Kirk Frieden

Gerry was my first coach.  He was the reason that I kept coming back every morning for another workout.  I had just turned 50 and felt it was time I started to get in shape and stay healthy.

Gerry was always at the pool on time, full of energy and passion.  He always had a smile and was ready to go.  He had our routine memorized and always put a lot of thought into it.  I found the workouts challenging and interesting.  He had the ability to make an hour and a half workout seem like an hour.  During the workouts, I was amazed at how Gerry always knew what everyone was doing, what stage they were at in their routine, and how fast each lane was moving.  It was mind boggling he could do that with eight lanes going at different speeds.

Now that six years has passed, swimming has become a wonderful part of my life.  I am in the best shape I have ever been in. When I get out of the pool I always feel great! I consider myself fortunate to have found swimming, and even more fortunate to have started with Gerry as my coach.  If he had not been there to inspire and to push me my first few years of swimming I do not know if I would still be swimming today.  He got me over the hump and into the groove!  I am thankful for all his guidance, encouragement, and advice from day one. He related swimming to my profession which helped me immensely.  He taught me many things, but the two things I remember most were: swim like you’re six feet tall (meaning stretch out long); and I should not gauge myself by the person in the lane next to me… the race should only be between me and the clock.

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