Women First Swimming

  • Women First Swimming

    WOMEN FIRST SWIMMING is a year-round program open to women of all ages and abilities who are looking to improve their form and endurance while also enjoying the fun and comraderie of a women-only class. Many of the women in the program are training for triathlons or open water swims.
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Mermaid Spotlight

Mermaid Spotlight: Sarah Pruiett — The Decadent Mermaid

Q. How long have you been swimming with the Women First program? I’ve been a Mermaid for a decade now.  My first class with Lisa was a private session at the JCC on a rainy, freezing day and the pool was steamy and inviting.  It was on that day I fell in love with winter swimming.  I was hooked and have never looked back.

Q. What keeps you coming back for early Saturday morning classes every week? There’s no better way to start the weekend than with a good swim workout.  I love the camaraderie and the friendly rivalries of the mermaids, the coaches are the best and they push me harder than I would ever push myself.  With each workout, I feel like I’ve really accomplished something.

Q. What have you noticed most about the change in your swimming since joining the program? I swim a lot faster and my stamina is so much better.  There are not a whole lot of folks who can do the workout that we do on Saturday mornings – definitely an elite group in the scheme of things.

Q. What has been your most favorite or memorable workout? My favorite class has nothing to do with the workout or the drills and everything to do with atmosphere.  It was an early winter morning after a rare overnight snow.  It was cloudy and cold and gray and the pool was steaming – like getting under a warm blanket.  I was totally in my happy place.

Q. What drill do you like best and why? I like any drill that doesn’t involve kicking, as I am just not a kicker.  I love 3-4-3 and the tarzan drill, which ironically requires kicking to maintain balance.  I also love the timed swims – how far can one go in 30 minutes, for example.

Q. What things are you working on now in your swimming? I am working on speed and painfully, kicking.  I’ve decided that kicking is a requirement for getting speedier.

Q. What do you like about your fellow mermaids? I love the friendships I’ve developed since being in the program.  I love that each mermaid silently pushes the other mermaids to dig deep and do their best – that friendly rivalry thing.  I love the smiling faces on Saturday morning as everyone is ready to get moving in the pool.

Q. Please provide me a little background on your progress in triathlon and what races or events you have done in recent years ? Since I started with the mermaids, I’ve done about a dozen triathlons – the Danskin, the Speedo and the Burnet Tri-Hard (which, by the way, has the most beautiful bike course ever). My last triathlon was in 2009 then I had to hang it up, as back trouble kept me from cycling.

As some of you know, I had major back surgery in April to fix the scoliosis and spondylolisthesis and am now the proud owner of titanium rods and screws and a T10-L4 fusion. Recovery will be slow, starting with PT in July with full recovery in 2 years.  I have not yet been given the OK to just float in the pool and it’s driving me crazy. I am happy to know that swimming will be the first thing I will be allowed to do and that day cannot come soon enough.

After surgery, I had to relearn my walking balance point – felt as if I was falling backwards.  I’m anxious to see how my swimming balance point has been affected.  I know the mermaid program will be right there for me as I take baby steps back into swimming.

I will eventually be able to cycle again without back pain and I think have several more triathlons in me.  Without wishing my life away, I’m ready for that 2 year mark and a complete recovery.  I am happy and blessed to have the mermaids help me along the way.

Thanks to Lisa for this amazing program. Thanks to the amazing coaches – Sara, Rachel, Tate – for being there every Saturday with your smiles and whips. I cannot wait to get back in the water.


2 Responses to “Mermaid Spotlight”

  1. […] Mermaid Spotlight […]

  2. Lisa Retrum said

    Thanks Sarah! We miss you already & can’t wait to see you back in the pool. But, as for now, take it easy & recover. Get well soon.


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