From Tri Training to Mental Health, this Family Pool Gets a Workout!
"We're basically all using the pool," says Melissa Kinmartin with a laugh. A triathlete and fitness coach, she's become a fan of Endless Pools®. With her husband and three kids all dipping in regularly too, their High Performance model functions as the family pool!
An Active Family
For Melissa' son and daughter, who both swim competitively, their home pool makes a reliable backup. "If they have to miss a practice, they swim in the Endless Pool. They get their workout done."
Her gymnast daughter swims because she's also a triathlete. "She is doing her first big triathlon with me in Hawaii," Melissa says proudly. Together, they'll tackle the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon later this month.
How to you juggle five people with one swim current? They posted a schedule to avoid time conflicts for each of their swims.
Melissa and her husband saw their first triathlon while on vacation in Hawaii. A chance meeting with Harriet Anderson (who recently broke the record as the oldest woman to complete the grueling 140.6-mile IRONMAN World Championship) led to them witnessing the event while at Kona. "It was awesome," she gushes.
The couple was doubly inspired. She and her husband decided to take up the sport, and they also swam in the Endless Pool at the IRONMAN Expo; they agreed, "We need to get one of these things."
A Swim-Shy Triathlete
Though she grew up on the water, Melissa recalls, "When I first started to get in the water [as a triathlete], I had this anxiety."
On an IRONMAN 70.3 run-through in North Carolina's Jordan Lake, "I got pulled from the water because of an anxiety attack. I hadn't been in open water before. I hadn't swum with a million people."
She began to work with a swim coach to visualize each swim and, of course, to actually swim more. Her coach advised, "You need to get into the water as much as possible. Eventually you'll even enjoy it." Their garage Endless Pool makes it convenient to swim daily.
Getting in the Swim of Things
Like many triathletes, Melissa finds that the Endless Pool is uniquely suited to triathlon training. "What do you do in the Endless Pool? You swim against a current!
"If you're swimming triathlon, you're in open water. To get that effect, the Endless Pool is great. You can go as long as you want to."
Going into her fourth season, she can now say, "When I start a race, I'm always calm."
In the year since Melissa's Endless Pool has been up and running, she's already noticed progress. "I still go to the [public] pool once a week. I can definitely tell I'm a lot faster."
The Endless Pool measures the pace of the swim current in time per 100 yards or meters. Melissa started swimming at a pace of about 2:40 to 2:50 per 100 yards. After about a year, she reports speeding up to about 1:43 to 1:48 per 100 yards.
"The more challenging it is, the better you get," she observes. "In the Endless Pool, I can push myself, and it's making me a better swimmer." Having qualified for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, she's clearly making strides!
Swimming as Mood-Booster
On her Instagram page, Melissa has candidly addressed her struggles with postpartum depression.
She had her three children, each two years apart, as well as two miscarriages. "During that time, I stopped everything. We didn't have a lot of help when we had kids." And metabolically, "After you have kids, you go through a lot of changes in your body."
It was a big shift, particularly for someone who has "always been a runner, my whole life. Running was always my stress recovery. Sometimes you need that time to yourself." But as a time-strapped new mom, "Everything kind of stops. You lose a lot of your self-image. When a woman goes through that, you get a little depressed."
These days, her kids are older, and she's brought more of her activity home, including their garage Endless Pool. She admits, "I used to hate swimming." These days, she looks forward to it.
"I call it 'my brain-dump time.' I can let my brain relax and let myself go and focus on what I'm doing. … It improved my self-image and improved my confidence in myself.
"Yes, the Endless Pool is a little costly, but we can just get up and get a swim workout done. It's been such a lifesaver for us."