DesertView swimming pool is home base for the Club. Since it opened, the Club has reserved morning times for coached workouts. Currently, we swim seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. On six days, there are three workouts; on Sundays, we have two longer workouts.
Coach Doug Springer was head coach for seventeen years. He announced his plans to retire five years ago, so the Club was prepared with a cadre of certified coaches.
Terry Heggy began coaching in 1982 and started several successful masters programs in Colorado, winning Coach of the Year there once. He and his partner Claire wanted to move for their retirement; being part of a master’s swim club was essential for Terry. Claire had honed in on Tucson where last spring they came to check out the possibilities, including SaddleBrooke. Terry swam with and liked the Club. They found a house they liked and bought it. Shortly thereafter the Club’s board offered Terry the position of head coach. The Club was prepared with its current resources, but Coach Terry was a gift dropped in our laps, and he seems very pleased as well.
Currently, Terry Heggy, Lyn Moreno, Jay Selnick, Mark Randall, and Steve Truesdale are coaching the workouts.
The Club has monthly signups for lanes; one can drop or add sessions after that. We show up in masks five minutes ahead of workout times to learn what the workout is all about. We are currently swimming no more than two to a lane, with each person in a lane starting from opposite ends and not stopping at the “other end.” All of these measures have been instituted to make us safe from COVID-19.
Insert the Photo: Showing Up in a Mask and Parka
Traditionally, masters’ workouts consist of sets whereby the coach specifies n number of x events with i rest intervals. Coach Terry provides an activity to be swum for t minutes. The faster swimmers will swim more, but the slower swimmers are not in the spotlight to finish the assignment. All workouts for a given day are the same.
Insert Photo: Coach Steve Provides Instructions
Last fall, we worked on fundamentals, including conditioning; this winter, we are paying more attention to speed. Swimming is a very technical sport, and techniques are always changing, so we get some explicit direction for new techniques as well as individualized coaching. Using good technique not only makes one go faster, but it is also better for the body.
Insert Photo: Swimmers getting a workout
Make no mistake about it: these workouts are challenging! Coach Terry has told us that it is not mandatory to swim the workouts as provided, but most people do unless they can’t; substitutions, including rest periods, are allowed for any reason the swimmer deems necessary or desirable.
As senior citizens, most of us spend lots of time and energy trying to stay healthy, fighting the aging process.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for the entire body; the buoyancy of the water takes the stress off our joints. We like to believe that swimming regularly slows the aging process. Anecdotally, it appears that those who swim develop that droopy fat under their upper arms about ten years later than those who don’t.
Swimming also burns calories. During the shutdown when the pool was closed, some of us found that out—the hard way, naturally.
For those who develop chronic illnesses, swimming may be the only exercise they can do. We have swimmers with back problems, Leukemia, Muscular Dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease, among others. I remember very fondly Steve Profitt, who developed a degenerative disease and needed a walker to get around. When he got in the water, however, you would never know that he was disabled.
Mike and Jeanie lived in Tucson for several years and swam at the University of Arizona. Additionally, for over 20 years, Mike coached age-group swimmers; he is very proud that he took three swimmers to the last Olympic trials. Jeanie and Mike’s world was turned upside down when Mike was diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphoma in early January, 2018; the prognosis was three months to live. They decided to move to SaddleBrooke to give Jeanie a place to swim and lots of community support as well. He says, “I had eight-hour treatments monthly through June, the hardest thing I ever encountered. I continued to swim throughout the treatments.” Fortunately, Mike is still with us, and we love having both Jeanie and Mike as part of our Club.
Several years ago, I was swimming with a friend; we were both over the center line in our lane. We collided with a hard head bang during warmup. We both finished the workout and then soaked in the hot tub following the swim. My friend asked how I was feeling, and I had no clue what he was talking about. He called Coach Doug, and Doug rounded up several people who had seen the accident; they met me at home, called an ambulance, and someone was with me all day at the Banner Trauma Center. I had a concussion and lost about six hours of my life that day. That same individual went with me to the return visit to the neurologist following my accident. All of this was done for me without any effort on my part. I was extremely well cared for and deeply touched.
Members of the Club support each other “in sickness and in health.”
Dues for Club membership are $20 per year, which includes a Club shirt. You can learn more about the Club and find a link for workout signups at our website: SaddleBrookeSwimClub.org. We welcome new members.
Look for another installment next month!