News to build relationships through swimming

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It was a smash! We did a H A L L O W E E N bash.

Ghouls all came from their humble abodes, and the MerGrant costume really stole the show.

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$1,500 was raised for the Swedish Fish. Times were good and the food was delish.

To Natalie "Nightmare" Leki-Albano; Meredith "Macabre" Glick; Marissa "Midnight" Filippo: THANK YOU FOR YOUR BOO-TI-FUL WORK!

Swimmingly yours

By Terrie Albano, Swimmingly editor

Welcome to the second issue of Swimmingly, the bimonthly newsletter of Chicago Swedish Fish. I'm happy to report the first newsletter got rave reviews:

Love it!!! -- Trevor

Love, love, love it!!!!-- Marla

Ah-maze-zing! Love this! --Natalie

Fantastico!!! -- Andrea

This is so awesome! -- Julie

This is already very helpful for recruiting. -- Alexa

It was viewed 679 times and made Smore's Top 10 Trending Chicago Newsletters list.

This is a SWED-powered newsletter: all content is of, for, and by swimmers. Please email me if you'd like to contribute to the next newsletter, January 2020, at tgalban2@gmail.com.

Thank you to all the authors and photographers for this November-December 2019 issue. Shout out to Aliza Becker for providing all the Halloween bash photos!

Go jump in the park pool!

Here's a secret: The Chicago Park District hosts adult swim meets and more than a few Masters swimmers compete. You might spot Smelts and Flying Carp on the blocks.

If you want a low-key meet to practice your racing starts, sprints and 200s, sign up for a park district meet. It's free!

2019-2020 Chicago Park District Adult Swim Competition Schedule

Nov. 6, 2019 @ Ellis Park @ 9:00 AM (3520 S. Cottage Grove Avenue)

Dec. 8, 2019 @ Ping Tom Park @ 9:30 AM (1700 S. Wentworth Avenue)

Dec. 21, 2019 @ Ridge Park @ 9:00 AM (9625 S. Longwood Drive)

Jan. 25, 2020 @ Dyett High School @ 9:00 AM (513 E. 51st Street)

Feb. 15, 2020 @ Shabbona Park @ 1:00 PM (6935 W. Addison Street)

March 28, 2020 @ Eckhart Park @ 9:00 AM (1330 W. Chicago Avenue)

April 18, 2020 @ Welles Park @ 9:00 AM (2333 W. Sunnyside Avenue)

*McGuane Park and Harrison Park (TBA)

To sign up or receive more information email Miriam Fuentes at miriam.fuentes@chicagoparkdistrict.com

Photo: Chicago Park District aquatics staff at Ellis Park pose with one of the 40 or so swimmers who competed in the district's Senior Games on Sept. 20, 2019.


Friday, April 3rd 2020 at 3pm

Munster, IN


Evanston Masters January Invitational - January 26, 2020 (Info Sheet) (Online Registration - Opens in Dec)

Swedish Fish March Madness Meet - TBD

ILMSA State Championship Meet - April 3-5, 2020 (Sanction Pending)

When paws become fins

By Andrea Brands

Ah, the joys of swimming! There are many reasons why we Fish do what we do: The cardio-vascular rigor; the low-impact nature of the sport; the comradery and community of our fellow Fish; and the opportunity to swim the 200 Fly at State. Well, maybe the last one not so much. For these reasons and more, it’s also good for our dogs, especially many reactive and skittish dogs who wouldn’t otherwise be inclined to get into the water.

Yes, I know swimming comes naturally to all kinds of dogs. But for just as many, it’s a scary task. Especially if those dogs have long-lasting emotional scars or behavioral issues, swimming allows them to focus on a new task while spending quality time with their human companions. And for safety reasons, it’s always a good thing to acquaint a dog with water in case he or she is in an emergency situation and literally needs to sink or swim.

“Swimming is a wonderful, low impact exercise for dogs of all ages. When teaching a dog to swim, or get comfortable in the water, we take it at the dog’s pace This helps build trust and confidence, and in turn they end up loving the water.” said Sue Sentowski, owner of Sue & Crew H2O, a canine swimming facility. Sue has participated and trialed in several canine sports and therapies and has years of experience working with dogs with a range of skills and needs.

I met Sue while looking for an exercise option for Dolly, who was abused as a puppy and can be reactive to other dogs when she’s over-stimulated or in a chaotic group of dogs. I can’t trust her off leash at dog parks and she needs exercise that gets her heart rate up in a safe environment. A friend suggested I give Sue’s pool a try.

On Dolly’s first trip, she was accompanied by her dog friend Greta, a gorgeous, fit Rottweiler mix who would do beautiful high jumps into the pool, catching her favorite ball in photo-worthy splendor, frolicking and having a good old time. Meanwhile, Dolly would have a confused look on her face and search for the exit. “Why are you doing this to me?” her face asked. Dolly is a pretty densely built pit bull who would sink like a tank if left to her own devices and her countenance showed she was clearly aware of this.

But week after week we’d go back to the pool, just the two of us with Sue. Dolly would slowly walk down the ramp donning a doggie life vest, with Sue in the water gently coaxing her to get in. For my part, I would try to find the right place to stand and be supportive vocally nearby. After a few months and high-value treats, she would slowly walk down the ramp into the water. It was a few feet at first, then to the middle of the pool where Sue would be waiting to pull the S.S. Dolly back to deck. About six months in, she started swimming to me on the far side of the pool and then back to deck. This time, Sue was standing beside me on land.

