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BRUCE PRESLAN- Evolution of a Fitness Swimmer

The hardest thing I have ever done in my life was taking just one hour, five days a week just for me.  Everybody wanted to claim that hour — the wife, the kids, the boss, the State (jury duty), even the dog (“play with me”).  Selfishly, I decided I wanted to swim for that hour to cultivate a fitness routine that would last a lifetime.  Eventually everyone started to leave my hour alone.  “Don’t bother to ask him.  He’s going to be swimming.”  It worked out, and they all managed and thrived without my hour.

I started my daily swims after I graduated from college, and finally thought I had some time.  Fortunately, my first breathless swims were in a very crowded university swimming pool.  I had to learn to swim fast, so nobody would dive in over my head and take my lane.  As long as I kept moving fast, the lane was mine.  So I kept moving.

Along the way the university water polo coach offered me some stroke instruction.  I had to unlearn techniques I’d learned as a kid in Survival Swimming instruction.  “Don’t reach so deep.”  “Your goal as a fitness swimmer is not to conserve your energy until you are saved. Try for a personal best time every time you get in the pool.”

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Eventually, I lost interest in only looking at the bottom of swimming pools, and started investigating open water swimming.  I found a group on the web that facilitated a race from Europe to Asia.  I thought, “that sounds fun.  I’ll try that”.  So I swam the Hellespont and instead of timing out in my first open water swim and getting pulled out of one of the heaviest shipping lanes in the world, I finished and got a bronze medal for men my age.  My name is also currently engraved on a silver platter in Bermuda as a first place winner among men my age in an annual swim there. Plus, I just finished a swim from Britain to the U.S. (albeit the British Virgin Islands to the U.S. Virgin Islands: from the top of Virgin Gorda to Saint John).  I saw so much sea life thanks to the extraordinary visibility and comfort of my  Barracuda goggles.

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My guilty pleasure:   remembering the first time I went to the store to buy a business suit, and was told by the clerk that I’d need a suit with an “athletic cut” since my waist was so much smaller than my chest.  Yes, I’d developed a swimmer’s body.

Over the years, there have been so many excuses not to swim.  I almost never have succumbed when my lazy mind said, “naw, not today”.   In fact some of my best memories have happened on days when I had a good excuse not to swim.  I remember walking with bare feet through 4 inches of snow to get to an outdoor pool.  The steam was rising from the pool and allowed almost no visibility, but once in the warm water I was swimming through the vapors and thought, “this is pretty close to perfect”.

I’m pleased to say that that life got better when I discovered Barracuda USA.  Their goggles adjust to fit my face perfectly so the days of uncomfortable, leaky goggles are over.  Thanks Barracuda!

Keep swimming and stay healthy!  Buy Barracuda USA!