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Day in the Life of Janet Evans

Arena

Join Arena and SwimOutlet.com for an exclusive glimpse into the personal life of four-time Olympic gold medalist and mother of two, Janet Evans. From dawn to dusk, Janet takes us along for a typical day: training for the Olympics, raising a family, training for the Olympics some more, a television interview or two - then finally retiring to her home for a night with the family before getting up the next day and doing it all over again...

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May 21, 16:32 PM
Beth
Congratulations to the winners!

Good luck Janet. We will be rooting for you.
May 21, 13:53 PM
Janet Evans
Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest! There are so many great tips! It was pretty difficult choosing 3 winners, but here they are:

Kim Corgiat
Colleen Winans
Sara B.T.

Congratulations!
May 18, 10:36 AM
Linda
I'm so curious to know what the winning entries were! Will you be posting them soon?
Thanks for hosting this contest -- it's so helpful to hear from other moms about how they create time and balance for their swim time!
May 15, 16:29 PM
Susan H
As a 56 year-old mother of two and a 3-time cancer survivor, swimming has been my solace. It is where I go to get energized and where I feel the strongest and healthiest. After each cancer surgery, the pool is where I've gone to prove that I'm OK. Both of my kids swim - one at a D-III school, and the other is a 2-time Ironman. If I have taught them nothing else, I believe that I have taught them to love swimming, their bodies and to embrace physical activity. Here is my story of why giving our kids the gift of swimming will serve them so well in life. http://growingbolder.com/media/health/cancer/beating-cancer-one-lap-at-a-time-737153.html
May 15, 15:31 PM
Karin
I had a total pelvic reconstruction 5 yrs. ago when an acupuncture doc hurt me with something called prolotherapy. He reduced a trauma scar I had with small hypo needles containing epi and saline. I had 5 pieces of the plastic mesh you hear about now. Swimming is the only effective exercise I can do. I thank God for it and the opportunity to go to the Y. I alos wanted to add I love my swim outlet suit which was a gift from my kids for Christmas. It is chlorine resistant and looks great as well. Thank you for your good prices and great selection. Karin Anderson
May 15, 15:05 PM
Helen
Once you start a family, it is important not to forget who you are and how you want your kids to remember you. Like so many moms, I became lost. Then one day, I was sitting on the bleachers watching my kids at swim lessons and saw an open lap lane. I decided that I could swim some laps and once in a while take a quick look at them. Both my daughters are now on a competitive swim team and I'm still doing laps in a lane nearby. Hopefully, my kids will remember me as a mom who enjoys to Tri and is daring enough to sign up for a 2.4 mile ocean swim (this summer) and enjoys life,
May 15, 12:13 PM
Nikki
Once I became a mother I dedicated everything I had to them. Therefore, I gave it my all, my full dedication, leaving behind my personal joys because this meant so much more to me.The problem was I devoted so much of my time to everyone else, but neglected time for myself.

Unfortunately, as I was trying to be super-mom and super-wife I was slowly becoming super-weak me. I have long since overcome that imbalance and live a very healthy balanced life. Swimming is a huge part that. I do not train for races when I swim, I would more so call it training for my day. It affords me time away from everyone where I can focus on me, and my health. I feel energized during and afterwards; and the results are my family gets a more plugged in, healthy, happy mom. Finding a healthy balance with everything in your life is important. As much as I love being at home with my family, and would not trade it for the world. Quiet time in the lane helps me to maintain who I am outside of them......most of all Balanced.
May 15, 11:56 AM
D. Jones
After losing my brother last year at the age of 52, death due to unhealthy living, I decided to make a change in my life. I started swimming laps with my daughter (who is 14), and have lost 48 pounds with 20 to go! Swimming has been so healing to both of us, and I feel like a proud role model for her. It has been so great to get in shape, share this with my daughter and reframe our lives in a healthy way.
May 15, 11:50 AM
D. Jones
I take my daughter (14) with me and we lap swim together at our local pool. After
my brothers death last year at 52 years of age due to unhealthy living --it woke me up to the health risk factors in our family. Since starting swimming last year I have lost 48 pounds, all my numbers have normalized (bp, cholesterol & sugars), and I have found something I love to do at the age of 43 weekly with my daughter. I'm trying to live a healthful life by example, and I it has brought my daughter & I so close as well as improve our lives in many ways.
May 15, 11:40 AM
Louise
My husband is not a morning, person, so rather than have me wake him at 4.30 to go and swim with a team, he pays for our gym membership which includes great childcare. I can swim during the day while my oldest is in school and my younger one plays. Then after my workout I get to play in the pool with my younger one. I am so lucky to be able to do this and it means I really look forward to my workouts and my "me" time, rather than swimming on a team schedule.

My oldest is now swimming on an age group team and loving it. Her favourite activity on weekends is swimming, despite practising 5 days a week! My youngest has recently started the intro level at the team and wants to swim just like her big sister. Both of them practise straight after school, which leaves us the rest of the evening for dinner and family time together.
May 15, 10:58 AM
Bethan
Also now my kids are older we swim for leisure together, usually in the ocean with snorkels so we can spot the garibaldi and leopard sharks.
May 15, 10:56 AM
Bethan
My kids play water polo and one year I was lucky that they played at a Y that had swim lanes next to where they played. I would swim laps then take a break watching them while treading water up and down the pool. I would get a workout and be able to cheer them on at the same time! Plus it gave me a unique view of what they could see while playing.
May 15, 10:32 AM
Melissa
I bring my children with me to my workouts and then treat them to open swimming afterwards. Our masters coach is amazing and allows the kids to be on deck as long as they are well behaved and able to occupy themselves during our workout. Now that my oldest is in school full time, and my youngest is in preschool it is easier, but I do miss the days when it was the 3 of us at the pool together. I hope so much early exposure has helped to instill in them a love of the sport that has given me so much in my lifetime. So far, so good, as they always want to come wih me to my workouts when they have a day off from school! :)
May 15, 09:13 AM
Lesley
You know it's early when your dog doesn't even stir as you go out the door! I get up at 4:15am to swim with a masters group from 5 -6:30am, then come home, walk the dog, make lunches and get my 3 kids up and out the door to school by 9am. For me swimming is the best way to start the day and it gives me some peaceful and meditative time to myself. I love that I start swimming in the dark and end as the sun is just coming up (most of the year). Swimming improves my focus and generates energy that carries me thru a long day. My kids love to swim and when they have lessons, I do drill or kick work. I have been swimming for 20+ years and no plans to stop!
May 15, 07:46 AM
Lori
I work in the aquatics department at our local YMCA! However I still have to carve out "me" time. It is a matter of discipline, either coming early, staying late or swimming on my break.
May 15, 07:07 AM
Janet Evans
Thanks to all of the moms out there who participated in the contest throughout the past week! You are all a wonderful inspiration. I am looking forward to reading what you all have to share - it's going to be pretty difficult to choose just 3 winners!
May 14, 19:07 PM
Millie H.
I joined a wonderful swim club called Excel Aquatics, coached by 1996 Olympic gold medalist Ashley Whitney. We meet two mornings a week to swim 5:00-6:30 so I can be home before kids have to get up and get ready for school. Then on Sundays we do open water swims in a local lake from 6:30-8:00 so we can be home and get ready for church with the family.
May 14, 09:21 AM
Christy M
I get up at 5:30 and go to a local pool in our area and swim on the Masters Swim team. It is great for me to have a coach and be motivated by him. We have a nice little group and notice when people are gone, so it holds us accountable to each other. My kids are also on the swim team there - my oldest has definitly found her "thing" in swimming. So proud!
May 14, 08:49 AM
Conni in Houston
When my son was little, we had a standing reservation at the gym day care in the morning and my swim time was just a part of our daily life. I was attending graduate school at the time. My son is now 20 and a daily workout (which is sometimes swimming) is part of his schedule every morning!
May 12, 17:42 PM
Rhonda Thompson
I swim during my lunch break from work. This leaves my evenings free to enjoy runs with my children. As my children grow into adulthood, the time spent together on our evening runs have become extremely cherished.
May 12, 15:42 PM
Lalanya Fisher
I coach a swim team, teach private and group lessons, as well as teach a water fitness class......... so my biggest mom tip is to find something you love doing and roll with it!!! My life has always been around the water, which I love, and because I'm able to contiue that as a profession, I pour my heart into it which in turn makes a difference in the lives of the children I'm teaching as well as with my own family. Because I love what I do, I don't bring home the stress load of a miserable job. And trust me, my family thanks me for it!
May 15, 07:08 AM
Janet Evans
I can definitely relate to this! It has been such a blessing to swim for a living. When you love what you do, it makes your busy schedule much more tolerable! Swimming keeps me busy, but more importantly, it keeps me happy, healthy, and overall, a better mom!
May 12, 14:10 PM
Heather
If it weren't for my family, I wouldn't have the freedom to swim, and if it weren't for my swimming time, I wouldn't be very fun for my family! My parents watch my young son while I swim my sets, and they all love the chance to play together. We make my competitions into family outings, and my parents, husband and son cheer me on during my races. My son is learning how to be my lap counter and he tells me "swimming is one of your important jobs, mom". After my workouts, we have 'get wet' time, spending time together in the water for his swim lesson. We watch my old tapes of Olympic races and Esther Williams movies and talk about how many fun aquatic activities there are to choose from. Swimming helps me stay balanced, focused, patient and fit- which help me be the best mom I can be. I like to think that my example will help my son lead a healthy, watery life!
May 12, 13:11 PM
Clair
When my two daughters were younger swimmers, I always stayed at the pool and watched their whole pratice. When the youngest got older, I started walking on the indoor track or treadmill for 30 minutes. Soon I noticed my clothes fitting looser and I expanded my "workout" to an hour which still gave me time to see the last few minutes of practice and be there to comb-out their hair. Since I started working out while they were working out, I have much more energy and really look forward to their daily practices
May 12, 13:05 PM
Dar
Balance is everything, and if you're out of balance you will know it.

