Amanda Bedard has caught the swimming bug — not that she ever really lost it.
After the Old Massett resident achieved a Canadian Top 10 finish in the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the World Masters Championships (FINA) in Montréal earlier in August, Bedard is getting a head start on the Masters’ Canadian Nationals in 2015 and even the World Masters Games in April of 2017 to compete in the 35-39 age division in Auckland, New Zealand.
However, training to compete in these meets isn’t without its challenges.
“When I was a youth, I would practice seven to nine times a week in the pool plus dry land training. For a big meet like worlds, I would prepare with that [schedule] in mind for the entire training season,” she said.
Old Massett has no public access pool, so Bedard must cut back on the number of times she’s able to train down to a small fraction of what she would like.
“With no pool, I’m lucky to practice in a pool seven times every two months, if that. So I rely on dry land training and visualization,” she said.
Compared to the rest of the swimmers competing at worlds, Bedard thinks she’s surely one of the few who aren’t privileged with pool time whenever she would like it.
“I’m sure in this regard I was unique in the competition, with most swimmers having the privilege to train regularly,” she added.
What she does share with her competition is the responsibilities that go with training while maintaining a job and a family – obstacles that weren’t present in her younger days when she attended youth nationals in 1992 and 1993.
Bedard swam to a 19th-place finish in the 100m breaststroke and 21st in the 50m. Her goal is to be in the top three for the 100m breaststroke race at Canadian Nationals next year. She also hopes to bring along fellow Masters swimmers Cheryl Paavola of Prince Rupert and Sheena Bartel of Kitimat to compete in a relay race to represent B.C.’s northwest region against the country’s best next May.