By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY — Amy Brown swam more than half the length of the Ohio River in 2012, but she didn’t have to dodge driftwood or barges to do it.
Brown participated in the YMCA of Floyd County’s 100-mile swim club. The registered dietitian and exercise physiologist at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services finished 2012 as the leader of the club, logging 532.22 miles at the YMCA’s Aquatic Center. She notched her mileage in one of the six lap lanes at the Y.
“I get a lot of support from my husband and family,” said Brown, who has two children, ages 6 and 8. “I could not do it without their support.”
Brown said she swam in high school and was a lifeguard in her younger days. She said she got away from the sport when she started a family but decided to get back into the pool since other forms of exercise — like jogging — were becoming too hard on her body.
“It’s amazing to see her dedication,” said Wendy Winter, aquatics director at the YMCA. “She swims forever and ever.”
Brown, 43, said she swims four to five days per week, and usually begins around 5:30 a.m. before she begins her work day. She said she swims around an hour and a half each time out, and this year hopes to log between 600 and 700 miles.
“I was getting more aches and pains working out, but felt better after swimming,” she said.
Winter said there are between 80 and 100 swimmers who participate in the 100-mile swim club. The YMCA recently held a party to honor those who made it to the century mark. The swimmers log their miles or laps after completing their time and Winter and her staff keep a tally and send out updates to those in the club.
In 2012, 20 swimmers ended with 100-plus miles; seven ended with 200-plus miles and four ended with 300-plus miles. At their party at the YMCA recently, the group received T-shirts for their accomplishments.
“It’s our way of a check and balance and a way to encourage them to come back and do it again,” Winter said. “They get that email every month and maybe see where they are not progressing as quickly, maybe that will inspire them. And it may inspire others to swim. That is our goal, we are all about a healthier community.”
Brown said she enjoys being part of the club, and is proud of her accomplishment.
“I have always been active. My parents helped instill that in me,” she said. “I enjoy swimming.”