Aiming for a World Record with Endless Pools®
As Haydeé Trains for her August '21 Swim, She Wants You to Help Motivate Her
"I want to show not just the Latina population but anybody – if you train and you get support from others, you can do so much," asserts open water swimmer Haydeé Acebo. What she's working to do is become the first Latina to swim solo across Lake Tahoe, and the first to do it for 21 different causes!
"We have so much potential," she observes, "but we certainly need some things to happen for our dreams to come true." And one of the many things that Haydeé needed to happen was to have a place for swim training at home. She overcame that obstacle in 2019 when she added an Endless Pools® SwimCross swim spa to her backyard.
Early Lessons Learned
"I'm from Ecuador in South America. I started swimming in high school, but I was a really bad swimmer," Haydeé recalls. "My teammates were selected for the state and for the country, but I was not. I didn't want to be the one who was worst on the team, so I worked double and asked trainers to help me out and give me feedback on how I could improve. I joined other clubs so I could train more.
"I realized that I could be better, and that's become the life compass for everything I do," Haydeé now reflects. "So that's really what I've taken with a lot of things I do.
"I went on to swim in college, not because I was the best swimmer, but because I was very perseverant, and I really wanted to be part of the team." As she trains for her solo swim, Haydeé is stepping out on her own with what promises to be a record-setting event!
Swim Training at Home
Haydeé made her training more convenient when she added an Endless Pools X Series swim spa to her backyard. She'd discovered open water swimming when she moved near Lake Tahoe, "but I needed a place to swim at home. I didn't want to swim at the gym pool."
By chance, she happened upon her regional Endless Pools swim spa dealer. She selected an Endless Pools SwimCross Exercise System, a line of swim spas that feature our custom, airless current for swimming in place as well as fitness and fun.
"I love it," she says of the swim spa. "It's helped me to train for other events. I've swam from Alcatraz Island; I've swam on a relay across the width of Tahoe."
"It's been so helpful, just being able to swim when I want to, how I want to," she enthuses. "It's been great. I have work, I have my family, I have my kids. If I want to swim at 9 o'clock at night or 7 in the morning, I can just go outside and swim instead of driving 30 minutes [each way] to the gym. It's usually after the kids go to bed, or in the middle of the day.
"It's so incredible, the endurance that I've built going from training one mile every other day to swimming four miles, six days a week. I couldn’t have done it any other way. I have to pinch myself because I can't believe it! That's the beauty of Endless Pools [swim spas] – you can start [the current] on the lower setting and build up your endurance."
She'll need that endurance for the swim. It could take 17 hours or longer! That's a long time for a a no-wetsuit swim in waters that will be around 66 degrees F.
Preparing to be First
Haydeé will start her Lake Tahoe solo crossing on Saturday night, August 7 at 9:00 pm, nearly an hour after sunset. "I've never swam in the dark. It's going to be interesting. It’s a solo swim, and it's an overnight swim."
As motivation for the 21.3-mile swim, she's chosen a unique approach. "Each mile I want to dedicate to a social cause or a reason that's making people happy, that's getting them out of their struggle to keep fighting for something.
"Several people have swam across it, but not a Latina or Latino. ... The length of Lake Tahoe would be similar to the English Channel, and nobody has swam it for 21 reasons." She plans to turn to social media for input on her inspirations, something to focus on each mile to renew her passion 21 times during the overnight swim.
A Podium for the Latinx Community
Besides the 21 reasons from others, Haydeé has at least one major motivator of her own: representation in the world of swimming. "Being a minority, I'm really thankful that I'm able to afford a swim spa. I know that’s not the case with [many] people in my demographic.
"There was a story on Instagram about 20 swimmers to look out for; it was by @myswimpro. Out of the 20 swimmers – and we're not even talking about Olympic swimmers – there was only one Latino. I commented that I'm looking forward to seeing more Latino representation and more female Latina representation.
"I know it's evolving and it's improved, but we're still not there."
How You Can Motivate a World Record
Besides the significant physical and mental challenges of the swim, Haydeé is also conducting a social-media experiment. "The 21 reasons campaign is going to start on August 2. We'll ask people to participate and tell us what you're fighting for, what reason should I choose for the swim."
While much of it will depend on people's feedback, she's aware that, for an undertaking of this magnitude, each of the 21 reasons must be "something that resonates with me. When I'm swimming, these are the reasons I'll be thinking of to get me through the swim, so they have to be important.
"What keeps me excited right now is that journey, even though I don’t know what the 21 reasons are. I want to make sure people feel included in the campaign," she states, "to open up resources and a supporting community. Say we choose mental health – what are the resources for that cause? I want to make sure people are included in the journey so we can build a supportive community for the many."
As she swims for her own record and to contribute to a movement (or 21!) she keeps training at home, on her schedule, in her backyard swim spa. "It's awesome," she says with a gratitude that she's eager to pay forward.
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