Heidi and David have been members of VAC since 2009. They have 2 grown sons. Heidi is a self-employed marketing copywriter in the food, beverage and hotel industry.
Her relationship with VAC began in 2009 when her neurologist encouraged her to swim. Swimming gave her aerobic endorphin benefits without adding to the chronic pain and neuropathy she has dealt with.
Not being a skilled technical swimmer, she approached Dayna for private weekly swim lessons. Dayna was very patient and encouraging and Heidi practiced faithfully during lap swim. Dayna was aware of Heidi’s interest in open water swimming and prepared her to give it a try. As her confidence grew, she began swimming locally and entered her first competition in 2010.
Since then, Heidi has made a lifestyle of open-water swimming. She has a regimen that she follows closely, and it works for her! She swims laps at VAC one to two times weekly to keep up her endurance — one to two miles each time — and she swims with VAC’s Rockfins Masterswim (USMS club) under Alan Nakano and Sandy Brown. They put her through her paces with interval training and she leaves buzzing with endorphins!
She also does cold water training twice a week at Dilworth and Alki Beach where the water is 46 degrees! We’re glad she wears a wetsuit during the colder weather. She also uses a Personal Trainer and the occasional swim in an outdoor pool.
Why does she do this?
She’s getting ready for her grandest adventure yet!
Heidi is preparing to swim the English Chanel, from Dover to Calais, between July 11th and 18th. She and three other Puget Sound Swimmers with brave the choppy English waters at a moment’s notice when they’re alerted that the weather conditions are just right. This isn’t just a quick swim — it will take them 16 to 18 hours to complete. In a straight line
it’s 21 miles, but in reality, the current will make their trip upwards of 30
miles. The water will be a chilly 58-60 degrees; but she’s not worried.
She’s done the hard work of preparing with diligent training. Now comes the great part. Showing us her amazing accomplishments.
We’re proud to say she’s part of our family here at VAC.
When asked about her previous competitions, she wasn’t shy to let us know how her hard work has paid off! She’s proud, and she should be!
"I swam from Alcatraz (to San Francisco) four times last September.
I swam it in a bikini, or ͞"skins" as they call it; the Waikiki Rough-water Swim 2017 (2.4-mile ocean race); Fat Salmon 2017 (3.2-mile lake Washington race); the Whidbey Adventure Swim 2017 (took 7th overall in the 1.2 mile); and twice across Dalco Passage (south end of Vashon to Pt. Defiance’s Owens Beach) in Swim Defiance. Finished top in my age group."
In October 2015, I had surgery for thyroid cancer, which stunted my
metabolism (now controlled by thyroid medication and complicated by not-cold tolerance. There are times in the pool I want to
open every door and window (when I really get the heart rate going) and other consecutive days when I can’t get my bod temp over 96.5 degrees. To that I say: "just keep swimming!"
Just keep swimming Heidi! We’ve got your back!