Cook Strait Swim, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From spectator mom to adventurous athlete....

It is a great honor for me to be one of the 10 adventurous athletes over the age of 60 featured in "Life by DailyBurn" a health and fitness website.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Maine Swimming Hall of Fame induction

On April 12, 2014 I will be inducted into the Maine Swimming Hall of Fame. I feel very honored and humbled by this award.
Many years ago at the age of forty-six, I considered myself a spectator mom.  I was very involved in my children's sport activities. The extent of my exercise was going for a walk around the neighborhood.  I knew how to swim but I did not swim as a form of exercise.  Then one day tragedy struck my younger brother, Robbie, died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of thirty-four.  It was a devastating loss. At that time, my son Tom was sixteen years old and a member of his high school swim team.   He said he wanted to swim the Peaks to Portland (2.4 mile ocean swim) as a tribute to his Uncle Robbie.  My brother won the P2P twice. I said to my young son, "That's so sweet! I wish I could do the same." He responded encouragingly, "You can, if you try". His words motivated me to start training for my very first open water swim. I remembered having a lot of self-doubt about my swimming ability.  On my very first day of training, I asked the lifeguard to keep a watchful eye on me because I was unsure if I could swim two laps of the pool.  As each day passed my endurance and confidence improved.  My love of open water swimming blossomed into a passion of marathon swimming in iconic locations worldwide. And founding the global swim event "Swim for Your Heart" to bring an awareness of heart disease and its prevention.
I can't thank my family and friends enough for their unending love and support.
 Along this journey I have come to  realize that a person is never too young to give words of encouragement and a person is never too old to listen to them. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mexico's "Swim for Your Heart" 2014 Event

Mexico's "Swim for Your Heart" event had 21,000 swimmers participating to bring an awareness of heart disease and prevention. The sport of swimming was emphasized to help promote a heart healthy lifestyle. Over 100 nurses were at 79 pool locations throughout Mexico that included 24 public pools, 15 private clubs and 40 Sport City pools. They provided free blood pressure screening and gave handouts on heart disease prevention to all participants.  They are to be applauded for their effort and dedication.  This event received support from the local government of Mexico City, and from Mexico's federal government and private sector.  The Mexico Heart Foundation was the recipient of a donation from this event.   Many open water swimmers supported this cause along with Antonio Arguelles, Mariel Hawley Davila, Nora Toledano.  A large press conference was held at Sport City Fitness Center. The room was filled with reporters from several newspapers, radio, and television stations. Also, local celebrity athletes were there to promote this event.   Local and state dignitaries spoke about the importance of physical exercise especially swimming to keep the heart healthy, including Dr. Hermes Liarraza from the National Institute of Cardiology. Many community businesses supported this event. I would like to thank all the swimmers, community leaders, local and state dignitaries, businesses for their support in this worthy cause.  A special thank you to Antonio Arguelles who was one of the main organizers.  His passion to bring awareness of heart disease prevention by promoting swimming to his country is to be commended. 
  I swam in memory of my brother Robbie who died at the age of 34 from a heart attack.  He was unaware that he had heart disease.  Also, I swam in memory of Ivar Sisniega's brother who died two weeks ago in his mid-thirties from a heart attack.  Sadly, Ivar had another brother who died one year ago to the day from the same problem. 
  We need to continue to support heart programs throughout the world and to encourage people to swim as a means to stay heart healthy, and to see their health care provider to assess their blood pressures and cholesterol blood screening.  Thank you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mexico Nurse's take part in Swim for Your Heart

 Mexico's "Swim for Your Heart" was a huge success. 21,000 swimmers participated at 79 locations throughout Mexico.  Many thanks to all the nurses who provided free blood pressures and gave heart healthy pamphlets to all participants. There were over 100 nurses helping to promote heart disease awareness.  I had the pleasure of meeting the nurses above.  Their hard work and dedication was very much appreciated.  I will be posting an update on the event in a couple of days.  I will be traveling back to Maine in the next few hours. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 Swim for Your Heart

On February 14, 2014 swimmers worldwide will join in thought and action to bring an awareness of heart disease prevention. It is a great honor for me to be here in Mexico City to help promote their event.  As of today,  20,000 swimmers have registered to swim 1 Km for their heart. It will be the largest global swim event promoting the benefits of swimming to prevent heart disease. I would like to thank Antonio Arguelles for his amazing dedication and hard work to educate and promote wellness in his country.  Also, I would like to thank Paul Smith of Grupo Marti, Pablo Kuri Morales the Undersecretary of Health, Prevention, and Promotion, and Hilda Davila Chavez the Director General of International Relations for meeting with me today.  They are working very hard to promote a healthy lifestyle in Mexico. It was a great honor for me to meet them.  I appreciate their support for the event Swim for Your Heart.  Also, I would like to thank Sport City for their involvement and the many other organizations that have worked very hard to make this event so special.  And lastly, I thought of my brother Robbie today.  He died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age 34.  He was unaware that he had heart disease. On February 14, I will be swimming in his memory and I will make a donation to my favorite heart charity as a tribute to him.  I hope you will join me and make a donation to YOUR favorite heart charity in memory of your loved one.  Thank you.