Good luck in Olympic trials!
May 15, 07:09 AM
Janet Evans
Great words to live by! Many thanks for the well wishes, go Team USA!
May 11, 19:08 PM
Amy
I have convinced two friends with kids my daughter's age to join Master's Swimming with me. My daughter comes to the pool with me and swims with her friends while the parents practice. She loves when I have pull in my workout, because she (and sometimes an additional friend) will hold my feet and I will drag them up and down the pool during my pull drill. It's fun for them and an extra tough workout for me!
May 11, 13:05 PM
jill looper
My alarm goes off at 4:15 every morning, rain, snow, cold, or heat. I swim for 2 hours every morning while my 3 kids sleep. I wake them up with the scent of chlorine at 7AM. Reminds them of summer swimming and pool time all year long. I swim for sanity and fitness. I love the solitude before every hectic and unexpected day ahead. Plus, my daughter likes to pick out new swimsuits for me!!
May 11, 12:11 PM
Linda
I met my husband on a master's team. We have four kids, aged 20, 18, 16, 12. For several years now, we have dropped all the kids off at school and head straight to the pool. Then my husband goes to work and I run my errands on the way home. I always feel very energetic after a good morning workout and get a lot of my chores done by 11 AM.
May 11, 12:02 PM
Dina
Best time for me to get a swim in is in the mornings before the kids are up. I'm struggling doing that now as my husband is currently working overnights. So the only time I can do it is when he is off and is able to wake the kids up and get them ready for school. I'm usually return from the pool before they leave for the bus stop. When it gets warmer we usually head for the lake and do some open water swimming after work. My husband and I take turns, one will swim as the other plays in the water with the kids. Then we have a cook out and head home after dark. I had ACL repair last October and I'm just now starting to get back to Triathlon training. With trying to find time for work, kid activities, swim, running, biking and weights it is hard. I strongly agree that family and God comes first.
May 11, 11:17 AM
Janet G.
My tip for staying "swim" fit is to book hotels with a lap pool for both business and family travels. During family travels, my husband can play in the water with my 2.5 yr old son and I can swim close by doing my laps.
May 11, 10:58 AM
elizabeth hernandez
i am 46 years old mom i begin to swim 5 months ago, i take swim lessons at 8:30 a.m. when the kids are in school every tuesday and thursdays, mondays and wensdays i swim for myselft practicing my excercises, my youngest daughter 10 years old is in a swim team ( aqua posse ) so, in the afternoons ( monday - thursday and sat. ) i go to the swiming pool again, on saturday i drop my daughter at pool at 7:00 and then i go to another pool with my older daughter she is 13 years old but she has cerebral palsy and autisim, i need to help her move her legs, we stay there for 1 hour, after that i come back to pick up my youngest dauhter, ( in september when the new course starting up i am registered to be a volunter to help special kids ) i am an energeric mother of two and the best i look the best i can be.
May 11, 10:53 AM
Beth
The best advice I can give is to live and cherish each and every moment that you have with your family. Understand what is important and do that well. Understand what isn't important, and don't strive for perfection in that area. When your children are grown, they will not remember the dust on the shelves or the fact that you had a speckle of dirt in your bathroom. But they will remember the time that you spent together, and the fun things that you did together. We sometimes are so busy we forget what is most important in life, and are only reminded when we risk losing that. Relax and enjoy the journey. You can be a great swimmer and a great mom, but you don't have to be great at the other things in your life. Delegate when you can, and don't stress out too much about the things you can't control.
May 11, 09:56 AM
Pam C.
I have four children. Two are swimmers. For us the challenge is giving all of our children a chance at the activities they love while still being at the pool for 9 practices a week. It takes both parents and a lot of teamwork to make it all happen. We choose to homeschool our children, so schoolwork and chores are done during the day (after morning practices). My husband and I take turns with evening pracitices and the other kids' acitivites. If it's my turn for practice, I work on lesson plans, swim laps, or sometimes use it as down time for ME.
May 11, 07:11 AM
Julia
My kids are both on swim team now. Another mom and I have found another local pool that has lap swimming at the same time as swim team workouts. We drop the kids at one pool, then we go to another to swim our laps!! It is great since EVERYONE gets a workout, and we are all more relaxed, focused, and ready to go on homework and dinner when we finally get home!! And swimming with a friend really helps - we keep each other accountable, even on days when we really don't feel like swimming!
May 10, 19:12 PM
Bob
I am Swim

I am Swim
Swim I am

That Swim-I-am
That Swim-I-am!
I do not like that Swim-I-am!

Do you like imbalance and unhappy family?

I do not like them,
Swim-I-am.
I do not like
Imbalance and unhappy family

Would you like them
Here or there?

I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like imbalance and unhappy family.
I do not like them, Swim-I-am

Would you like them in your life?
Would you like an unhappy wife?

I do not like them in my life
I do not like an unhappy wife
I do not like them here or there
I do not like them anywhere
I do not like imbalance and unhappy family.
I do not like them, Swim-I-am

Swim!
If you let me be,
I will try it.
You will see.

Say!
I like balance and a happy family!
I do!! I like them Swim-I-am!
And I would spend time just for me…
It helps keep me balanced, just wait and see!
And I would swim before work…
It’s like my own little perk!
And then I’m healthy when I’m done…
So I can be at peace with my family and have some fun!
I focus my energy on the activity and hand…
So with my family they know they’re grand!
It can be crazy but I know it can be attained…
It’s the complete balance that keeps me sustained!
Health mind, body, and soul…
This balance with family is always my goal!

I do so like
Balance and happy family!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Swim-I-am
May 10, 18:40 PM
Jenny
Morning swims seem to be a common theme here! I have never needed coffee because morning swims act as my natural caffeine. Being a morning swimmer ever since my club days 21 years ago, I have realized It is the only time that does not get in the way of a busy work schedule OR my family time. By waking up and working out before most people are up and running, I am able to get a great work-out, work full-time, and spend time with my kids after work. My husband is nice enough to take the kids into school every day (my two boys are 2 years and 7 months old), and I am able to see their excited little faces when I pick them up after school. Preparation the night before is key for my husband and I to ensure my kids are ready for daycare each day. Clean clothes, pre-made bottles, and extra baby supplies are prepped the night before to ensure efficiency the next morning. Easy meals and snacks are also ready to grab on-the-go or prepare for dinner to help with the frenzied dinner time rush! Being a military wife also has me depending on wonderful family members when my husband is away. These amazing people ensure that I still have the opportunity to swim early, start my day off right, and help me maintain a healthy swim-family-work life balance.
May 10, 17:12 PM
Jayme Marquardt
My 9 year old daughter, Bailey, is actually the swimmer in the family. She started swimming as a baby and has been a member on a team since she was four years old. Bailey is now teaching me and her younger brother, Jase, the correct swimming techniques. She always feels so proud of herself after one of our lessons and we love to swim together. It is a great way to bond and have fun! Plus we are all getting great exercise.
May 10, 16:39 PM
Alecia
I spend 3 days a week volunteering with K-1 students since I don't have children. I am retired but the 3 days are very exhausting. I spend the rest of the week helping others in my apartment housing. I am fixing to pickup another class of Tai Chi for 2 hours. I manage to walk and climb stairs. I sometimes have the desire to skip my workout days but decided my health cannot take it. I am 72 years old. I just had my arteries checked and I don't have any blockages in my heart, neck or legs. My cholesterold is 160, Triglycerides are 145. I take no meds for them. I do water aerobics twice a week.

The children I work with gives me the desire to do the things I do so I can be there for them at school.
May 10, 16:24 PM
Diane P
When my daughter was young, I would run during my lunch hour at work or first thing in the mornings on the weekend. During summers. I would run in the mornings when she would usually be asleep (or dad would be on duty). We would all swim in the lake at my parent's in the summer.
I coached her CYO swim team and then assisted with her high school team. Once she was in school, I could drop her off at school or the bus stop, get in an hour's swim before I started work (teaching), then still get in my run at lunch.
Now she is in college and I am retired. This let s me swim 3mornings a week and run every day of the week. I hope by doing so to set a good example for her and for the high school where I continue to be the assistant swim coach.
May 10, 15:20 PM
rideNsurf
Hello to all the parents that gave their tips!

I am most impressed that you are all so committed to your families. Sure, swimming is the glue that holds you together through the long workouts, swim meets, traveling, and work, but I'll bet you'd do that whether it was soccer, tennis, baseball, water polo, dance, etc.

Keep up the good work! It will pay off when the children are grown.
May 10, 13:42 PM
Mindi
I am busy every week between swimming, taking care of my family and working full-time. It is very difficult to eat healthy when we are so busy but we do. How I do this is -- during the weekends, I do a lot of prep work for the upcoming week. I plan our meals, go to the grocery store and prep items for our upcoming week. I pre-cut veggies and fruit, prepare sauces and BBQ rubs, and line up items for our breakfasts and lunches.

