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You can get into Masters swimming for many reasons, whether it’s because a friend who swims says how great it is or a doctor recommends it because of its incredible range of health benefits. But swimming can also be a fun family activity, a new article in U.S. Masters Swimming reports.

“When he was a kid, Joel Kincart worked as a lifeguard. He knew how to swim, but he never really trained as a swimmer or competed. It wasn’t until his own kids started swimming years later that he found himself taking steps forward in the sport.

Ten years ago, when his two kids joined the local club program, a handful of other parents invited him to swim some mornings with a local Masters program. It was a stressful time at work, and he says running was just making him feel more stressed and angrier. “It felt like all I did was pound my frustration,” he says.

Swimming was different, though. ‘Swimming was rhythmic and peaceful,’ says Kincart, 46. ‘You have to focus and think about it. I’m not a good enough swimmer to not focus.’

Getting in the water was a peaceful break each day for him to regroup, but pretty soon it was more than just a break. Swimming quickly became a big part of his life.

First, he got his coaching certificate so he could help out with one workout each week, because he was there and wanted to contribute. He also made friends and started to understand everything his kids went through in their training.

‘I developed a whole new appreciation for competitive swimming,’ he says, adding the experience gave him another way to connect with children, now 18 and 17. ‘I’m just grateful for swimming.’

Read the full article.