Ever After



I Can do it!

Posted in: Lori

Coach Dave was one of the most influential people in my life. He taught me how to swim when I was a nine-year-old so afraid of the water that I didn’t even want to put my face in, and he coached me in competitive swimming until my early high school years. Pacing the deck, workout after workout, year after year, he was always there to coach and encourage me. Even though I was not a gifted athlete, he never gave up on me. His mantra for each swimmer was a simple phrase, but to this day, it’s still my motto–“I can do it!”

Beautiful strokes, no muscles. That was my curse. No matter how hard I worked, how many laps I swam, how many hours I spent in the pool, I could never advance to the highest levels of my sport. I was good but not great, and it drove me crazy. Despite this, the life lessons I learned through Coach Dave Maynard’s swim program have truly shaped who I am.

Swimming is so ingrained in me that, more than half a lifetime later, I still have dreams about competing. Normally they are bad dreams–I’m wandering the pool deck of a meet without my swim suit, I can’t figure out when my next event is, I can’t remember how to swim. But some dreams are tender reminders of my dear swim coach, and I wake up teary because I miss him.

Over the last twenty plus years, I’ve dabbled in other forms of exercise, and the only thing I’ve ever been consistent at has been walking on the treadmill, but I’ve gradually realized that walking is not going to pay the dividends that I am looking for. It’s a good form of exercise, but there are so many things that would give me a better pay back for the time and effort I’m investing. Sadly, I’m such a klutz that I can’t even get up the guts to try anything more advanced. I’m definitely not a runner, kick boxer, biker, or spinner. The obvious answer was to get back in the pool and start swimming again, but I knew that it would miserable. I remembered what it felt like to be in top shape. to be able to swim and never get tired. And I knew that getting back to that point would be tough.

The first few days were TORTURE, and I was sure that I was going to drown, but each day got a little bit easier. I’m just finishing week three of swimming 5-6 days a week, and I am excited by the progress I’m making. The pool is starting to feel like home to me, and I’m up to 2,800 yards per workout. Sadly, the scale hasn’t budged, so that’s ultra frustrating and makes me want to quit. Patience is not one of my virtues. But whenever I feel like quitting, I hear Dave’s voice inside my head, the voice that I’ve heard so many times in my life when things get really tough: “You can do it.”

Thanks, Dave. For everything.


  • Comment by Pammy — September 21, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    After my next surgery (on my foot), swimming will be part of my recovery. I feel the same as you in this post. I dream, wish, long for the pool again…completely scared!

    I stayed at Dave’s house back in June. It was fun to reminisce with him and Marsha. He is a great man! Promised my Rylee to teach her to surf next time we’re there! She is beside herself at the prospect!

    When I start swimming…I will look to you for inspiration! I can’t quit!

    Love and miss you Lori!

  • Comment by Lori — September 21, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    I wish you were here, Pammy Sue. You and I could swim together and reunite the Dainty Daisy Duo. And you could beat me, just like you used to. GRRR! 🙂

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.