by June Krauser
Editor’s Note: In the early days of Masters Swimming, SWIM-MASTER became the official publication of the AAU Masters Swimming Committee. Below is an editorial from one of the first issues: December, 1972. June Krauser was the first editor. Just a bit of interesting history.
Back in 1970 I received an entry blank to a National Masters Swimming meet. I did not enter, but 50 swimmers 25-years-of-age or older did.
And in 1971, again I received an entry blank to the 2nd Annual National Masters Swimming Championships. This time I also received a phone call from John Spannuth trying to entice me to enter. I did not enter but 137 swimmers did participate in the meet.
John’s enthusiasm for the Masters Swimming Program finally rubbed off and I promised that I would try working out for one year and enter the 1972 National Masters Swimming Championships. I did and so did 324 others!
I decided to start (working out) on May 1, 1971. On that day I went to my mother’s 10 yard (30 ft) backyard pool located on Middle River in Ft. Lauderdale, just a few minutes away. I found it very difficult just to swim 10 lengths (100 yards) without stopping. I used my old training methods – kick, swim, pull. During this time I also tried the dolphin kick. Mother would look out the kitchen window and comment, “but June, you’re not moving”. And it was so true. I just could not move forward on a kick board using the dolphin kick.
By June, I was up to 1500-2000-yds in the 10-yd pool and getting very dizzy. I could also swim 200-yds now without stopping. I decided to try a 25-yd course, and so went to the SHOF diving well during my son’s water polo practice time. This was a real experience! I thought I would never get to the end, and it was so much harder swimming 100-yds in the 25-yd course. And when I tried kicking 50-yds, I thought my legs would drop off.
In the meantime, I learned that the Masters Swimming Program might become an AAU Program. John selected me to write up the initial legislation for submission to the AAU Joint Swimming Committees. This assignment really “whetted my appetite” and I worked very hard on it, and at my swimming.
As I worked out in the 25-yd course I gradually started glancing at the pace clock on the wall. All of the new training methods — repeats, interval training, etc. — came to my mind. I have two children in competitive swimming; have attended many swimming clinics; have attended many National AAU conventions; have attended National Championships as a competitor and official; etc. It was time to experiment with all of these new training techniques that I had listened to and observed over the past fifteen years. And so a new dimension was added to my workouts – the pace clock. I started keeping my repeat times in a note book. I swim all four strokes at different distances and found that I couldn’t remember my times from one day to the next. If I did 10 x 50 fly I would average my time and write it down when I got home. This again increased my enthusiasm and gave me goals and objectives to work towards.
I kept glancing over at the BIG 50-meter pool next to the diving well and just dared myself to try it. And so one day — I did. It had been 25 years since my last workout. I found no difficulty swimming over the 50 meter course. By now I could cover 3000 to 3500 yards or meters at one time. A few times I tried 4000 but found it a little too much and I would really hurt the next day.
I found myself feeling more refreshed; keeping my weight steady; and being able to eat just a little more. During the fall of 1971, I found myself looking for a meet to enter. We finally had a meet in Miami in December of 1971. My first meet in 25 years! My times were much better than I thought they would be. We held the first AAU Masters Meet on January 1, 1972 at the SHOF pool in Ft. Lauderdale. It was loads of fun competing again. I especially enjoy the race when it is seeded by time no matter what the age. Jack Kelly, President of the AAU was on hand to participate.
And so, during the year 1972, I swam in five meets; two were the National AAU Masters Championships. My husband became ill in May and I found myself trying to run the family business. I am most grateful for this new Masters Swimming Program, as it has afforded me a few hours a week in which I can “get away from it all”.
SWIM-MASTER! I wish to thank each and every one of you for subscribing and allowing me to be the editor. I really enjoy doing it and “creating” each issue. And thanks to all of those that have contributed material, for without their assistance our publication would not be nearly so interesting. And my special thanks to John Spannuth; the mastermind behind SWIM-MASTER!