This works out well for all us!
May 10, 13:26 PM
Juli Stroma
I find the best way is to actually teach kids and all kinds of people swimming. Not only do you keep up yourself but you help others as well.
May 10, 13:24 PM
Petra S
As a mom, wife, and an active duty Marine, I find that the only way I get to swim is if I get up early in the morning. Three times a week I get up at 4:45 and I am at the pool by 05:30. I swim for an hour with my team and then off to work. By going to practice early in the morning I don't have to worry about 'things" at work coming up and keeping me there late. I know that I always make practice and as a result I am less stressed at work, I have more time for my son after work and I get to swim! It also gives my husband, an active duty Marine too, a chance to spend alone time with our son.
May 10, 12:10 PM
Joanne
As a swimmer and a swim parent, I would tell my kids, if it isn't on the board, it isn't happening. It was very important to set up everything that was going to happen for the week ahead so I would know where I had to be and where the kids had to be. The other important tip I have, is to be early, cause the early bird catches the worm or in swimming, the best spot in the pool. And if you have trouble getting out in time to get to practice, set all the clocks and watches 15 mins ahead, then you will always be early or at least, on time. Cause timing is everything to a swimmer!
May 10, 11:44 AM
Susie Murphy
Choose a location to sign up your kids for swim lessons where there is lap swimming at the same time. Without missing a beat, my daughter gets her 45 minute swim lesson and I get my 2500 yards in!
May 10, 11:16 AM
Janet Evans
I am loving all of these great responses! It is great to hear from women who share the same passions, goals and values. Between taking care of the kids, getting in a good swim, handling work and the household, and juggling the rest life throws at us, things can get pretty crazy for us busy moms! A quick dip in the pool is important "me time" that we should always squeeze into our day. It keeps us active, healthy, fit, and most importantly, sane! I want to thank all of you for your input, well wishes, and your advice - it is comments such as these that motivate me and help keep me going. Keep it coming! Can't wait to pick 3 winners at the end of this!
May 14, 20:25 PM
Beth
Thanks Janet. We can't wait to see you swim! You motivate us too.
May 10, 11:10 AM
Mel
My best advice is to get your swim done before the kids get up in the morning. I have been swimming mornings for 15+ years and my kids are now 9,13 and 15. It worked for us because the kids don't even know you are gone. My husband has always taken the morning shift with the kids, so the mornings before work are my only alone time. I get up very early before 4:00 and drive to the pool close to my work and swim until 6:30 and sitting at my desk at 7:00. I give the kids a morning call as soon as I can. Then I take over the after school activities. Very seldom do I say to myself, "I wish I didn't go swimming this morning". It is a great way to start the day and get those endorphines going.
May 10, 10:54 AM
Julie
Having an understanding family accounts for so much! My daughter swims, and she has to travel 45 minutes each way to the pool every day. The other members of the family see how much she loves swimming, and we are all really supportive of her. We eat dinner much later than we would all like to, because we need time as a family. Her dedication makes us all better people.
May 10, 10:19 AM
Dara
My family is supportive of my swimming. We are all swimmers. On the weekends, we swim together either at the pool or open water in the lake or ocean. My husband and I have two sons, we all swim and run and a two of us compete in triathlons. Health and fitness are important to us. We try to be role models to our children and show them that you can be fit and lead a successful and fulfilling, yet busy life.

I am a competitive masters swimmer with Las Vegas Masters. Our team is in the pool every weekday at 5:30 am until 7:00. I try to make at least 3-4 practices per week. Sometimes it is rough due to business travel and other obligations. My husband is very supportive and usually takes our sons to their respective school buses before 6:00 am. On those days when I cannot make the team's practice, I manage to swim 3000 yards or so while our sons are at their swim practice in the early evening or cross train in at the gym or go for a run. When I am not swimming, being a full-time mom and wife, I am an attorney. I am a shareholder in a small law firm in Las Vegas. I guess that I practice a lot. I practice swimming and I practice law. Maybe someday I will get it right.

I am very proud of my family and their commitment to fitness and good health, and swimming is a big part of that.
May 10, 10:01 AM
Monica Johnson-Null
I coach a swim clinic for 7-13 year olds so I go to the pool an hour before the clinic and get in my swim. My husband then meets me at the pool after the clinic with our 6 year old twins and he gets in his swim while I swim and play with the boys! We all win and everyone gets in the water! It's teamwork from all of us and a great partnership with my husband that we both are involved with the kids and activity!
May 10, 09:15 AM
Carolyn
Our entire family swims - Mom, Dad and 2 kids (on different teams). Last summer we were in a groove. The entire family left the house at 5am (including our dog) to drive to swim practice (20 min away). Mom/Dad swam 5:30 - 6:30. During that time our kids walked the dog. At 6am, they arrived at my son's swim practice (he swam 6-8 at a nearby pool); our daughter walked back to our pool, put our dog in the car (with windows open,of course), Her practice began at 6:30 am (as we were getting out of the water). We went right out to car to greet our happy dog. I drove the dog/my husband home, took a quick shower and then drove back to pick up my kids. By 9am, the entire family had their morning exercise (including our dog).
May 10, 09:02 AM
Marcie
My closest cousin passed away when we were in our 20's, leaving 2 toddlers and a disabled husband, and she taught me a lesson I have never forgotten. Always choose family fun (like swimming) over chores. The chores will always be there but life is short and you never know what tomorrow will bring.
May 10, 08:29 AM
Ann
With 2 kids club swimming, I work out while they are in the water. It's the ultimate multi-tasking. By the time I'm finished, they are usually still in the water and I get a few minutes to watch their progress. Always plan dinners together. Be mindful of the time you have together, whether it be in the car on the way to school or swimming.
May 10, 08:22 AM
Maureen Meadows
September to May I just swim when they are in swim team. Effective, but boring. I can't wait for the summer pool to open. I'll be dodging pool floats, sudden jumpers and marco-polo. Also those tiny windows of "adult swim" at the bottom of the hour are hugely motivating to hit it hard!
May 10, 08:22 AM
catherine lawton
My husband goes to play golf and I go swimming on his golf days.
May 10, 07:36 AM
Susan Hunter
Raised two beautiful daughters we were and are still all swimming. Both girls were raised on the swim team. I am still teaching swimming at 57. The best advice I can give is " This too shall pass" My mother told me that when I had my first daughter and it is so very true.
May 10, 07:19 AM
Michelle
I home school my 8 year old, first thing every morning we head to the pool for an hour to swim laps together. We love the time together and it helps us stay focus on school work the rest of the day.
May 10, 07:08 AM
Suzann
Do it when they are at the pool as well for their training.
May 10, 06:55 AM
Dave H.
It is definitely possible to stay committed to a swimming workout routine while also being a parent of young children, but it takes teamwork from the whole family. Moms, you can do it! Dads, remember to step up and help out!
May 10, 06:48 AM
Ruth
Very early before sunrise! Get in your workout before everyone gets up. Then you are cheerful for the rest of the day. Been doing this for year and works perfectly. On the weekends, take the kids to the pool for family swim. Everyone wins.
May 10, 06:45 AM
Rhonda
I get up at 5 am and pack lunches, organize schedule before 5:30 swim at the Y. I feel great getting my workout done early before I head to my job as an RN and feel like I set a good example for my kids on the benefits of fitness and value of an early start to get things done that are important to you. They love telling their friends that Mom is training for an Ironman competition at age 49. ( I secretly love it too)
May 10, 06:44 AM
Patrice Herzfeld
As a Mom of six kids, it takes a lot of help from everyone for me to balance the children's homework, activities, my swimming, volunteering and work, but a supportive family and a flexible schedule is the key. The best is some amazing kids who show how responsible teamwork can really pull everyone together! Thanks guys.
May 10, 06:21 AM
Darcy Lis-Beglane
During the summer our town pool has "commuter swim" from 6am-7:30am. When the kids were younger, my husband and I would "tag team" swim. One would swim laps from 6-6:30 then come home so the other could swim from 7-7:30 before getting the kids off and getting to work. Now that they are older, we can go together. There is no better feeling than walking back to the car before 7am and knowing that you already got a good 1/2 hour of lap swimming in! The water is cool in the morning, but after the first or second lap, it feels so refreshing! I look forward to my morning swims! Just the thought of them carries me through the busy end of school year days!
May 10, 05:58 AM
Bryan
With four kids all active in sports from ages 6 to 12 the early morning time swimming and weights are the best times to work out and your at your best strength then. Now if you miss a morning the evening work out of biking, and some dry land workout is great and a change of pace for the body. Yes this is done after the kids are done running all your gas out going to all there practices and games in one day. Doing a 30 to 40 min bike ride with about a 35 min. dry workout of tubing, for resistance and core strength building by doing sets of 10,25, or 30 reps of each stroke. Along with doing dry land kicking of each stroke other than fly. I find this just as helpful in building my swimming strength and flexibility. Thats my tip for working it all in family and all. Mr. Mom :)
May 10, 05:35 AM
Heather
I take my 6 year old son to the pool and for every lap he swims with me he gets 5 minutes of play time in the water. I can usually get 20 laps in before he gets tired. After we swim we play! It's a great way for both of us to get exercise and spend quality time together!
May 10, 05:27 AM
Rebecca S.
After a 15 year reprive, I recently joined a master's swim team at a local YMCA; it's amazing how wonderful I feel after a tough workout. The practice relieves me of stress built up after a day of working, and puts me in a positve mind set when I return home to my husband and daughter. The best part is how supportive my husband is, and we both benefit with my workout regimen - he gets one on one with our daughter and I get my workout in. Plus, my daughter sees how much I love the sport, and through example, we celebrate with Sunday afternoons and summer breaks spent in the pool together.
May 10, 05:13 AM
Jen
I'd say the most important piece of my training (I am a triathlete and a mom of 2 children, ages 6 and 7) is having a support system!
First, my husband....Gaining the support of a partner is key in making it all work! He stays home (usually in bed!) while I am at the gym at 5 or out on a bike ride....He gets everyone out of bed (too early!) to get the kids to my races....He supports my decision to get, not one, but two new bikes in one year!
Second, my friends....having friends that are also athletes are key! They understand what it's like when you are pressed for time....so we offer to watch each other's kids, or pick each other's kids up from school to fit in a workout.
Last, but not least, the kids....the kids KNOW how important this is to me. We talk about it; It is part of our life. They see my bike parked on the trainer in the basement, they hear me talk about my workouts and how it makes me feel. And now they want to run road races and do triathlons!
It is a challenge to make everything work....but it does work and it, indeed, does take a village...
May 10, 04:16 AM
ally
Im not a mother but i am in high school and that makes it even harder to balance school and family time so i try to get all of my homework done before swim practice starts to when i get home later in the day i can spend time with my family and not have to think about anything after practice because we all know that after practice nobody wants to do anything!
May 10, 03:51 AM
Linda W.
I take a two-pronged approach:
First, swim early (in the pool by 6am) – you never know what family emergencies might interrupt your schedule later in the day.
Second, make your kids PART of your swim routine:
• Ages 1-3: Don’t lift weights. Lift your kids! Try push-ups with your child on your back. Have your child cling to your leg while you stand in a doorway (for balance) and do leg lifts. Be creative. You’ll get in a surprisingly strong workout, but for you’re kids it’s all just good fun!
• Ages 4-10: Swim while your kids swim. I always scheduled swim lessons for my two boys (three years apart in age) in the same time slot. Then I’d get in the pool and swim, too.
• Tweens and above: Swim with your kids. Hopefully by now, your children will like swimming as much as you do. My older son’s birthday present to me each year is to swim the 1.5-mile circumference of Walden Pond (in Concord, MA) at my side. It’s a tremendous joy and special bond!
May 10, 03:06 AM
virginia
Even with 3 little kids, I always found time to work out. Usually, it was a video in the basement early in the morning before anyone else was awake. In 2007, I started to feel pain in my hip and it steadily got worse over the next 3 years. During this time, I started swimming again, right after school while they were doing their homework. (I worked in the elementary school that my youngest attended.) Finally, in 2010, with a 17, 13 and 10 year old, I was using a cane and unable to keep up with their normal activities. In February 2011, at 46 years old, I had a total hip replacement. I did all of my rehab in the pool while my kids were at school. I am now back to swimming! I am at the pool when they open 3 days a week and take a Master's Swim Clinic on Sunday afternoons. After school, I am available for all of my kids activities. I am able to keep up with them again. If my class interferes with a soccer game, I swim first thing Saturday morning instead! My kids and husband are really supportive. They get up in the morning and start getting ready for school while I am swimming. They are happier having a mom who can keep up with them again. They are even attending my first swim meet in 30 years. I cheer them on and now they will cheer me on! I am really proud to be the mom of these 3 great kids and happy to be healthy enough to take them to soccer, football, track, chorus, play practice, the mall or anywhere they need to go. And I think they are happy I am able to keep up with them again!
May 10, 02:51 AM
Stephanie
Never give up. It's as simple as that. Even when you feel like there is no hope left, never give up.
May 9, 22:32 PM
S.
Every Friday I picked up my boys from school and we would head to the pool where they would take lessons (I taught them the fundamentals until they finished Kindergarten) while I either swam (trained) or taught other students (eventually I taught them the finer pints of swimming.) Once everyone was cleaned and dressed we would head to a favorite restaurant and talk while dinner was being prepared and just have a great time together uninterrupted by outside interferences. Eventually they became swim instructors and life guards and Fridays were always "our" day. We would teach at the same time then meet at a designated restaurant and talk. Regarding my daily schedule, when I have explained a “day in my life” people always tell me they are exhausted just listening! Suffice to say I am up early and rarely get to bed before midnight. Multiple "part time that sometimes are full time" jobs keeps one hopping.
May 9, 22:22 PM
Amy
Get up early. The world is quiet. There is something about swimming with the sound of water in your ears that early...even better with the moon out in the outdoor pool for Master's. My day with small kids has a much better outlook if I can some time to myself first thing!
May 9, 22:05 PM
Gaylin
Get up and swim early! Swim while the kids are in swim lessons/at swim practice! (It's good for your kids to see their Mom being 'coached' just like they are!) Always carry your suit, cap and goggles in the car... you never know when you'll get 30 minutes to jump in the pool (ocean, lake, etc.) for a quick fix!