After about a year (this takes patience, people), Dolly started to walk down the ramp and over to me, no life vest needed. She became excited about swimming and her life on land improved as well. She is more confident and playful when meeting other dogs, no doubt in part because of less anxiety she feels coming from the other end of the leash. She’s lost about 6 pounds while building up muscles that support her joints, especially the arthritic one in her back leg. She is happy and she sleeps soundly on the night of her swim, like a lot of people I know.

Our journey has been slow but it’s been satisfying to share the healing elements of water and joy of swimming with my dog. If you haven’t swum with your pooch yet, give it a try. I know a great doggie dolphin if you need one.

Meet a SWED: Jeff Frankel

By Sara Spray

You might not have swum with Jeff Frankel, but you're bound to know of him with his grand contributions to our team. He has performed with his musical stylings at our state meets and prepared some good smoked meats with bbq sauce for some of our Swedish Fish parties.

Jeff is one of the friendliest swimmers I have met on the team. He began his swimming excursions when he was 4 years old. As a kid, Jeff enjoyed being in and around the water. Jeff’s father was a swimmer, so his first experiences were with him in the pool. He had lessons early on and then swam at New Trier East for a short time on their swim team. Then Jeff became deeply involved with SCUBA diving. He also worked in a dive shop and taught diving in college.

Jeff joined Galter in 2003 and began lap swimming on his own about seven years ago. “I wanted to expand my workout repertoire,” he said. Jeff worked hard. He felt challenged coming back to swimming laps after so many years. While swimming laps on his own, Jeff met some Swedish Fish who encouraged him to join the team. So he did.

Jeff’s commitment and dedication to swimming paid off. He was able to get back into the pool and give it a go again. When asked what he most likes about swimming, Jeff said, “I truly enjoy the camaraderie of my team mates, AND the physical conditioning is second to none!”

Summer open water swims: SWEDs at Madison OWS, Crystal Lake Aquathon, Big Shoulders

Coaches’ Corner: Set your goals

By Peter Marcy

As we transition from open water/triathlon season to the beginning of the short yard swim season, now is a great time to come up with some goals for the new year. Find something that will excite you and motivate you.

Once you find your inspiration, start to investigate what you need to do to be successful and plan out how you will take those necessary steps. Getting organized and scheduling your workouts can be very useful this time of year.

Swim practice is hard. We need to have compelling reasons to do this on a regular basis.

For more reading on goal setting, check out this USMS article: Try this method of goal setting

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Remembering teammate Nancy Brooks Edison

Editor’s note: With love and sympathy, Swedish Fish said goodbye to one or our own: Nancy Brooks Edison, who died Sept. 13, 2019. She was 79. Nancy was, among other things, a school nurse and a 60-year volunteer for the Red Cross. Nancy discovered the Swedish Fish during her retirement and swam with us for several years, winning the High Points Award for her age group in 2016. Condolences to Nancy’s husband of 45 years, Paul Edison, and to her daughter Christine Edison and son-in-law Steve Zivalich.

For Nancy, hero and inspiration

By Ronna Feldman

Nancy Brooks Edison LOVED being part of the Swedish Fish Swim Team. She was my hero and inspiration. I swam with her in the 200 IM Relay at ILMSA State Meet 2017 at Pleasant Prairie, Wisc. She swam backstroke. I’m on deck dreading going into the cold water and she got into the water smiling and waving. I thought if she could do it I’d stop my whining and jump in. This picture is our victorious completion of the 200 IM Relay. Johanna-free, Cheryl-breast, Ronna-butterfly.

Another example of her courage and determination to have fun and live life was when she and her husband came to one of the Mardi Gras parties that I help to organize at the Cultural Center. She was on her electric Amigo scooter and managed to navigate through 300 people to enjoy the band and buffet. She was unstoppable!

When she couldn’t make the meets, she’d send a huge tin of homemade cookies she baked. When she couldn’t swim at the practices, she’d be in Galter’s warm therapy pool, smiling at us. On Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, we dedicated Coach Peter Marcy’s Backstroke Clinic to Nancy. She was with us!

I will miss her smile, smarts, optimism, determination. She and her spirit are a part of us.

Keep on keepin on!

Yes, swimmers celebrate aging up!

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Elderly are not throwaways: Listen to Coach Billy

By Erika A. Musser

Yes, Head Coach Billy Cordero claims that he needs us all! When the date of the Illinois State Meet is close, and he asks you for a “favor,” don’t say no. He will convince you that we are all “needed.” Listen to him!

Johanna Cordero, Billy’s mom, served for me as an inspirational model not to say, “No.” At the 2019 Illinois State Meet, as an octogenarian, Johanna earned the High Point Award for her age group, and I, as the second octogenarian on the SWED team, hung four medals (three Gold and one Silver) around my daughter Heidi’s neck to show them off for the team photo.

Who deserves thanks? Johanna for serving as an inspiration? Heidi for keeping me physically and mentally active? Or Billy who saved me from being ranked among the “throwaways” within our society?

Here is my answer:

Our society grows in justice and peace as we allow energies

of love and concern for all to rise up in ourselves.

Jean Vanier, “Becoming Human”

More Halloween, please

Want to contribute to Swimmingly? Email: tgalban2@gmail.com