Determination Can Carry You A Long Way

Three days each week my wife and I wake up at 5 AM trudging our way down along the still quiet streets of Mt Pleasant to LTP Tennis and Swimming on Mathis Ferry Rd for 75 minutes of practice with the Palmetto Masters Swim Club. Masters swimming is competitive swimming for adults and perhaps surprisingly for a sport where 95% of the time is spent face down in water, you develop a pleasant camaraderie in between gasps of air and flip turns. Recently two of my lane mates qualified, ran and completed the Boston Marathon. I could not be more proud of Daina Hill (pronounced “DA-na”) from Rivertowne Country Club and Siobhan Maize (pronounced “shi-VAWN”) from Snee Farm. They both posted remarkable times.

Hill describes herself as competitive and while some swimmers leave practice early, Hill does not. Possessing an aggressive swimming style, Hill digs deep when practice becomes intense. She can also swim butterfly forever. Seriously forever. She does not quit.

An accomplished distance runner she completed the Boston Marathon inside the Top 100 for her age group. Running to inspire her daughters, Caroline and Charlotte, she demonstrates what is possible. They make the journey with her each year to share in the experience and to see their mom in action.

Maize is your quissentential long-distance athlete. A committed tri-athlete her endurance and work ethic is epic. She once completed a double Ironman, an Anvil as it is called, meaning after swimming 4.8 miles, cycling 224 miles she donned running shoes and ran 52 miles. It took her 29 hours. Wow.

And so on an overly warm New England Monday, Hill and Maize gathered in Hopkinton, MA for the long run into Boston. Maize woke up with a migraine and combined with the heat, it made for a tough run which she details on her blog, But for someone who has completed a double Ironman, she would will her way to the finish line. Hill struggled in the final miles amongst the rolling hills leading into Boston. Drawing strength from the cheering crowd and the inspiration of her daughters, she finished just a minute off her best time.

I have never run a marathon, nor do I intend to, but we all have our “endurance races” we must run. Let my friends, Maize and Hill, be inspirational reminders to you, as they are to me, of how much can be accomplished with determination and a “never quit” attitude.