If necessary, treading water with an 18mo old on your hip is surprisingly good aerobic training!

Most importantly, make sure your family understands the importance of exercise and that Mom needs her exercise (and alone time) as much as anyone else. That makes for a much happier Mommy in our house!)
May 9, 22:01 PM
LORETTA V.
I swim while my daughter has dive team practice. We are both at the pool, just different ends! Whatever sport your kids are into, instead of sitting on the sidelines watching their practice, use that time to work out.
May 9, 21:46 PM
Melanie M.
I have a busy schedule but always time for working out! I home
school both my children ages 15 and 12. I work from 8:00-3:00pm, race home to grab the kids and the swim bags and we are off to swim practice. Everybody gets to practice on time and I head to the pool myself. I do my swimming while the kids doing swim team practice. I always make sure I get in and swim while they are; even if I am tired or don't want to. What motivates me to get in the pool and workout is to look down the lane lines and see my kids working hard at their swim practice. Working out when my kids work out makes exercising on a regular basis easy and I stay motivated. Also, staying healthy and fit is important to me and my family.
May 9, 21:35 PM
Marcia
I am 61 and have raised 4 children, one of whom, a son, has intellectual disabilities and still lives at home. He works at a gym three days a week and while he is working I have been doing fitness aqua classes. On my bucket list was 'learn to swim.' So at the age of 61 I have begun taking classes to learn how to swim. I can now swim 50 meters of freestyle and backstroke with fairly decent technique! I doubt I will ever win any races but when I can swim 100 meters without stopping I will feel like I have achieved a significant goal. Swimming can be a life long recreation and fitness regime. It is never too late to work it into one's busy schedule. Life is full of choices.
May 9, 21:12 PM
Megan K.
A family that swims together, stays together. :)

