"A weekend that reawakened me to the choice that shaped my life"

by Patrick Harrington - Gulf LMSC Coaches Chair

This past weekend I attended the annual meeting of the USMS Board of Directors and member delegates at the Airport Marriot in Houston Texas.  As a recent Gulf LMSC board member, I agreed to go out of curiosity.

I am a lifelong swimmer and a recent Level 2 designated Masters coach, and I wanted to learn more about how this organization works.  What does it really do for this sport I have loved for 60 years?

And boy, did I find out!  The experience opened my eyes to the big WHY of this sport and how it shaped, molded, and enhanced my life.  The entire meeting experience lasted about 16 hours, but it felt like I had been gone from home and my wife for two weeks.  Maybe like a white-water raft adventure, I guess.  We voted for the new Board of Directors leadership charged with guiding the direction of US Masters Swimming as it grows into a post-pandemic powerhouse. We discussed and worked on USMS's mission to serve all its members as best we can.

I now see Masters Swimming, my coaching and participation as my way of giving back to a sport that shaped my life, introduced me to lifelong friends, and made me the person I am today.  I have a heightened appreciation for USMS and what it does for the members and community as a whole.

Swimming is a lifestyle that can bring such joy, peace of mind, community and sense of accomplishment to people’s lives that to see the USMS organization at work completes the circle for me.

I hope to give back to the USMS organization, in some small way, for what the world of swimming gave to me. I can condense it into a phrase “payback time” and I embrace it with appreciation.

I was curious when I arrived and walking on a cloud when I drove home.

Think about your life in the swimming world..no matter how long or short it has been and you will see the positive and enhancing effects of your participation.  Stay active and that will grow.