Swimming has been a part of 80-year old Jerry Sweeney’s life for the past two decades, but not until two years ago did he try and break records for himself. Sweeney, an Easton resident, recently completed 100 miles as part of the YMCA of Talbot County’s “Lap It Up” Program, which encourages YMCA members to swim extra laps to maintain their fitness.
Sweeney, the oldest member of the program, decided two years ago to try and swim the distance of 100 miles in one year. This past year, he accomplished his goal. Sweeney, a self-published author, comments, “I swam at the YMCA of Talbot County for four years before finding out about the program. It challenged me to do more laps.” He adds, “As a heart patient with high blood pressure, I have found that swimming is good for the lungs.”
According to E Hughes, YMCA of Talbot County Aquatics Director, “There are about two dozen people participating in the program. Any member can participate, tracking the laps they swim from January through December each year.”
Hughes adds that of the 13 participants in the program, 76 percent swam 100 miles or more in 2009. Those who did complete this mileage received a certificate of recognition. Sweeney swam an average of a half-mile or 18 laps for over 200 days in 2009.
He quips, “I told my kids it was the equivalent of swimming to Philadelphia, only it took me longer than usual to get there.”