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Friday, April 11, 2014

Katie Benoit Endlessly Shifting Life's Responsibilities

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

With a full-time job as a police officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a 9-year-old son, and a track record of heroism, one wonders where and when officer Katie Benoit has time to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and train even more for the Oceans Seven.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

And a garage that presents plenty of space for an Endless Pool. "There are times when swimming 40,000 yards a week is pretty hard. I know lots of swimmers that swim tons more, so I have to get effective mileage in because I don't have time for more. There is the occasional 6-to-8-hour test swim, but it's not something I can do every day."

The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and Swim Around Key West swimmer who also completed a 13 hour 13 minute crossing of the English Channel, a 10 hour 41 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel, and an 18 hour crossing of the Molokai Channel is on track to attempt a North Channel crossing in this coming July. While others have the opportunity to get in the open water and acclimate in seaside locations, Benoit tries to get in a morning swim before her 2 pm until midnight shift four nights a week. "On a workday, I swim for 2-to-3 hours at 10 am. On off days, I get a first swim in around 0800 and another in the early afternoon around 1400."

While working around one's work schedule is a given for most working professionals with a passion for open water swimming, Benoit has worked in acclimatization via another angle. "My second swim is typically in my Endless Pool where I work on form, core strength, and cold tolerance. I keep mine at 59ºF (15ºC) for another hour. The Endless Pool has been fantastic; even on those days when I get stuck at work or my family needs me, I can get a quick swim in. No driving time, no pool schedules - I just head into my garage. It really helps me make my life a little easier and more balanced."

Benoit's life-work-swim balance is also augmented by an understanding husband. "It requires lots of family planning and constant juggling. I couldn't do any of it if my husband wouldn't support it all. I do most of my swimming when my son is in school and I work afternoon-midnight."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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