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Saturday, December 7, 2013

If You Want Something Done, Ask A Busy Man

Dr. Steve Minaglia lives a very busy life as a physician, editor and father of 4 young children. But he gets in enough time to train for his channel swims throughout Hawaii even if he is only one of four board-certified specialists in the field of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery in Hawaii.

"I see patients all day on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays and operate on Tuesdays and Fridays. I am also an editor for the Journal of FPMRS, the Director of Robotic Surgery at a local hospital, and the Director of Online Education for the American Urogynecologic Society. I work about 50-60 hours per week."

As if that is not enough, he also travels throughout the Pacific Rim.

"I also lecture in China and travel to the [U.S.] mainland between 7-8 weeks per year. Most extra work, I finish on planes. My wife is an attorney and our kids are [ages] 6, 8, 8, and 11. Despite this, I get time to train."

He gets in training when he can after swimming in high school. "I have been swimming since 2008 when I moved to Hawaii. Prior to this, I also swam briefly in residency with a water polo club. Since 2008, I have never stopped swimming for more than several days. I regularly compete in ocean races locally like the North Shore Swim Series, Waikiki Roughwater Swim and the Waikiki Double Roughwater, and 3 channels. I like biathlons (running/swimming) and have placed high in them the last two years, but I think the leg training ruins my swimming."

When he trains, he focuses on his swimming but his responsibilities are never out of reach. "At the pool, my pager is always on the deck and the coaches/lifeguards grab me when it rings.

Years ago, I swam straight 3-4 km swims in the pool and ocean alone. During this time, I met 3 people at my local pool (50m outdoor) whom I now regularly swim with. Together, we swim about 4 km on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7-8:30 am. They are all much faster than me and usually place first in their age groups. 39-year-old Michelle and 30-year-old Nalani are triathletes. 54-year-old Mark just swims at legendary speed. Mark and I sometimes swim out to the Mokulua islands off Kailua. These three have inspired me with challenging workouts and their speed. This year I joined the University of Hawaii masters swimming program. I usually swim with them on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. I get up at 4:30 am and have practice from 5:30-7:00 am after which I start my day. Most days, I swim in the ocean at Ala Moana Beach Park about 2-4 km during lunch. I rarely swim after work because I need to get home to the family. In general, I swim between 5-6 days per week anywhere from 4-8 km, with some weeks including a 10 km. I started logging my training since October 2013 on usms.org and have swum 125 miles since that date
."

He squeezes in what he can. "I will swim basically anywhere when I am out of the country or on the mainland. I have swam with the Chicago Blue Dolphins twice for a week when in Chicago. Both times the club did not charge me and treated me like their guest. I found them on U.S. Masters Swimming and enjoyed the experience immensely. I swim in the Macau Olympic Aquatic Center Pool when teaching over there and when that is closed the local community pools. I swam at major swimming venues in Beijing and Nanjing. I have swam at countless hotel pools. I once did 1000 laps in a small hotel pool - 4 strokes to the wall. Recently, while in Baltimore, I got the manager to let me swim free in a health club pool after telling him I was days away from the Pailolo double crossing."

As we have seen throughout the open water swimming world, if you want something done, ask a busy man…or woman.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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