As a mother, I have learned (and sometimes the hard way) that I only have control over certain things in my children's lives. Being able to balance the dedication and consistency of healthy habits with the daily grind of life is a process that can only be learned through experience. It is a concept that I would only feel right expecting of them if I am doing it myself. Swim workouts are hard. They don't always come at convenient times or with convenient weather. But to be able to take the stress of life, and sweat it out, is something each individual has to learn and experience for themselves. I often times tell my daughters before swim practice, to "just leave it in the pool."
May 9, 21:00 PM
Rene
"Early to Rise" for my swimming workout or during the kids' swim lessons.
May 9, 20:46 PM
Kelli
We found an amazing family focused gym in our area and we go together! My boys see their dad and I making it a part of our lives and are setting the example for them. I sometimes go when I can during their school hours. I made getting and staying healthily a priority. I figured if I could watch 1 hour of tv a day then I sure had better make sure I did at least that in exercise. We even gave up cable to afford the gym membership. Once I got back in the pool after not swimming since high school, I was hooked... It then turned into triathlon training... And it went on from there!
May 9, 20:44 PM
Shelly M.
I live in a small town in rural Missouri, and the closest indoor pool is 30 miles away. Instead of swimming all year, we have a great summer swim league through our community outdoor pools. We swim as a family and even those of us over 40 get to compete. The joy of doing things as a family is what keeps us coming back summer after summer. I wish we could swim all year, but unless we find someone to build us an indoor pool, we'll just have to make the most of our summer swim time! There is nothing better than watching my children and the kids in our community grow as swimmers. Our program is run by all voluteers and there is no cost to the children, and in a rural community, it gives many kids an opprotunity to feel the joy of being a part of a great big swimming family. The fact that we are undefeated for the past 9 seasons makes us pretty pround of our little Hurricane's and our old Hurricane's too. Go Team USA!!
May 9, 20:22 PM
Yvette Rego
A friend once said..."This too shall pass", in response to my jubilation at finally synchronizing my infant twins' biological schedules somewhat. Later she followed up with, "Every time you get it figured out, it changes". I chose to take this as commentary/admiration for the unlimited flexibility (while striving for order) that it takes to be a parent. You must be a master at juggling, literally and figuratively.
May 9, 20:20 PM
Kirsten
I think everyone has to be on board. I joined a master's swim team 3 years ago because swimming laps by myself was getting boring and lonely. I had swum competitively as an age grouper and in high school and wanted to get back into that type of training. At the time, my twin girls were less than a year old and I needed to leave the house. My son and husband were very supportive of this and it's worked out really well. I swim two evenings a week with the team and on Saturday mornings. Sometimes, there's a schedule conflict so I have to miss a day, but everyone understands how vital swimming is for both my mental and physical well being. I'm more relaxed and this is important when staying at home with three kids. Once the twins are in elementary school, I would love to join the gym where the master's team swims and go swimming during some weekday mornings as well.
May 9, 20:17 PM
Yvette Rego
A friend once said to me....."This too shall pass."...referring to my grasp on how to handle my twins' biological schedules when they were babies. She followed up with "Every time you get it figured it out, it changes". I took it not as a discouraging comment, but as strength to and admiration for the unlimited flexibility that it takes to create order in the evolution of human life both in infancy and as an adult. Try to stay flexible and enjoy life's limitless changes/evolution.
May 9, 19:58 PM
Julie
I'm a Doctor, mother and swimmer. I swim at lunchtime & when my daughter has swim team practice! We all love the water and treat each other better after exercising!
May 9, 19:41 PM
maureen r
I coach from 6:45 to 8:45AM so school lunches are ready the night before. The pool is at the school so kids are ready to learn. After practice , its time for my workout..Spin,swim,yoga or pilates. While the kids are in school, errands and cooking/cleaning are accomplished. After school, I teach swim lessons for 2 to 3 hours. Tips 1) get your family involved. My husband learned how to coach swimming. My teenagers now are lifeguarding at my lessons or training younger athletes in the gym next door.
2) Have a good dinner ready for the family after evening work/practice. A good nutritious meal (that just needs to be heated and served) is a great way to spend quality family time together while unwinding. A few hours later, we have to do it all over again!
May 9, 19:01 PM
Gail P.
I swim in the morning, when the pool opens and the kids are asleep!
May 9, 18:55 PM
Joanna S.
Always carry extra towels, goggles, change of clothes in the car. They come in handy sometime. And remember to acknowledge your child's positive behavior, effort and potential. This will take them far in life.
May 9, 18:47 PM
Lisa
My favorite word in the english language: Carpool
May 9, 18:40 PM
annie
Swimming has always been a activity that my daughters and I have enjoyed since they were very young. I was lucky to find a gym/swim facility that has lap swimming several hours a day. My daughter was a distance swimmer like myself, although she is done with competitive swimming, we enjoy going to the pool and working out together. I may not be as fast as her but I like to get the distance in and this pushes both of us
May 9, 18:40 PM
Colleen Winans
After taking a break from swimming for 13 years, a neighbor invited me to a Masters workout in 1994 and I have been hooked ever since because of the camaraderie and coaching! It is open to all levels and ages (19 and older...our oldest member is 91 and she does the fly in competition!) of swimmers. I had been a swimmer for summer league and HS and taught in HS and college. Tip 1: Join a Masters Team, Tip 2: Fit in what you can, don't drive yourself crazy scheduling. Tip 3: Spread the word to all of your swimming friends and encourage the non-swimmers that there is no time like NOW to learn how to swim!

I have now been teaching swimming to toddlers to Senior citizens (I think I am one now too at 51!) for over 12 years and coaching Club, HS, and summer league which I did back in HS and college as well. The love for water never leaves! Can't wait for our USA Swimming Splash Bash and the Summer Olympic Swimming! Good Luck Janet!
May 9, 18:26 PM
Rebecca
My sons both swim, one in lessons and one on a swim team. But I think it's really important for them to have times to swim for fun. I swim with them always, and I've found that there are loads of ways to use the time to really BE with them, playing and racing, but still doing stuff that is good for me. I've been using "racing" time with them for kick sets--they swim, I kick, and the handicap makes it good for all of us. I also do a lot of dolphin kick practice because then I can sneak up on them underwater and grab them! I want them to remember that their mom played with them HARD in the pool!
May 9, 18:25 PM
Keli
I balance family life, career and swimming and triathlon through prioritization and flexibility: Finding the time for the workouts while still placing the utmost importance in family and career takes a lot of prioritizing and flexibility...all for the goodness of a happy you and a happy home!

Don't sweat the small stuff: This motto allows me to take a deep breath and prioritize. For example: Our house is not perfectly clean all the time (not to the standards of many, like my grandmother). The laundry is clean but certainly not always folded, a dirty dish may be in the sink, the yard may not be as impeccably manicured as the next door neighbors (nobody can accuse me of trying to keep up with The Jones) and I am OK with that! I prioritize: Being present for my daughter and being a good mom is the most important thing in my life...I will never take time to swim, bike or run if it means sacrificing something important for her or in her life. I work full time and although enjoy a flexible schedule, it
May 9, 18:19 PM
Shannon Moxley
I have 3 kids under the age of 10, so I beat everybody to the punch and swim at 5:30 a.m.! It starts my day off great, and I am a much better mom when I swim. :)
May 9, 18:17 PM
Andrea
When my kids were not yet in school, I would bring the kids and a WHOLE BUNCH of toys and books and a WHOLE BUNCH of yummy snacks with me to the pool. I would get my 4,000 yds in while they played on deck. I usually had to help out a bit to keep them focused but, all in all, it worked out pretty well. They are now 7 and 9 yrs old and I drop them off at school in the morning and head off to the pool for my work out. I made sure that my kids also learned how to swim when they were very young and now when we go to the pool together on the weekends, they swim (and play) while I work out. The BIG KEY is making the kids and husband aware very early on that mommy swims, there is no negotiation on that point. I take everyone to swim lessons, soccer practice, little league, ballet practice, piano lessons, etc, etc. I have no guilt getting my swim 6 days a week. I deserve it. And, they all know that mommy is MUCH happier when she swims and MUCH more fun to be around!
May 9, 18:14 PM
Ruth O.
You are training for the Olympics. There can't be a lot of flexibility in your schedule and you are depending on your family's understanding of the demands of your time. Hopefully your goal is their goal. So keep to the schedule including the time scheduled for family. Make it sacred and don't get distracted with anything that can wait until later. Family will be forgiving if they can count on you to honor your scheduled comittments to focus only on them. This scenerio is similar to anyone that has to balance a demanding job and family. If your family sees that you put them first even if only for one hour a day they will love you and support you. Then plan a fabulous family vacation or fun day when it's all over!
May 9, 18:13 PM
Lynda
I have 2 swimmers a 15 year old girl and a 13 year old boy. Once they were old enough I decided to become a USA swim Official. After one year at stroke and turn, I became a Starter and a Referee. As a parent I was a little overbearing and put pressure on my kids. As a meet referee I get to spread that intensity over all of the swimmers, making for a better time for all of the swimmers. My husband is a USA swimmer to and our family of 4 can often be found on a pool deck together. One child swimming, one timing, one starter and one referee. I am also a level 2 YMCA swim official, and a Florida High School Official. Since we are involved in swimming as a family, I have a better understanding of the effort my children put in to swimming and they have a better understanding of the effort parents, coaches and volunteers make to give then the level of meet they have come to expect. Swimming brings us together.
May 9, 18:05 PM
Colette M
Get the suit on before I drop the kids at school and head straight to the pool!!!
May 9, 17:43 PM
Sara B.T.
Ask for help. Motherhood is one of the few careers where we normalized the expectation of the impossible or be expected to go it alone. Moms should not be expected to be Superwoman. At 40, I still struggle at times to reach out. Currently, my husband and I are training to become the first married couple to swim an ultra-marathon across Lake Michigan to raise awareness of postpartum depression (www.throughtheblue.org). The 50+ mile swim requires a lot of training time away from our children. We will need to ask for help and we involve the children as much as possible. What an incredible gift you are giving your children - watching you train for this amazing comeback. Proving that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. It also proves that asking for help is ok and is necessary at all stages of life.
May 9, 17:36 PM
marcia donnellan
i have a daughter on the swim team. when i take her to practice, instead of sitting in the stands and waiting for her to get done...i go to the pool at the health club and work out too! works great.
May 9, 17:35 PM
susie
I'm a mom of four kids, three still at home, my youngest is nine. I swim about six days/nights a week, nighttime is usually the time when I can focus on my swim, stroke and technique. One of the things that makes it great is swimming it with my teenage daughter. Together we work hard to improve our swimming technique, we both work hard and have a little fun on the way. I think bringing family into activity is great when it's possible. My husband supports me on the journey, he encourages me so that I can get away and be able to make this swimming commitment. Perseverance and endurance are a key! I always pray before and/or during my swim. My daughter & I are currently working on improving our time for an overall goal of improved time on the 5,000 at the end of May for my friend's 50th birthday! We'll be swimming 50-100's together!
May 9, 18:17 PM
Suedle
What a great goal--50 100s to celebrate a 50th birthday! Dave Scott did 50 50s on :50--a little beyond my abilities... I can just barely make 6 100s on 1:50 right now. It's a favorite set, but then I'm DONE. 50 100s on 1:50--now, THAT would be SOMETHING!
May 9, 17:12 PM
Emily
I wake up before dawn to get in my workout so I can get the kids to school & have the day to do errands, volunteer & work, etc. I find if I don't get up before everyone, I don't get a workout in & I'm a grumpy mommy.
May 9, 17:01 PM
Susan
I always loved swimming, but did not compete for many years. Then my daughter, who was swimming high school, suggested that I do morning masters while she did her early morning practice. It was hard to get up at first, but then I got used to it. Her season is over, but I still go 3 mornings a week. With the help of my husband, the kids get off to school. My daughter kept encouraging me to compete, and was overjoyed with my first masters nationals meet. I am loving swimming again, and the people I meet at practice and the meets. Next time I cheer my kids on at a swim meet, I will understand even more what they are going through. I think this year's training has brought us even closer together.
I am so impressed by Janet Evans' dedication and talent. Good luck to her at trials and beyond!
May 9, 16:45 PM
Deborah
I have twin 10 year old girls on the swim team who practice a lot and attend many meets. I used to watch from the bleachers, but now I am a lane timer. It gives me a chance to get in the middle of the action with the girls and all the other swimmers.
May 9, 16:22 PM
Sonia K.
How I balance family time with my daily swimming regimen is swim when my kids swim! I am on the Master's Swim Team in Munster and my kids are both competitive swimmers. When they have practice, so do the Master Swimmers. So I thought, instead of watching them why not join them? It not only lets them have a great bond with their mom, doing the sport that we LOVE most, but also shows them how important swimming is for me as well as them! In the end we all end up having the same interests, and at dinner we can have great family conversations about how swim practice was for that day. It is great for family communication and to talk about our love for swimming! ;-)
May 9, 16:21 PM
June Lesica
I love to swim, but could not do it every day, had a full time job & was raising four kids on my own.They were all in school sports, & also city sports. But when we got the time I took them all with me & had a great time.
I really give you credit for what you do you have to love it to work so hard at it. God Bless & Good Luck I well be praying for you!!!!
May 9, 16:20 PM
Carrie
It's all about teamwork! No mom can do it by herself. We need the support of our family and friends. I'm an average mom, not particularly athletic. I teach swimming lessons and synchronized swimming part time at our local YMCA. I teach 3 mornings a week and 2 evenings. If it wasn't for the help of a friend, I wouldn't be able to teach mornings. My youngest daughter, who is in half-day kindergarten, gets off the schoolbus at my friend's house so that I can finish my morning shifts at the Y. I am also getting ready for my first triathlon. If it wasn't for the support and encouragement of my husband, I wouldn't be able to get to my morning exercise classes. He gets the kids up and fed before school, I take over when I get home and he leaves for work. I need support from my kids too. They understand that sometimes they have to make sacrifices for me the way I do for them. Sometimes they wait in the child care room at our Y while I work. It's not something they look forward to, but they always
May 9, 16:17 PM
Caroline Atkinson
1. Train early a.m. or while children practice. 2. Talk/share my journey: physical and mental. They relae, talk, ponder, dream, reach in their own lives. 3. Break away and compete. Mom can have personal interests and take a break to pursue them. 4. Take them with and compete. Meals, resting, down time are relational opportunities! Memory builders too. 5. Balance: we are all part of the schedule and time available. No one person is the center. We all are valued and get a turn. Sometimes you wait, sometimes it's your turn! Woo hoo!!
May 9, 15:37 PM
Orna
I do a once a week food shopping. then I cook all the meals for the week on Sunday night. that way my husband can pick up the kids after work and I can swim and then the next day we swap. no distractions from work and swimming!!!!
May 9, 15:37 PM
Lisa
Our daughters (at ages 7 and 12) were not proficient swimmers but I took a chance and signed them up for a summer swim team instead of individual lessons. After 1 week they had become hooked on the sport. Our family life revolved around the swim team for that first season and they thrived. By the second season my husband gave them a challenge- if they both "placed" in the championship meet they could teach him to swim! It was the challenge they needed and they both succeeded. They have since taught their father how to swim and we do our morning workout together as a family. Although swimming has become a major focus for all of us, we still prioritize sitting around the dinner table together, making time for discussions about our relationships and the world around us (apart from the pool), and inviting friends over often.
May 9, 15:27 PM
eve
Swim early and often. My early morning swims keep me sane! I swim at 5:30AM, get dressed at the pool and can be home in time to get the kids off to the bus.

