In this post, Chris Lowder (@GetLowderNow) from Shanghai, China shares how swimming with the MySwimPro app has transformed his physical and mental health.


My name is Chris Lowder and I am the China General Manager for Proof & Company – a group that distributes craft spirits, builds and educates the craft cocktail community, and consults on luxury cocktail bars all over Asia Pacific.

I first moved to China in 2008 during the Beijing Summer Olympics when I was studying to become a Mandarin Chinese translator. I was lucky enough during that time to get tickets to the Water Cube to watch some of the swimming events and I was absolutely hooked after feeling the exhilaration of Olympic-level swimming.

Now that I am living in Shanghai and working in the alcohol industry, personal fitness is more important to me than ever before. A 12 year career operating and managing bars and restaurants has given me a deep appreciation for self-care and wellness, helping me to embrace my identity as an athlete and mentor other hospitality workers to strive for greater balance in their lives.

The MySwimPro app has not only helped me to take a more structured and educated approach to my swimming workouts, but has also given me a platform to share my passion for fitness with the international hospitality community in China and beyond.

It’s inspiring to know that I can share my love of swimming and fitness to genuinely improve the quality of life for service workers all over the world.

Give me a shout on Instagram at @GetLowderNow if you are a swimmer working in a bar, restaurant or hotel – I’m always keen to hear the stories of people hustling to balance fitness in their F&B careers!


I grew up in Baltimore where my father was a captain in the Merchant Marines, and his father fought in the navy during WWII, so I swimming and the water have always been a big part of my life. Growing up, our family belonged to the local Baltimore pool, and we would go swimming every single weekend of every single summer of my childhood. I fell out of the practice while growing up and didn’t start again until I was 19 years old, living in Beijing during the Beijing Summer Olympics.

My roommate was on a local swim team and offered to give me some informal coaching. I stuck with it while living in China, but transitioned over to running when I moved back to New York to work in fine dining. It wasn’t until I got tendonitis during Marathon training that I found myself back in the pool again, this time ready to really dig in and get serious about improving as a swimmer.

I now balance swimming, running, yoga and jiu jitsu in my personal fitness, alternating based on my needs. I travel to a different city in China almost every week for my work, and one thing that I have come to love is that Chinese hotels almost always have a decent pool, even if nothing else. Most Chinese cities aren’t “runner friendly” so I have limited options when I’m on the road outside of swimming.

Now, I really look forward to my time on the road, and in just this year, I have trained with MySwimPro in 15 different cities across China!


Growing up in Baltimore, I heard stories about Michael Phelps – this guy who was three years older than me at the time. I even had some friends who trained in the same pool as him. One part of me was deeply inspired to be living so close to a legend who was clearly destined for greatness. But another part of me was *so intimidated* to get into swimming, knowing that I could never compare to that level of excellence.

I took Drivers Ed at a local YMCA, and would show up early and just stare at the water imagining myself joining swim team and getting involved, but at that point in my life I was worried that I had missed the boat and would be the slowest person on the team.

If I could give myself one piece of advice, I would of course smack myself on the head and tell myself to jump into the pool!

Fitness is about one person and one person only – yourself. The only person that you should feel that you’re in competition with is the version of yourself who is going to be alive five years from now, shaking his head at you for missing so many great opportunities to try new things and have fun and grow.

I may not have joined the swim team that year, but I did download MySwimPro later in life and I got involved all the same! The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago… the second best time is today! Don’t give your future self a reason to give you a hard time about not having fun in the pool right this moment.


Before MySwimPro, I primarily trained as a distance runner, logging a good 40-60km each week. Running in Shanghai can be tough because of the constant rain; Sometimes it doesn’t let up for a full month! Also, only running can lead to muscular imbalances and injury if you don’t supplement with some basic core, hip and strength training.

I still do run in Shanghai, but I have to say that I’m a completely different runner now that I’m mixing swimming into the game. The strength that swimming brings to your hips and thighs is just incredible. I’m so grateful for the feeling of complete fitness that can really only come from swimming with MySwimPro.

I use the app on my iPhone paired with my Apple Watch, and I am currently following the Improve Endurance Training Plan. To be honest, though, I do skip around the workout library when I travel, and will often just pick a workout that feels fun that morning.

While I’m serious about my progress, I do see swimming as a very sacred space during my work travel, and so I try to stay “in the moment” when selecting my workout each morning.

I like that MySwimPro has the flexibility to let me chuck in a sprinting workout if I feel like I really need to get some energy out, and then my workout plan can just pause until the next day that I’m ready to resume.


For general health, I am climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with my wife Micaela this September. Swimming is helping me stay in top condition so that I can stay focused during that nine day hike. I am also 100% dedicated to running the Shanghai Marathon next Spring, and would love to race in a triathlon at some point.

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