Frank clocks up 3 million metres
FRANK Green had a big reason to celebrate on Australia Day after clocking up his three millionth metre in training at the Isis Memorial Pool.
The 78-year-old former communications technician has been swimming at least 60 laps on weekdays, which amounts to about 2km each session.
His dedication to training has even included sessions on his birthdays, on which he has swum as many laps as he is old. This year he rounded out the occasion to 90 laps.
Mr Green has been swimming since September 1998, and with the length of the pool being 33.3m, he calculated his regime had added up to more than 3000km over the years.
“If you were to draw a line around the east coast and travel north, I’ve swum past Darwin,” he said.
He could barely swim a full lap when he started and since then, his only swimming aid has been a pair of goggles.
“I’ve done it without flippers or kickboards or other floating devices,” he said.
“You’re really cheating when you use those, aren’t you?”
For variety, each 10-lap cycle includes two laps of breaststroke and eight laps of freestyle.
“That gets a few different muscles working,” he said.
There is no fat on this lithe, agile and flexible septuagenarian, whose clear eyes and ready smile are testimony to the benefits of regular training.
“Frank’s dedication is a real example to us all,” Isis District Swimming Club coach and pool lessee Sue Warner said.
“He’s a real inspiration, especially to the young swimmers in the club.”
Mrs Warner said Mr Green’s good health was not an accident and most his age and younger should follow his lead.
“I know swimming’s not for everyone,” she said.
“But it places no strain on the joints, works nearly every muscle and is just great for the cardiovascular system.”
They say that behind every great man is a great woman, and such is the case with Mr Green, whose wife Dot has faithfully had his breakfast waiting for him every morning after he has returned from training.
Mrs Green started training with her husband in the early days, but decided she did not like swimming.
“She doesn’t really like the water that much,” Mr Green said.
Despite having achieved his goal, the keen swimmer said he fully intended to continue his training.
Both Australia Day and Mr Green’s achievement were celebrated by club members and other trainers at the pool.