Old Timer. New swimmer.

papapapa Member
edited December 2013 in General Discussion

I first swam 56 years ago when I was forced, as a Royal Navy recruit, to jump naked from the top board of the HMS Ganges (England) swimming pool . It took me four more frightening months of daily 'backward swimming' sessions to pass my navy swim test. I am still petrified of the mysterious sea. I have managed to recently swim the crawl and with constant pool sessions I am more confident, but very slow.

I classify myself as a beginning swimmer. I have completed three 1.9k swims, two very slow ones of over 90 mins. The last one in an ecstatic 65 mins. At the age of 71 I seem not to be welcome in swimming circles, not sure if it's my age that puts people off, or my slow speed. Any old timers out there with similar problems. Love to hear any comments advice from anyone.


  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    Wear your age as a badge of honor. All are welcome here. Speed is relative and at age 71 you get points for just putting on a Speedo. Perhaps the people you refer to are intimidated by your good looks...or your naked high dive story.
  • papa → JBirrrd

    Thanks so much for your fine comments. On much recollection I reckon it must be the high dive story. LOL. Thank you
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    You are welcome here Papa (from a fellow slow swimmer!)
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Welcome @papa!

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    You're totally welcome and respected here! Just keep on doing what you love. I hope to still be at it when I'm in my 70s!
  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    "At the age of 71 I seem not to be welcome in swimming circles, not sure if it's my age that puts people off, or my slow speed"

    It embarrasses them when they see you and remember all the whining they do at morning practices.
  • Thanks all for your positive comments. They add greatly to my desire to "keep swimming". Thanks.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    If you are ever in Ireland, the average age of Newtown and Guillamenes swimming club is past retirement with members swimming daily year round. None of them moan about the weather as much as I do!

    The Sandycove Island Swimming Club has members into their 70s and the annual pre-Christmas swim to celebrate one of our swimmers gradually replacing the last of his remaining bits with a bionic prosthesis takes place this week.

    Roger Allsop, oldest man to swim the English Channel two years ago is 74 (I think) and Otto Thaining who was training this year for his second crossing, is 75.


  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    I was soundly beaten in the 12 mile Rottnest Channel swim this year by Dieter Loeliger who turned 80 on the day of the swim. Two years earlier he thrashed the relay team I was swimming on :D

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Glad to have you here, @papa!
  • Makes me cry in wonder, thanks for all those tips, advice and comments
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