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: Joyce LaBaw – Decadent Mermaid 2018

Q. How long have you been swimming with the Women First program?
I think my first session was in June 2004 at the JCC (I have workout logs from as far back as 1997. I’m that compulsive).  I was very intimidated and would get nervous butterflies about whether I would make it through the workout.

Q. What keeps you coming back for early Saturday morning classes every week?
The other women and the coaches are supportive and fun. Swimming with a group helps to push and motivate me. I like having a coach who can give me feedback about my stroke.


Q. What have you noticed most about the change in your swimming since joining the program?
My confidence and comfort level in the water.

Q. What has been your most favorite or memorable workout?
I love/hate interval workouts but they seem to be the best way to improve swim fitness. I also like the workouts when we do other strokes besides freestyle.

Q. What drill do you like best and why?
I used to dread the one arm drill but now it’s my favorite. I get so much out of it. In addition to focusing on my pull, I can work on lead arm position, balance, rotation and kick.

Q. What things are you working on now in your swimming?
I would like to get faster while maintaining form and avoiding shoulder injury. This includes improving my balance, streamline, kick, pull, tempo, rotation, flexibility …. I pretty much need to work on everything. I also wish I could grow longer arms and legs.

Q. What do you like about your fellow mermaids?
They are super nice, supportive, fascinating and accomplished women.

Q. Please provide me a little background on your progress in triathlon and what races or events you have done in recent years?
I’ve done about a dozen sprint triathlons and some Splash and Dashes. I am trying to decide whether I want to do a triathlon this year.

Q. Tell us about your out of the water claims to fame…
After working at IBM for 31 years, I now do part-time CAD (computer aided design) work, volunteer with CASA and raise tilapia in an aquaponic system for Mobile Loaves and Fishes. My husband and I have two sons who live in Houston. I started painting after retiring in 2014 and I’ve sold a few things so I guess I could say I’m a professional artist, hah! Please check out my art website: www.joycelabaw.com.





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