13 Feb by Timothy Harris

Tales From The Fish

The winter of 1974 is after I had transferred from the Boston Y to the newly constructed Lynn YMCA. At this level in my athletic profession I used to be winding down my marathon coaching to concentrate on swimming. Going again to highschool and in faculty I used to be reasonably profitable within the inter-scholastic and inter-collegiate sports activities whether or not it was swimming or monitor, however, there at all times appeared to be somebody sooner. It was on this winter of `74 upon transferring to Lynn I grew to become Frank Spencer’s affiliate. On the time Frank Spencer was already a legend amongst all YMCA professionals having been the Y’s bodily director for over 27 years. Upon becoming a member of the Lynn Y group I had time to coach within the lovely new aquatic facility. Way back to I can keep in mind I had at all times been aquatically inclined whether or not it was by these fantastic summers on Lake Geneva or the progressive swim applications the Y continues to supply.

My first recollection of my Y upbringing was by the affect of my father. Again after I was about 5 or 6 we headed off to the outdated Irving Park YMCA in Chicago the place I first started studying the best way to swim. The Irving Park Y was the place the place my father and Johnny Weissmuller palled round collectively earlier than Johnny Weissmuller reached the Olympics. Right here I come alongside some forty years latter. When the Park Ridge Y opened up I went proper by the YMCA progressive swim applications from minnow all the best way up the progressive swim ladder. Years latter I grew to become a YMCA Aquatic Director, a Water Security Teacher Coach and a Grasp Scuba Diver.

On the Lynn Y after I wasn’t guiding the basketball applications or discovered myself educating Judo swimming laps in that lovely new pool was now like a second dwelling. The factor is, like in faculty I wasn’t that notably quick however the longer distance I swam the higher I acquired. For me butterfly was by far the better stroke. I suppose it was as a result of I did not must flip each flip. By some means throughout apply although I perfected the butterfly flip however, that by no means actually caught on in aggressive swimming.

Aggressive swimming has come a good distance since my highschool years. Insurance coverage has had a hand in it is regulating, like beginning blocks. Within the 50’s and 60’s beginning blocks, these cumbersome wooden step up blocks, had been at all times positioned on the shallow finish of the pool. In fact none of us wore swim goggles again then. Naturally, all of us got here out of the pool after apply with pink bloodshot eyes. Racing dives off these wooden blocks had been at all times like stretched out stomach flops.

Right this moment, these outdated beginning blocks have been changed by sleeker extra environment friendly steel ones now positioned both on the deep finish or in swimming pools which have a gradual depth of six toes or extra. It’s because everybody now wears goggles and perfected the racing dives to guard everybody’s goggles from falling off once they entered the water. Primarily, the dives now usually are not these stretched out skimming the floor dives of yesteryear however are deeper extra of a wave motion that purposely retains the swimmer longer underneath water to realize sooner instances. Accidents that used to occur when beginning blocks had been in shallower water have nearly been eradicated. That is to not say that accidents at present are nonetheless taking place all due to folks diving into swimming pools which can be too shallow, particularly in yard swimming pools, or in water they assume is deep sufficient however actually is not.

As with beginning blocks the insurance coverage trade has mandated that one meter diving boards be taken out of public swimming pools which have a depth lower than seven toes. Right this moment, one meter diving boards must be positioned in swimming pools with a depth a minimum of 12 toes. Diving towers and three meter diving boards are required to have minimal depths of 15 to 20 toes. These new necessities in place because the late 1970’s have diminished the variety of debilitating accidents related to diving into swimming pools which can be too shallow.

After about one yr of coaching and guiding extra Lynn Y applications it was time to enter my first masters swim meet. Masters in swimming are open age teams for swimmers over 25. It was time to place my coaching to make use of. The quickest time of the day for the 1500 meter swim was underneath 22 minutes. My time nicely, simply say it was only a tad off of that mark. However, none the much less I did higher than I anticipated. From then on I went on to many extra 1500 meter swim occasions a few of which I did fairly nicely. In all my athletic profession whereas working for the Y I accomplished 11 marathons, numerous bike excursions, and even completed my YMCA profession with 6 Ironman Triathlons underneath my belt. For me these Ironman Triathlons had been nothing greater than an all day exercise.

Ever since I used to be a teen athletics has at all times been an important a part of my life. Right this moment, with public colleges slicing applications particularly bodily schooling and Y applications that value somewhat an excessive amount of for a lot of households to ship their youngsters to have drastically affected the well being of a technology. There must be a floor swell assist from communities to reestablish obligatory bodily schooling not simply a couple of times every week however get our youth concerned day-after-day. Granted, the YMCA has carried out an unlimited job in creating and providing applications for at present’s youth however a lot extra could possibly be carried out to drastically enhance our mounting well being issues particularly weight problems with all of the inhabitants.

Reinstituting the Presidential Council on Well being and Health in each elementary faculty, mandating Bodily Training in any respect ranges for one hour day-after-day, and emphasize correct vitamin not only for faculty lunches however by schooling for the entire household unit. On this approach these applications can be an actual deterrent to the rising weight problems and well being associated issues going through our society at present.