I use Sunday to prep for the week, do all the grocery shopping and cook as many of the dinner items as possible for the week to make for quick dinners. After the kids go to bed, I get everything ready (lunches/backpacks/my swim bag) for the next day.
May 9, 15:24 PM
Joanna Provines
I balance family with swim by getting ENTIRE family involved and teaching the hubby to swim too! This forms bond and team work:)
May 9, 15:21 PM
Irma
There is a time and place for everything, live in the moment:
Me time/workout: 5:30 AM master swimm or 6 AM bike 10 miles to work
If the AM workout doesn't happen, don't sweat it; fit in an alternate workout later or take a recovery day.

Work and school time: focus on doing the best job i can at work

Family time/end of the day: be completely present to my kids, undivided attention to home, relish spending time with them & seeing them grow.

...and if theres time take long walks with the kids or ride bikes. or go to bed early and chat with them before sending them off to bed.
May 9, 15:10 PM
Dawn
I get everything done early and before THEIR day begins...that way no one can get in my way! It's waking up at 5am, doing MY TIME, and then getting everyone up, breakfast, lunches (of course they are packed lunches) and out the door. But, if I don't do it early, there are days that it doesn't get done. You have to make time for yourself and sometimes that time is when it's still dark outside. The quiet world is the best way!!!
May 9, 15:08 PM
Teresa Moore
I like to include my children with my practice. They are my strongest coaches, most faihful training partners, and enthusiastic cheerleaders. There's nothing like my son screaming from the side of the pool, "Is that the best you can do! Go! Mom! Go!"
May 9, 15:07 PM
Megan
It is truly a balancing act at times to get a work out in. I set a scheduled times at the beginning of the week to swim. If something comes up it gets scheduled around swim time. I am much happier as well as my three boys when I get some "me time." We are very fortunate to live near a great rec center that has a amazing aquatics program with five pools. While I get my work out in my kids can swim with the kids club, take swimming lessons or play water polo. The kids get some exercise and so do I and I notice a happier difference in our home. We love to swim!
May 9, 15:05 PM
Sonia
During the work week, I swim masters at 5:45 am, get home by 7:15 just in time to be there when my 20 month old wakes so we can spend some time together before I go to work. On Sundays I swim at 8:30 am and my husband meets me at the pool with our daughter at 9:30, she likes to watch the team swim and then at 9:45 I get out and take her straight to our parent and me class at 10:20. I get my work out in and then I get to swim with my baby, it's awesome!
May 9, 14:57 PM
cherie
Get in with them! I have twin boys, age 3 (and a 12 year old) On days there is no time for Mom, I take them to our public pool. In the 2 foot deep toddler pool, I skull all over the place - something you don't usually (but SHOULD) do during your swim workout and a boat load of 20sec all out sprint kicks at the wall. You would be amazed at what this can do for your swimming fitness and of course you can make a game out of it - double benefit - you are actively playing with your kids AND getting more fit!
May 9, 14:57 PM
Cheri
With work and kids, the days are full. I feel guilty taking the time to exercise when I could be spending it with my family. Luckily, our community pool has an evening lap swim. My wonderful husband does the dishes and puts the kids to bed and I head to the pool at 8:30. To stay motivated and not skip, I have two swim buddies who are also moms who meet me at the pool. We all agree that having someone to meet means that we're less likely to skip! After a healthy dinner, I've got good energy for the swim and when my head hits the pillow, I'm prepared for some quality sleep.
May 9, 14:57 PM
Val L.
Find a swimmate! Getting up early and working all day can be a challenge. Having someone that relies on you or will be your inner-voice (as well as you for them) will get you up in the morning or whatever time your find to get your swim on!
May 9, 14:53 PM
DeeLightner
Before my daughter was born I saw many of my friends and contemporarie, who already had children, spending a HUGE amount of time telling their kids what NOT to do. (don't run with scissors in your hands, don't cross your eyes, pick up your toys, clean your room, be quiet, etc).

So I decided that I would not waste that precious childhood time in "nos".

I made a list of things that I really did not want my child to do (some of the above are on that list), and made up my mind that if something was not on that list I would NOT waste time on it.

For my daughter and I this worked out vvery well. We did NOT have very much conflict. In fact, I am still waiting for my daughter to be a "bad" kid. And, since she is now 35 years old, I think my methods have proved successful.

