Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Kelowna and graduated in 1965 from the old KSS. I completed grade 13 there as well and continued on to SFU where I received a teaching certificate in Primary education in 1968. I taught for 6 years then married and raised 3 daughters. My husband was a banker and we lived in several different areas. I resumed teaching in 1989 when we permanently settled in Langley. I retired in 2005 and we decided at that time to retire in Kelowna. We spend summers here and partial winters in Arizona. I have two brothers living here still and our daughters and families enjoy many visits during our wonderful summers. We enjoy golfing, the beaches and the wineries.
How long have you been swimming?
I took lessons from the time I can remember at the cold sands in City Park. The water was always cold and I can remember that we had to walk out to our waist to begin our lessons. Back in the day we were able to walk to the lake without much supervision. I used to take part in some of the synchronized swimming events that took place prior to the Regatta grandstand events. Of course our summers were spent at the hot sands beach back when there were still lifeguards. I swam recreationally throughout my adult years both at “Y” pools and in pools we had access to through our recreational homes etc.
Why did you choose the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim?
I’ve heard about the swim over the years and after hip replacement surgery last May I thought in would be a good goal to improve my fitness after the surgery. I asked my brother, Dennis, if he would be interested and much to my delight/horror he agreed right away. He has previously done swims and triathlons so he had more of an idea of what to expect and is being a super coach.
Why do you want to swim across Okanagan Lake?
It’s always been in the back of my mind to do the swim and I now have the time to train. We spent a lot of time in the lake as kids swimming and water skiing so why not across the lake swim at 66.
Will swimming 2.1km across a lake be an easy or difficult challenge for you?
It is definitely going to be a challenge. I think making the switch from the pool to the lake will be the biggest challenge but plan to take part in the clinics offered in June at Gyro Park. Having started swimming in open water, I’m not too worried about not seeing the bottom but weather could be a factor. I’m hoping to complete the swim within an hour. Who knows?
Can you give us a quick overview of your training?
I started swimming lengths at our pool in our Arizona complex in Oct. Since returning to Kelowna in January, I have been going to the H2O complex for either swimming, cross training or water aerobics. I go with my brother 4-5 times a week. We have been swimming the 25 m lengths but will also start with 50 m lengths in Feb. We are planning to attend the sessions at Gyro I June. I still need to look into purchasing a wet suit because the cold water is a concern.
What do you enjoy most about swimming?
I like the feeling of freedom when I’m in the water. I’m also challenging myself with my own time.
What advice would you give someone who is starting out?
Don’t give up. Start slow and build endurance. Make a commitment to someone else so you have someone to train with and keep you going.
What is your one killer swim tip?
Even if you don’t feel like it get in and swim.