Several weeks ago I sent out a message to a few of my friends, asking them what they remember about training when they were younger, and how, in hindsight, they view training today. Some of them are parents now, and spend many hours at little league baseball, soccer, and swim meets. One of the first people to respond was Mary T. Meagher. I’ve posted her commets here, and will post the comments of other swimmers in the coming weeks. Keep these thoughts in mind as you go to the pool to train.
Mary T. Meagher
"To me, I think it’s sad that kids are told, or that it’s insinuated in TV ads, magazines, etc., that working hard is something to avoid . . . that we should make our life as easy as possible.
On the contrary, I loved working hard! It was very gratifying feeling like I could hardly pull myself out of the pool after some practices. I loved being sore, knowing that meant I got a lot out of my last workout. And the ultimate — I loved barely being able to hold the hair dryer over my head long enough to style my hair because my arms were too exhausted. Yet, I don’t think I was some kind of weirdo or that it only paid off for me and a few others. Heck all 30 of us in the pool felt that same way after practice, and most of them did not go to an Olympics, or World Championships, or even made an international team. We did it because it made us feel GREAT, no matter what level we were at!
I would challenge any kid to do something really hard, like give 100% or more effort to swim practice for a week, and tell me they don’t get a high from it! I think they would feel the same that we all felt back in 1980 training under Denny Pursley, who used to tell us that pain while training was a false signal to the brain that we need to back off.
They would feel great, and confident, and worthy of respect."
I had to put up at least ONE pic of Mary T. and me from back in the day… along with the other Cincinnati Marlin Olympians from 1980. Figured if I was going to embarrass her, we should all fall into the same trap.
Pictured from left to right are:
Stephanie Elkins, 200 freestyle; Bill Barrett, 100 breast, 200 IM (World Record); Kim Carlisle, 100 back; Denny Pursley, Coach; Mary T. Meagher, 100 fly (World Record), 200 fly (World Record), 200 free; Your’s Truly, 200 breast (stupid hat); Lisa Buese, 100 fly.