Thanks for the opportunity to share this.
May 9, 14:45 PM
Sandy
I signed up for a Master's swim team that uses the other half of the pool for open recreation swimming at the same time my team swims. My 8 & 10 year olds can come along and get exercise too! We can see each other under water and when my session is over I go under the rope and join them for some play!
May 9, 14:44 PM
Lenni Clardy
Balance is something that I've been working on this year. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. There is so much that I want to accomplish each day, and so little time. I am at the gym by 4:15 each morning swim, lift weights, take a spin class, or a combination of those. My next portion of my day is spent teaching 3rd grade. After school I am taking my 2 teenagers to swim practice. they swim from 4:00 - 7:00. Sometimes there are appointments to squeeze in. I take guitar lessons once a week, and try to practice a few days as well. Afterwards it's dinner, straighten the house, do laundry, and get ready for the next day. Life is BUSY, but my morning exercise routine is IMPORTANT! If I sleep in a day, I am cranky and lethargic. I can't be the best person that I can be unless I get in a workout.
I have to add a bit about the health benefits and what I've accomplished. I had open heart surgery 14 years ago (when my daughter was a few months old.) The surgeons performed 5 bypasses. Aft
May 9, 14:38 PM
kiki
3 Tips for Balance:
1. Make sure you get to practice. When you're happy, they're is happy.
2. Give back to the world of swim. Coach, time, carpool, sponsor. Do something for the sport that does so much for you.
3. Promise your husband a great night out in exchange for a swim meet. Shoot for the out of state ones. After the competition's over, it's a mini-vacation.
May 9, 14:35 PM
Megan B.
I always try to find a healthy balance in our crazy lives. I put as much emphasis on my workouts as my kids' workouts. However, I feel better when I get my swims in before the family wakes up so that I have the energy and time to devote to my family throughout the rest of the day. I do believe that it is important to incorporate family time with fitness often though so your kids can see the importace you place on health and fitness and will carry it on throughout their life. In short, I get to the pool early in the morning most often and then take my 5 1/2 year old along to the pool at times, as well as make it to all of her swim lessons and cheer her on. I will do the same with my 2 year old and 6 week old when they are older.
May 9, 14:28 PM
Arecia
My daughter is a dancer so between her dancer life in the evening and my desire to swim, I have to get creative. I usually choose to have my swimming gear in the car so that I can go to the gym and swim right after work (then it is done before I get into the hurry-hurry at home) or I make sure I bring my lunch to work and swim during my lunch hour. Not only is it good for my body, it relieves stress!
May 9, 14:27 PM
Cathy S.
We homeschool our 5 children, so traveling to the pool each day is not really an option. When we bought our current home, it had an above ground pool. I was glad to have a pool, but sad it wasn't big enough for a "real" workout. Then I discovered a swim belt at swimoutlet.com, my husband put in a pole that we could hook it to and viola! Instant swim tread mill!! Now the children either swim with me during workouts or do their lessons while I swim. This makes mommy very happy!
May 9, 14:26 PM
Barbara
We had our daughter join swim club in high school and it opened a whole new world for our family. She became the team cheerleader to push the team even though she was one of the swimmers. I soon joined a swim club and lost 20 lbs and gained a lot of love for the sport. We would swim together at our local pool and share the joy of exercising. It was the best time of my life. We actually had a key to the pool so we could swim when ever we wanted to. I swam on Thanksgiving day to beat the heavy stomach of food that threatened me. My family enjoyed the camaraderie and closeness swimming provided and everything else fell into place. With teenagers it was the best idea to enroll her into the high school swim team. I would recommend it to all parents for a sound sport that encourages work and learning to get along with your peers. Now I need to get back to swimming this year and though it will be hard in the beginning I know the benefits will be worth every stroke.
Go Gators Barbara
May 9, 14:25 PM
Jacqueline
Finding time to take care of yourself when you have children and a busy life is not easy. I started swimming because my children swim. I swim early in the AM with a masters team and my kids love it- they are always pround of my improvements in the pool. My tip is encouraging your children to be independent and responsible for their day. Our children, now in high school, know how to pack their lunches and swim snacks, pack their swim gear, wash towels, get papers signed and any other important issues addressed in the evening. With active, working parents, children have to have responsiblities also! Our children take pride that they can do these things and know that it is helping to prepare them for the real world.
May 9, 14:23 PM
Kathy B.
My tip is to keep all your activities written down on a calendar and posted somewhere (refrigerator) for the whole family to see. Have your swim time written down along with school activities, etc. You will most likely not miss your swim date if it's written down! Also, it's okay to be flexible - if you miss a swim date because of a child being sick or what nots, then be sure to make the next swim date without feeling bad. You'll be able to balance your family life and swim time when you have a written schedule!
May 9, 14:21 PM
Allison L
I get the swim workout in before going to work. And at times have fit it on on my lunch break. Swimming for me is a great stress reliever. Shower and changing in the locker room saves me time by not driving back home.
May 9, 14:15 PM
Peggy Headden
Training for the Olympics is a demanding job. I've raised 5 children who were very involved in water polo, swim, volleyball, and one in performing arts. I worked for 17 of these years. It is very important to invest as much time in your children as you can. Eat dinner or at least one meal together as a family, where you can talk around the table. When driving in the car to kids events, use the time to talk about things you want them to know about life. (relationships, faith, school, values) Tell them stories about them when they were younger, remind them of the things about them that make you smile. Try NOT to be in a hurry! Enjoy each challenge. Let your kids be your cheerleader and be their cheerleader. Your family is the best opportunity for partnership. Take the kids to your practice occasionally. Plan your schedule so you can be available; physically, emotionally and mentally for most of their day.
YOU ARE AWSOME! I'M ROOTING FOR YOU!
May 9, 14:14 PM
Carolyn A
My 9 year old daughter, Janna, is the competitive swimmer in the family and this message comes from her. She says to "Always have your food ready." I think she picked this tip up from me. :) I usually spend an afternoon on the weekend making a few meals for the week ahead. We will have healthy family meals, less stress and still get the kids to all their activities during the busy week.
May 9, 14:11 PM
BreS
I'm a life long swimmer and water polo player. I have two kids ages 5 & 11. The most important tip as a swimming & working mom, is to make sure you carve out time for yourself. As mom's we always make sure our kids get what they need. But its easy to lose ourselves in the process. I find I am happier when I exercise so its been important for me to stick to a morning swim schedule. Things are always going to come up (sick child, business trip, etc.) that may force you to deviate from your schedule, but its important to get back at it ASAP or lethargy can set in. Second tip, its important to set goals. I like to sign up for tournament or a swim meet just to have some short term goals to work towards. I'm not training for the Olympics or anything, but its always nice to feel at the top of your game and those little victories help make work-outs fun. Last tip, you are what you eat! Certainly as we age, we discover that our metabolism just doesn't work like it used to. We are also not swimming 5000+ yards a day n
May 9, 14:10 PM
Janet
My daughter's high school swim season just ended last Friday, so this question is very timely to me. How do I balance family time with my swimming regimen? Firstly, by putting the needs of my family first, and secondly, by putting my needs after theirs. This means that there will be days when I have no time for myself. That's a fact of life and goes along with the "mom" title. And that's perfectly okay with me because if I'm not worrying about how to balance everything for every minute of my day, I can relax and just try to do as much as I can whenever I can. If this means I get an hour in the pool by myself, great! But if it means I have to sit on the sidelines and cheer my daughter & her swim team onto victory, that's great too. There's a time and place for everything, and going with the flow is not to be underrated as a balancing tool. Believe me, it helps me keep my sanity!
May 9, 14:05 PM
Linda
Having a full time creative job in the package design world, and with 6 children, I never thought once of giving up my lunch breaks for anything but swimming or cross training. So here we are, my baby is now 25. and I am still swimming! I am in the best shape of my life. My career has always been, and still is energized by the supreme daily workouts I have given it. In fact, closing in on 60, I am slimmer than I was before my first child. (Bonus blond hair stays blond) My children may not ALL be avid swimmers, but they eat nutritiously, and each has selected a lifetime athletic activity.
May 9, 14:03 PM
Stephanie
The drop of wisdom I have is to always put your family first. I can swim in the morning before my kids go to school or at noon when they're at school. The time wasn't the issue. My problem was the energy level required to do dry lands and then a 5000m workout. There was a point where I came home and crashed on the couch and thought "something has to give!" I didn't have energy to get my kids from school much less cook dinner! So, I decided to cut back a bit. NOW, as of this year, I'm a new empty-nester and can swim as much as I want. This time with your kids being young is so precious and it goes by SO FAST!! If it means cutting back a little to have time and energy for them, it is worth it and then YOUR time will come before you know it!! Happy swimming and Happy family!!!
May 9, 14:02 PM
Christine
I wake up at 5am, get to the pool and swim, shower and off to work! My husband is a fire fighter so I can get in morning swims on the days he is home with our 1 year old and 2 and 1/2 year old girls. Having a supportive husband and family makes all of the difference for me!
May 9, 14:00 PM
kendra
I normally swim at 5 am when the baby and my active duty USMC husband are still sleeping and get back when they are getting up. This helps me get ready to tackle the day --- being a great mom and wife and a motivating swim coach! I swam until the day before I had my child and I have been taking my baby swimming since she was 3 months old and she loves the water-- developing the next swimmer in the family!
