still lifeguard. Maybe it wasn’t too late for me to learn how to do that? I still regret that summer when I was a camp counselor and I had the chance to take lifeguard certification and I passed because I thought I was too weak a swimmer! It would have been much easier at 19 than at 40+! Oh well. . .I have also tried to convert non-swimmers. I talk to a friend from my book club–another thing I quit attending 4 years ago–about swimming. Neither she nor her husband are strong swimmers, but they want their children to swim. They have their children enrolled in one of the programs our children were involved in before swim team. She feels a little sheepish that she can’t be a good swimming role model for her children. She was interested in my swim blog. She came to the site, and she ordered Total Immersion. I am excited to see where she goes with this.

By the way, one of the people I’d talked to about swimming years ago? She started swimming in the fall and did a triathlon by the spring. Coincidence?cross posted at www.imswimming.net

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