Yep, you read that right. MySwimPro member Doreen Kline took 42 years off from swimming, jumped back in in 2021, then just 2 years later successfully swam a 100 x 100s freestyle set at age 67. She’s incredible!

Watch our exclusive interview with her and get ready to be inspired.

Check out Doreen with her team after their new years 100 x 100 freestyle workout!

Read full video transcript:

Doreen’s Story

“It took me 42 years to get back to the pool.

What brought you back? The stress of going through caretaking for my parents as they were dying.

Swimming to me is like a meditation, because I think caregiving is the hardest thing, especially when it’s your parents. I’m a nurse and, you know, I knew all the stuff going in, but when it’s your parents, it’s very stressful. So when I got to the pool, I could turn that off and I could just swim. And it was time for me.

I am Doreen Kline, and I’m 67 years old and retired.

I started swimming at age 12 when my father took our family to the YMCA. The swim coach caught my sister and I in the locker room and we were on the swim team from that day on. I went to nursing school, so the first two years I swam. After that I was going to the clinical hospital while the team was practicing so I had to quit swimming.

My 40 Year Comeback

Then it took me 42 years to get back to the pool. I wish I did it years before. It took me until I was so stressed out I couldn’t take it anymore.

I had been thinking about joining a masters club for years, but their practices were at 5 a.m., so that kind of put me off. So one day I got up the courage to swim in the masters group and I could only swim one lap. I was so frustrated. After one lap I would have to do backstroke really slow the next lap to just let my heart calm down. I was very frustrated because I wasn’t getting any better.

As the months went by, it was still it was like I never swam in my life. It was so hard. when I was a kid, I could just jump in and swim 200 and then be ready to go. But at this age, it takes me at least 1,200 to feel like I have my stroke and I’m in my rhythm. Then I do different reps, 50s or 100s or 200s, and I do mostly freestyle.

How I Track My Progress

I track my swims every day in the MySwimPro App, and as soon as I get out of the pool, I check the app on my phone and then I look through every 100 – the splits, what I did on the warm up, what I did for the average 100 time, and every other piece of data through the course of the workout. I do this every practice, no matter if I’m with the masters team or without.

I went from July of 2021, not being able to swim one lap to April 2022, competing at the spring nationals where I got fourth place in the 100 free. Plus, I placed seventh in the 50 free.

When I used to go to the pool, I would think, what’s my stress level? And it would be like 12. And then when I would come out of the pool, it would be like a 2.

Caregiving can be overwhelming, and the person loses perspective on their own life. So I didn’t want to do that and, you know, totally lose myself. So I needed the hour a day just to get away from the whole situation and take care of me.

I started participating in local meets and I swam before the advent of goggles or any equipment. So the first three local competitions I did, I lost my goggles completely. And one competition, my goggles were actually across my mouth and it was so embarrassing.

Then I went to the Masters Spring Championships and the Summer Championships in 2022. My proudest moment was that my goggles didn’t come off! The flip turn I did was completely sideways. The dive I did, l was like a banana.

In the tapes, I looked like I was going in slow motion. So I knew I needed to come to the MySwimPro Swim Camp and see you.

How The MySwimPro Swim Camp Helped

I never got injured as a kid swimming, but coming back after 42 years, I kept getting neck and shoulder injuries. This muscle here would always get injured and then it would throw my neck out and pinch something. So I had no power in my arm and then it would throw my low back out.

I’ve been to the chiropractor a million times, but it never helped. I was so frustrated. I wear a snorkel to try to help my neck, and that helped somewhat, but it kept going out every week. So I said there has to be an answer somewhere. I thought, maybe I’m pulling too much with one arm. So I tried to pull more with the left arm and that didn’t work. So I came to the camp with the intention for you guys (the team at MySwimPro) to videotape us and look at it.

Within 5 seconds of Coach Fares Ksebati looking at the video, he told me the problem. It was the individual attention, the filming, and the review of the film that brought me to the camp.

Doreen Kline

Swimming brings me into a different world. I just disappear, and it’s it’s like a meditation. I love the 50 meter pool because you can just lose yourself, and swim and swim and swim.

No matter your age. No one cares what you look like in a bathing suit. You think everybody is afraid to be in a bathing suit in front of other people. But no one really looks and no one really cares.”

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6 Comments

  1. My story mirrors Miss Doreens a bit. I’m 66, swam in high school, worked as an Ocean Lifeguard on the beaches of South Florida thru college…and stopped swimming when I had to get a real job. The stress of running my business, eating on the run, lack of exercise, etc. resulted in a heart attack that required several stents. Last year, when I hit 65 and qualified for medicare, I got back in the pool and haven’t left it since. 2K meters/day with my Apple Watch and MySwimPro (5 days/week). People like Miss Doreen and the other 5am swimmers at the Y inspire me. Thank you for sharing your story Miss Doreen!

  2. I love Doreen’s story and wonder if I can contact her. You see my story is very similar having never swam for any length after my elementary school age. But I started again once I became a silver sneaker in 2012. I was 62. Since then until a year ago I swam 900m 3x weekly alternating crawl, breast and back strokes. The time and space had become sacred for me as a place of meditation and prayer where I review 100 Bible verses and pray for our family and friends. But it has all changed and I gave in to walking instead for a few months when my husband and I were in sabbatical. Now I have such aches and pains that immobilize me. There has been a cascading effect I believe from withdrawing from the pool which began when my left shoulder became too painful to swim. I have been to PT, chiropractor both multiple times. Now I stretch daily with exercise from PT and Eccentrics, a low impact routine on YouTube. I will keep persevering and hope someday to return to my sanctuary.

  3. Rosemary West on

    I too have a love affair with the freedom, challenge, and strength that swimming provides. Year -round I try and get in 3 miles of a weekly workout, usually at my local YMCA in Vincennes, Indiana. Since the age of five I swam at AAU events throughout the year alongside my three brothers . Fact: while at a swim meet at Edina ,Minnesota on July 16, 1969 we watched the Apollo astronauts take their first walk on the moon (thanks to the parent who brought along a small black and white TV). #Noturningback I taught swim lessons as a teen and young adult because helping both kids and adults know how to handle themselves is a must! Thank you for inspiring us with training tips and encouragement! Swimming means the world to me; so many others would probably agree.

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