SaddleBrooke residents SPLASH winter fitness challenge


Rodger Bivens

In January, the SaddleBrooke Swim Club announced a New Year’s fitness challenge “30-minute swim.” Any resident could sign up to take on the challenge, whether he/she was a member of the club or not. The event would take place between February 15 and February 28.

The challenge was to swim for 30 continuous minutes at one time. You were free to stop at any time as long as you did not leave the pool. You could also use whatever swim gear you liked…such as fins, snorkel, etc. The challenge was especially a chance for newer swimmers to “push their comfort zone.” Experienced swimmers could also test themselves as to how much yardage they could swim during the 30-minute time allotted. Swim Club members were available to help coach and encourage new swimmers who signed up for the challenge.

Some 52 SaddleBrooke residents participated in the Fitness Challenge, and quite a number of the participants were newer swimmers. One such swimmer was Shannon Martinell. She had never swum competitively before but recently took part in the beginners’ swim classes taught by Lyn Moreno of the Swim Club. Since then, she has been swimming three times a week on her own because she enjoys the good conditioning and fitness it provides. Her favorite stroke is the breast stroke. She found the Fitness Challenge to be stimulating and not particularly intimidating. She was able to accomplish the swim without the aid of any swim gear and swam a total of 900 yards for the 30 minutes.

Another new swimmer accepting the challenge was Lori Sifford. She started swimming when she was injured and could not play golf or pickleball. It took her awhile to work up to swimming 30 lengths of the pool, but now she can do 60-70 lengths. She loves the cardiovascular benefits and muscle toning she receives from swimming. Also, the non-impact nature of the training and lack of pressure on the joints are great benefits as well.

Swimming is a great way to increase one’s fitness level and can be done at one’s own pace and schedule. SaddleBrooke Swim Club members range from competitive swimmers to beginners who just want to improve their fitness and learn proper swimming strokes. If anyone is interested in obtaining information on how one can get started, please go to for further information.