“My sister is my inspiration,” he says appreciatively. “She’s doing an IRONMAN at 54.” His family has always been close, but with her in Florida and him in New Jersey, a little more effort has been required.
So he agreed to join her for a triathlon in her adopted hometown of Naples. “I’ve always been a runner,” he notes, and he’d been training with his road bike for about a year; but like many triathletes, he considers the swim his weakest leg.
That’s why he turned to Patti Ann Finch and the team at ProSwim Fitness – to learn to swim, to build the stamina to do it long distance, and accomplish that very quickly.
Jay Stillman (front) had just three months to learn to swim for his first triathlon. Here, he's training in the Dual Propulsion Endless Pool at ProSwim Fitness. “I’m more comfortable in the Endless Pool because I can focus," he says. "You’re not thinking about turning around or looking at a line.” He's come to enjoy swimming in general because, unlike other endurance exercises, "my body never hurts when I'm done!"
Training in the Endless Pool
“I needed to go to the basics,” Jay says matter-of-factly. “The Endless Pool has helped. It gives you that feeling of water coming at you.” That’s a common sentiment among triathletes: The Endless Pool offers the best available open-water simulation.
“I’m more comfortable in the Endless Pool because I can focus. You just go. You’re not thinking about turning around or looking at a line.”
Jay approached his swimming lessons with a mix of caution and determination. “For adults, it is intimidating,” he admits. “It’s very hard to learn swimming when you’re older. But it’s doable.
“There’s no question: You can learn to swim. All adults should have swimming as an option to exercise. My body never hurts when I’m done! It’s great.”
The Big Day in Naples
On the day of the Naples triathlon, Jay recalls, “I felt prepared. We ran in [to the Gulf] and then everybody’s kicking. It was chaos.”