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Teach a Kid to Swim
ED MYERS: "HIDDEN JEWEL OF THE AUSTIN YMCA"
Ed Myers is a swim instructor at the TownLake YMCA. If you get to know him a little, though, Ed Myers is much more than that - Ed is a man who's been influencing his community and helping kids & adults alike learn how to be safe in the water for more than six decades. We caught Ed for a few minutes before one of his popular adult swim lessons for a quick Q&A. Here's what Ed had to say:
YMCA: How long have you been a swim instructor?
Ed: I started back in the 50’s, and then I taught off and on for about 60 years. I’ve been with the YMCA here [in Austin] a little over 10 years, and I was four years with a YMCA in Jackson, TN.
I’ve done a lot of teaching at private clubs and country clubs aside from the YMCA. I was also an instructor in the US Navy – I taught swimming to recruits, and water safety, and I was a ship’s lifeguard. My sophomore year at St. Lawrence University, I was the swim instructor for the Physical Education majors. Even though I was a sophomore I was on the faculty! They didn’t have a program, so I set one up, and I taught swimming so they [students] could get a certificate in swimming for their University Physical Education certificate.
I’ve been teaching private lessons, anywhere from little children to adults, and right now at the Y I’m teaching mostly adults.
Y: Why is learning to swim so important?
E: I think swimming is probably the best exercise you can do. Not only is it relaxing, but it’s also non-impact, and it’s a stretching type of thing. It’s very peaceful. It’s a very restful type of exercise, and it uses every single muscle in your body when you swim. So in a good swim, you’ve got a very good workout, I think it keeps you young, it keeps you strong, and it’s just a great way of life.
Y: Why do you like teaching swimming for the YMCA?
E: I was 8 years old (in 1938) when I started at the Y, and I’ve been connected with the Y ever since. It was a place to go and a real refuge as a young child. Great recreation, great swimming, and a really nice place to go, and I’ve felt a real attachment to the Y ever since I was young. I felt [teaching swimming] was always a way to give back to the Y, because it gave me so very much.
Y: How does swimming at the YMCA of Austin help the community?
E: I think the YMCA offers such a diversified swim program, that it fits every age bracket, every criteria; for example, we have a program called senior retreat, and it works with Alzheimer’s Patients, where they get in the water and do water aerobics and a little bit of exercise, and it’s a very relaxing and peaceful thing for them to do. The YMCA offers more in swimming than any other club you could ever join.
Y: In just a few words, why do you love the Y?
E: Because it’s been so good to me.
To see other stories from this ongoing series, follow the links below:
Thanks to people like Ed, the YMCA can continue to offer our community diverse swim programs for all ages. And thanks to generous support from our members and partners, we can continue to offer those swim programs to everyone regardless of economic circumstance. Please consider giving a gift to the YMCA to support this and similar programming for our whole community this summer.