It has been nine months since I started with the Masters Swimming program, and I have improved with leaps and bounds. I have been to six events since I started my swimming career, Mission Viejo, UCLA, Santa Clarita, and Las Vegas to name a few. I have been improving with times and dropping seconds per race, not just tenths of seconds. I have improved with technique, and am learning new mechanics with every workout. I have become a SWIMMER, and I have a new attitude to prove it, not just in the pool, but out of the pool, and in my everyday life, with friends and family. This is an attitude that I have not had since I was a teenager. I have more confidence in all my surroundings, especially with the Ladies (HA!).
What I was not ready for, but am now, is the hours I am putting in to train for the International Level of swimming. I am training to go to Beijing, China for the 2008 Paralympic Summer Games. I first started out swimming to get into shape, and take off a few extra pounds, and it morphed into chasing a Gold Medal.
I am happy to say since I started swimming in June of 2004, I have lost 70 pounds, but gained some more back with muscle mass, but loosing the body fat percentage it what is important to me. People have said that Swimming is not the best way to loose weight, but since I am in the Gym four days a week, and starting Yoga, it seems to be working good for me. I have all lost but just a couple inches left in the mid section, and once that is gone, in just nine short months, I will be back at my old fighting weight of 190 lbs, the lightest since my junior year in High School, (clearing my throat!) 13 years ago.
Loosing this weight, and feeling better then I have ever remembered has given me a new lease on life, a new life, a life that I can say that I have control over, and it is all do in part of not just dieting, but an entire life style change, and maintaining this new life, not just in the Pool, but with my everyday surroundings.
And, I am happy to say that I am well on my way to reaching my Goal, another 30 lbs, and six Gold Medals at the Paralympic Games in 2008. Though I did have a little setback, I did not make the Time Standards for the Swim Meet in Portland this coming July, but I will still be there, to get a good understanding of how an international Disabled Swim Meet goes down, and to meet a few people that I have had only the pleasure of talking to over the phone, and email. I have a lot of support of what I am doing, first of course the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Saddleback Valley YMCA, Irvine Novaquatics, PHFE, Inc, just to name a few of my supporters. I most want to thank (CAF) Challenged Athletes Foundation, for the Grant I received for my training purposes.
John B. Mohler
About the Author: John B. Mohler is an amputee swimmer, training in the pool six days a week, with the goal of bringing home GOLD from the 2008 Paralympic Games in China.