Polly I’ve been a member of the Rye Y for almost two years. I started taking swim classes with Cathy Meeker before I became a member. I was doing the 7 a.m. pre-endurance class. This year I decided to suck it up and go for the 5:30 am class because I felt like I needed a push.

I do AquaBike, which is swim and bike only. The competition is really tough, and what I’m finding is that most AquaBikers are really strong swimmers so I give away a lot of time there. I figured “let me go to the other class, get some more yardage in, and work a little more on my speed.” Now, I’ll never be able to make up the 20 minutes that the woman who keeps winning the world and national championships in my age group has on me. I’m just not going to make that up.

So, now I do the 5:30 class and I go to a 7:30 a.m. spin class on Fridays. I’ve also done some of Denise’s spin classes at 8:30 so then I just go upstairs and stretch in between classes. The first time I tried that, I ran on the treadmill and by the time I did swimming, running and Denise’s class, my tongue was hanging out.

Each instructor has their own style, and Denise drives hard. Sometimes she’ll jump off the bike, get in your face, look at your numbers and yell “you’re not working hard enough!” But it’s good. The one thing you want to do with a spin class is put a good effort into it so you’re not wasting 45 minutes to an hour just fiddling. It’s a good work-out. I enjoy it. I just started adding that piece in this year. I’m trying to broaden my horizons in terms of what the Y has to offer.

I did two regular triathlons in April and June of this year and then I went to the world championships in Denmark for AquaBike and that’s really where I got my butt kicked! But it was fun to go; it was the second year I’ve gone to the world championships. And then I did the AquaBike division of the Westchester Triathlon where I finished 2nd place woman. In less than a month, I’ll be going down to Miami again for the national championships for AquaBike and I’m also doing an aquathlon, which is a swim-run race. If I qualify for Team USA again, I’ll have to decide whether I want to do a long-distance race in May in Spain, which will mean lots of time training indoors or lots of outdoor very cold rides.

This will be my last year in the 60-64 age group because next year I’ll be 65. Athletes look forward to getting older when we can get into another age group. Unfortunately the woman who’s a fabulous swimmer is also my age so I’ll never get rid of her!

I love the competition and I love the opportunity to travel. It keeps me busy and the Y helps. I want to be able to do it as long as I can.