Retiree reaches swimming milestone
John Edmunds, who reached the 750-mile achievement in the Swim for Life program, swims laps at Flynn Pool Aug. 13.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 16, 2012) -- Fort Rucker offers many ways for people to stay fit, from rock climbing at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility to racquetball at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility, but the installation also rewards and recognizes those that reach various milestones in their regimens.

John Edmunds, retired military, is the first person to hit the 750-mile achievement in Fort Rucker's Swim for Life program offered by the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Sports, Fitness and Aquatics program.

"I love to swim and it's just something like a goal that I tried to meet, so it gives me something to keep track of and gives me the motivation to do it," said Edmunds. "I just want to log as many miles as I can because the more miles I get, the more fit I'll stay."

The free Swim for Life program is designed as a motivational tool to keep people fit for life, said Jon Cole, DFMWR aquatic manager.

"It's basically what it sounds like -- it's swimming for life," he said. "We normally have about 50 participants and they will get a badge for every 50 miles they swim up to 200."

After the 200-mile achievement, participants are given medals for the 250- and 500-mile marks, and then offered a towel or T-shirt at 750 miles, added Cole.

Edmunds was awarded with an embroidered Swim for Life towel with his name and mileage milestone.

Edmunds said he got into swimming after a high school classmate urged him to join the swim team.

"I've been swimming all my life and I've been swimming for fitness since I graduated high school," he said. "I've continued to use swimming as my primary mode of exercise since."

Swimming to exercise has benefits over other traditional exercises in that it is a very low impact way to exercise, according to Cole.

"It's great because it's easy on the joints," he said, a point that Edmunds was quick to back up.

"My knees and ankles won't take the pounding from running and I can't do that anymore," said Edmunds. "Swimming is probably the best cardio-aerobic exercise that a person can do. It's a great way to exercise without any lateral difficulties to your body, particularly for somebody that already has issues with knee and ankle problems."

Although swimming is a great exercise for people that might have joint problems, Cole said that the Swim for Life program is open to all ages.

"There is no age limit to participate in the program," he said. "We have some participants that are in their teens and some that are seniors. [The program] is really about finding something that you can do to help maintain your fitness throughout your lifetime."

The program is for authorized patrons and takes place at Flynn Pool, which is open Mondays-Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"For someone who wants to exercise and have a program that is going to reward you for it, this is definitely the thing to do," said Edmunds. "The aquatic staff supports us really well … and it's just a good deal overall for everybody."

For more information on Swim for Life, call 255-9162.

Page last updated Thu August 16th, 2012 at 12:03