May 9, 13:56 PM
Pama
Every time I hit the pool I put a dollar in the little heart encrusted piggy bank that sits on my desk. When I am fit enough and the jar is full enough, I fully plan to take the kids - son, daughter-in-law, four grandsons, and a granddaughter - to an all day extravaganza at the water park PLUS three month passes to the pool for each of them! Even if your children are grown you can share the gift of swimming and health.
May 9, 13:56 PM
Deana D.
Take what you can get. That's my new motto and my best tip for other Moms. When I was younger, I had an "all or nothing" philosophy - if I had planned to get in 3,000 yards but was crunched on time, I'd skip the entire workout. Now, with a job, kids and a husband - you have to take what you can get. If that's just time for a quick 1,000 - take it! You'll be glad you did!
May 9, 13:55 PM
Mae
A day in my life: wake up call 5:15am, 5:45am-6:15am swim, home to make lunches, wake up sleepy heads, prep/eat b'fast, drop off at school, head to work, think about/miss the kids, pick up at after-school care, quick stop at home, off to kids swim lessons, home for dinner/homework and BED! My workout is not Master's level, but would like to be some day. The kids enjoy swimming - I hope someday they can accompany me to early morning swims and they can help push me!
We're excited that Janet, mom-athlete, is working to head to London! We're cheering her on!
May 9, 13:54 PM
Janet B
My tips is pretty much the same as a lot of other people... because it works! I swim before anyone else wakes up in the morning. At the pool by 5:15 and home by 6:45. :) I get my swim in and NO family time is lost. :D A great way to start the day.
May 9, 13:54 PM
Cheryl
I homeschool my children. I get them going on today's assignments and then I'm off to the pool. But the again, my kids are 17, 15 and 11.
May 9, 13:53 PM
Julie
My favorite Mom tip: Invest in a crockpot! After a hard practice or long meet, a good meal can be shared by the family.
May 9, 13:48 PM
Kylla P.
I always swim when my four year old is in swimming lessons. My local pool gives a discount rate on admission to work out or swim while your child is in lessons. I have to be at the pool anyway, so why not do something I love. As a bonus for working hard, my husband bought me a MP3 player for Christmas. It sure helps to swim to music!
May 9, 13:46 PM
Janine O
I am fortunate to be able to get my kids to school and then go to the pool for my workout. I am learning that I am a better mom if I take care of myself too!
May 9, 13:45 PM
Evelyn
I just came back from swimming where my children had a swim lesson. While they were participating in the lesson , I was able to take along my 1 1/2 year old for a ride with the kick board. My legs feel great!
May 9, 13:43 PM
Tricia
I workout in the mornings before I send my kids off to school, so I can make them breakfast and make sure they are ready to go. I try to get home early from work to hang out with them and make family time possible. I make sure to make them a good dinner and sometimes involve them with the cooking to have some laughs and a good time, Then I send them off to swim practice in the evening. When they get back i try to watch a tv show with them if possible. On the weekend, if we have a swim meet, i try to make it fun and interesting by going out for ice cream after a swim meet or go out to eat with the other swim families to have a good time and let them know its not all about swimming and getting good times, its about having fun.
May 9, 13:43 PM
Kimberly Ruckman
I've always loved swimming, but as I got older, I started finding less time to do it. The last 5 years I've focused on being a stay at home mom. which is great, but my body turned to mush! (2 kids in 5 years) and my energy level was low. I was having a hard time keeping up with my kids (2 & 5). I finally realized I needed to start caring for myself too! I found a gym in my area that had a beautiful pool and a play area for my kids. They get to socialize with others and play, while I get in a work out! I've been swimming 1800 yards in a hour & my body is feeling much more toned and my energy is much improved. By taking an hour out of my day to focus on me, makes me a better/happier mom to my kids.
May 9, 13:38 PM
Dina Mamola
Remembering the feeling of getting out of the water after a workout...ahh...makes me want to come back in the pool again! So happy to share that feeling with my kiddos. Gave them the gift of swimming from day 1 - so glad I did. They come along whenever possible with a grin! We fit it in as it comes - maybe not every day, but as often as possible!
May 9, 13:33 PM
Tony R.
It takes a great partner, my wife. She takes care of the kids in the morning so I can train. I let her have the evenings. She uses her time to go to the gym, church functions, or just to meet friends. We still get plenty of family time, especially on the weekends. It can sometimes get tricky when having to coordinate between her events, my events, and/or our kids events though. But, we all understand and respect each other's activities, and that is why it works.
May 9, 13:30 PM
Caroline
While my two year old enjoys playing in the childcare at the local Y, the other two children are in school, so I hit the pool with my fellow tri team members. I enjoy trying to get better at this sport and team practice provides me with the instruction, discipline and the comradery which I love. Although I am 40 I feel like a kid again whenever I am in the pool. Sometimes, while the kids are at swim lessons I swim in the lane next to them. We also have a pool at home where I can aqua jog while they swim. Playing with the kids in the pool is always a workout! They like it that Mom is in the pool and I love seeing that my children are active and happy!
May 9, 13:22 PM
Kim Corgiat
It was First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton whom coined the phrase; "It takes a village to raise a child." This is true for my family. My husband teaches full time, and I spend the afternoons on the pool deck coaching the next generation of young swimmers. The quote is a timeless reminder that children will thrive only if their families thrive. For me, swimming is my sanctuary. I gain the energy that i need to keep up with my boys, I am less stressed, more focused and productive, and I sleep well at night. It allows me to be in great shape, and to fit in my fav (pre-baby) jeans! My in laws, and parents rotate days watching our two young boys, ges one and four, each morning. This gives me the opportunity to train with the local college team, and allows them to spend quality time with their beloved grandsons. I am so fortunate to have such great support!
May 9, 13:14 PM
Dana M
I do open water marathon swims. Whenever possible, I have my daughter ride in my support kayak beside me. She is 6 years old & loves to be in, on & around the water! This way she has the chance to jump in the water when I take a break! And I get to be cheered on by my biggest fan! It's so much fun!
May 9, 13:14 PM
Allison P.
I used to swim in high school and college, but once I got married and started my family I struggled finding time to workout and my body missed the water. Finally, one day I looked at my daily tasks and tried to find a way to fit swimming in my schedule again. In the mornings and after school I am a full-time mother, during the day I am a working woman, but on my lunch break I am a SWIMMER! It feels so good to be back in the water again. It just goes to show you that when you really want something, there is always a way to make it work! Keep up the great work Janet!
May 9, 13:07 PM
Juvy B.
Great video! I drop my kids off at school around 7:30am every morning and then head straight to my local Master's swim practice. It works out perfectly, I get to be there to drop my kids off, get my daily workout in, finish my errands and if the weather is nice I take the kids back to the pool after school for some fun! We're a family of fishes! :)
May 9, 13:02 PM
ERIKA
THE BEST TIP I CAN GIVE IS CALLED PREPARATION. PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE AS WELL AS AN HOUR BEFORE, GET EVERYTHING AS READY AS POSSIBLE. THIS INCLUDES GEAR, NUTRITION AND WORKOUT PLANS. THIS ALLOWES FOR EARLY 5AM SWIMS AS WELL AS POST "DROP THE KIDS OFF AT SCHOOL" SWIMS, EATING PROPER NUTRITION PREPARES YOURSELF FOR A SUCCESSFUL AND BENEFITIAL WORKOUT. IT IS IMPORTANT TO PREPARE BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SWIM WORKOUTS ESPECIALLY WHEN TIME IS SO PRECIOUS. I ALWAYS PERFORM MY PRE STRETCHING AT HOME AND FOLLOW GREAT POST WORKOUT NUTRITION AS WELL AS USE MY PULL CHORDS AND STRETCH BAND AT HOME ---- EVEN MY KIDS GET INVOLVED AND QUALITY FAMILY TIME IS NOT COMPRIMIZED!
May 9, 12:55 PM
ERICA
MY BEST ADVICE OF HOW TO BALANCE FAMILY TIME WITH A SWIMMING REGIMEN WOULD HAVE TO BE TO GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED IN SWIMMING, THE EARLIER THE START THE BETTER. ENROLL YOUR KIDS INTO A SWIMMING PROGRAM AND THEN WHILE THEY ARE HAVING SWIM CLASS YOU CAN DO LAP SWIMMING IN THE NEXT LANE.....YOU BOTH GET A GREAT WORKOUT AND NO TIME IS TAKEN AWAY FROM YOUR KIDS! I WOULD ADD AN EARLY MORNING SWIM IN WHEN NEEDED AND/OR POSSIBLE AND THAT WOULD COMPLETE A WEEK OF SWIM TRAINING, WHILE THEY ARE SLEEPING YOU CAN BE SWIMMING! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTIES AND SCHOOL TIMES AS WELL, THESE ARE GREAT WAYS TO GET IN SOME MUCH NEEDED TRAINING WHILE NOT TAKING THE TIME AWAY FROM THE FAMILY. REMEMBER ITS NOT THE QUANTITY OF WORKOUTS BUT THE QUALITY OF THE WORKOUT!
May 9, 12:52 PM
Kelly A.
As a single working mom, spending time with my kids is most important! It's hard to find the time to juggle work, swimming, and family, but the thing that keeps me swimming are my kids. Swimming helps me stay energized and allows me to keep up with them, who are 5 and 7. I'm 39 and still going STRONG!
May 9, 12:51 PM
Lauren S.
My husband and I find that swimming in the morning really helps to clear our minds and get through the day! We wake up at 4 am so we can finish just in time to prepare our kids' lunches and drop them off before school. Sometimes we swim at night too with the kids!
May 9, 12:51 PM
Karen P.
After dropping off the kids at school in the morning, I go for a nice swim right before heading to work. My lunch time is for running errands so that I can devote all of my time to family after work! Over the weekends, I bring my kids to the pool for swimming lessons and I'm able to get a few laps in there myself :-) I am known among my friends as "Super Swim Mom"!
May 9, 12:51 PM
Elizabeth D.
I head to the pool before my kids wake up in the morning. By the time they're awake, I am already making breakfast and getting their lunches ready for school. I love having some time to myself before my kids get up and the day gets busy.
May 9, 12:50 PM
Sheila C.
My husband and I go to the pool on our lunch breaks from work. It is the best time to go swimming, and it helps so much to have such a great swimming partner. By the time I pick up my daughter from daycare, I feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the toddler mayhem!
May 9, 12:50 PM
Robin M.
I go swimming after I drop the kids off at school. It's definitely a challenge staying motivated to go to the pool every day. But I want to stay young, fit, and keep my energy high for my kids because they deserve that.
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