Swimming, My History, YMCA Values

The 4 pillars or values of the YMCA: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Caring.

I’ve been staring at these values while swimming laps at YMCAs across the country since 1988. I started swimming in 1988 after graduating from high school and wanting to get in shape during the week to hike NH’s mountains on the weekends. I swam early mornings at the Portsmouth, NH YMCA pool for years. I remember the lifeguard and the “regulars” like it was yesterday; I’m so old!

Many years later, when I moved to Granby, Colorado I remember swimming and seeing the pillars, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Caring in front of me at the beginning of each lap while swimming at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA. I look to my right, framed perfectly in the windows, the Rocky Mountains. It was great training swimming laps at 8,000 feet at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA. I smile at the thought of those mountains.

Snow Mountain Ranch pool in Granby, CO.

When I lived in Tucson the YMCA pool was outside, and I don’t recall seeing the pillars posted anywhere. However, I do remember how wonderful the sun felt year-round on my body as I swam laps at their magnificent pool preparing for Ironman Texas and Wisconsin during the three years I lived there. 

Look at that view from the Northwest Tucson YMCA outdoor pool!

Now, I live in Concord, NH and as I kicked with fins I stared at the 4 pillars in front of me and it reminds me of all these places I’ve trained and all the truly wonderful places I’ve lived in. I’m blessed.

Concord NH YMCA pool

I haven’t swam in a few weeks and needed to get back into the pool since I need to 1) cross train for the ultras I’m running this year and 2) prepare for Ironman Mont Tremblant in 25 weeks.

Swimming just feels good. I’m starting out with 1,200 yards in 30 minutes doing all the strokes and using the kick board. I will gradually work in speed and endurance.

Training for ultra races and Ironman just make everything right in my world. Even with all the crap going on in the world, life is better when I can figure out 30 minutes in water. 

Happy Monday. Make it great today. It’s all a crap shoot. It’s all just a crap shoot.

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