Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1 month until start date!!

Only one more month to go - I can't wait until we actually start! Training has been going well. I have been in the lake quite a few times now. The water is still a bit chilly (61 is what my thermometer registers), but it is awesome to be back in the open water!

Thanks to Lori and Tracie for getting PayPal set up for easy donations online and thanks to Natalie for getting the pledge sheets ready for those who would rather donate that way.

Thanks also to all of you for your interest and support!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Here is a photo of the alligator I am swimming for! 

You can donate now through Pay Pal on this blog or pick up a pledge sheet in the lobby of the YMCA to help raise funds
to bring this guy to the Brainerd Family YMCA aquatics Center!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who are we?? - Part II....

A little about me. I have been a staff member at the Brainerd YMCA since shortly after I moved into the area in 1983. It started as "my job until I get a real job" and grew into a lot more. All four of my children were part of the Day Care family here and were involved in many of the numerous programs that the Y has to offer. All but one were and/or still are part of the aquatics staff.

My passion for swimming started at a young age. As a preschooler, I lived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts for a short period of time. My mom would take my brother and I to the beach every day. My brother was content building sand castles on the beach, but not me!! I ALWAYS wanted to be in the water. Being that my mom was essentially a non-swimmer, this made her very nervous. To keep me from having a melt-down about having to stay out of the water and to save my mom's sanity, she came up with a solution: a rope was tied to the back of my swim suit with a stake on the other end pounded into the beach. I quite literally swam around at the end of my rope until I was hauled in!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who are we?? - Part I....

Margaret Schaefer will be the kayaker for my swims - I have no worries about her being an awesome guide for me - she has successfully guided me on longer swims in very crazy conditions. Like me, she loves a good challenge!

I have known Margie through the Y for years, however it wasn't until 2006 that we became good friends. She asked me to join her triathlon team (go team BUA!)  for the annual Baxter Tri. We have competed in it every year since then (with the exception of last year when a series of unfortunate injuries kept us spectating). Our team has placed 1st four out of the five times in our category! I do the swim, Margie is our amazing biker, and her sister Jan Handlos is our kick-butt runner.

Fun facts about Margie:
Being a lifelong resident of the Brainerd area, Margie has been a member of the Brainerd Family YMCA for her entire life! She enjoys biking with the Paul Bunyan Cycling Club, is multi-talented in numerous ventures (you name it, she can do it!) and she loves the smell of lilacs.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why are we doing this?

Our Aquatics Center is such an awesome place for kids and families to play and have fun. However, over the years, some of our floatable "toys" have disintegrated and become unusable. The funds raised will go to replace these items. Our first goal will be a new alligator. If that goal can be met, we will work on getting new safety pads for our lily pad crossing. PLAYTIME, the company that makes these, has gotten excited about our challenge and has offered us a significant discount if we can come up with enough money for both!! They are not cheap and the shipping is outrageous because of the size and heavy weight. We are looking at a total of $10,500 for both plus approximately $1900 for S&H.

Lots of money? - Yes; Attainable? - we will see!!

If this big goal cannot be met, we do have a need for other smaller less expensive items (ie swim lesson belts, diving toys and games for lessons, aquajog belts and/or swim team equipment) . Any money donated will not go unused and definitely will be appreciated!

Pledge sheets will be available soon - Charity Ball is our priority right now, but when the dust settles from that big event, more info will be coming!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

50 swims in 50 lakes 4 the YMCA: Where the idea came from...

50 swims in 50 lakes 4 the YMCA: Where the idea came from...: On June 29th (50 days from yesterday) I will start the challenge of swimming 1 mile in 50 different lakes in 50 days as a fundraiser to honor the 50th Anniversary of our YMCA!!

The idea all started when our Marketing Director told us about a Duluth YMCA Member who ran on a treadmill in his YMCA's lobby for 12 hours. That got my competitive juices flowing - if he can do that for his YMCA, what can I do for ours? And with our YMCA's 50th Anniversary coming up this fall, what better time to do something cool?!

At first I tried to think of something to do pertaining to the number 50 in the pool. However, everything I came up with was either too boring or unattainable. Then my kayaking buddy Margaret Schaefer came up with the idea of doing something in 50 lakes. Being suckers for a challenge, we decided to do 1 mile in 50 different lakes in 50 days. Margie will kayak and I will swim.

Crazy? - Maybe!; Fun?- Absolutely!
Exciting enough to get people to donate to the YMCA on our behalf? - we will see!!