duck trophy masters race

How to Keep Up During Swim Practice

On the shelf next to my desk sits my duck. It was my trophy for completing my time-setting 1500-meter race – 43.04 minutes. That earned me a third place in the event during the Reg Robinson Long Course Swim Meet (Semana Nautica 2011) and my duck. May have been only 3-swimmers competing in the event.   😆  Participating was fun, and exhausting – in a good way.

I’ll be wearing my Slim Fins for Masters’ Swim Practice beginning next week. For the past 3 years, I have been swimming with naked feet. I took off my Slim Fins and moved down from the 2-minute lane, which I led, to join my husband, Bob Evans, in what he calls the “waiting to die” lane.

We swim morning Swim Masters with Santa Barbara Swim Club. August 1 and November 1 will mark our 19th year so doing. Swimming is our anchor. The single most important activity of our day. It must be to motivate us to rise at 5:00 am five days a week and dive into the pool at 6:00 am year-round.

During the Summer months, the club membership swells with competitive athletes. Enrollment was so high this year, there is no more room for slow boat seniors. Swimmers slow with age and Bob is seven years older than I. I’m sure he could still swim faster than me if he chose. In 2016, he dislocated his shoulder. It took months to regain range of motion, strength and not to cringe with wrong movement. He refuses to push himself beyond a comfortable pace. That decision, along with the fact that the others who used to swim in the slow lane did in fact die, leave Bob as the slowest in the pool. He is also among the oldest. In 2016, I shelved my Slim Fins so he would not have to swim alone.

Next week I’ll be wearing my Slim Fins again. Our lane is reassigned to relieve crowding from those swimming a 1:30 – 1:35 base. The coach has made it publicly clear that there will be no lane allocated with less than a 2-minute base. He expects Bob and I to listen and swim in the 15-meter kiddie pool, not the 50-meter lanes we are accustomed. Truth be told, there are swimmers in the 2-minute lane that swim slower than me already, but to nip discussion in the bud, we’ll show him what I can do wearing Slim Fins!

It did, after all, take me 2-workouts to swim the 62 = 50-meter lengths on my birthday this year. I could have done it in one wearing my Slim Fins. There was something extra gratifying about, this year, swimming more than 3 kilometers in a 25-hour period with naked feet.  As much as I would like to continue swimming barefoot, I’ll be joining the Force Fin Slim Fin Team of Swimmers to swim fast, and keep up with the young hard bodies once again.

Updated, June 16, 2019: I did fine in the 2 minute lane this first week, wearing my Slim Fins during the timed intervals. Bob, however, was relegated to the 15 meter lane with the handicap ladder. We are going to have to do something about that!

1 thought on “How to Keep Up During Swim Practice”

  1. Beverly Dubrin

    I’ve been a longtime customer of yours and have swum with the Walnut Creek Masters team for the last 22 years. In summer our pool switches to Long Course and is a greater mix of swimmers at all speeds. Since I am in the slower lane, I have more need to be able to keep up with my lane mates. I also have shoulder issues. All this is to say, that I wear my Slim Fins for much of just about every workout and continue to absolutely love them. My luxury with the fins, is an occasional trip to somewhere tropical where I can snorkel.

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