Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Au Revoir, coach Jacki!

Dustin, Josh, Katie, Bob, Jacki: five decades of swimmers!
Our MIT Masters friend, teammate, and sometimes-coach Jacki Hirsty packed her bags and moved to sunny California to pursue outdoor swimming and winters other than in New England. We're all going to miss her! For those who don't know her, Jacki is a swimming phenom, holding numerous national records, owner hundreds of top-ten times, and all-American honors.

Jacki teaches us that swimming is a lifestyle, something one commits to, and a sport that you can continue to improve in as you age. This is not lost on many of us who swim with her, or - more realistically - in her wake. Last year a group of us (see photo to the right) realized that five of us representing different decades could swim together. In what other sport does this happen? It's also a good reminder that swimming is a meritocracy - it doesn't matter what job you hold on land, what your age is, if you swam in college or not - all that matters is that you can hold the interval and set that particular day. I'm sure this is probably the case for other sports, but swimmers are a different breed, in my opinion.

To those who Jacki will coach in California - you are truly lucky! However, don't ask her to do an open water swim. She only follows the little black line.

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