Get to know the AGUA Masters Swim Team outside of the pool. Learn how Masters members got involved in the sport, hobbies outside of the pool, favorite memories, fun facts, and more. 

Cindy Halim

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? Unlike most Masters swimmers I know, I did not grow up swimming. I grew up dancing. I started swimming on my own in my 20s because I thought I'd enjoy it, and I did. I then ran into some people at the pool that suggested that I joined their Masters team. I'm not a competitive swimmer, maybe because I didn't grow up with it. I consider myself a social athlete. I like working out/doing things with others. Not only is it more fun, but it also helps motivate me. I just moved to NYC from the DC area in June. Back home, I swam with Alexandria Masters, and we had a very close-knit community. We swam, we hung out, traveled, and did things together. Now, I'm hoping to make new friends in NYC too! 
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool?  I live in FiDi and work in the area, so I've been going to the Battery Park City campus. I've only been three times total so far (still trying to find a new routine). Back home I used to swim four to six mornings a week. I loved our Saturday morning practices because after that we would go to breakfast, so I hope one day I'll get to hang out with all of you guys here.
  3. What is your day job? I just started a new job as the head of digital product management as part of the technology team at a media company, which is the reason I moved here.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I am so addicted to travel. I've been going to SwimTrek, and this year will be my third. The past two years, I went to Greece. The first one was the Cyclades trip, and I went through Santorini (it was OK, not a big fan of touristy places) and Naxos (much better). The swim started at Schinoussa, a cute little island/town, and we ended up at Kouffinisi (my favorite Greek island so far, a small town, gorgeous clear turquoise water, friendly locals and amazing food). The second trip was to Milos via Athens (great sightseeing but way too touristy for me). This Fall I'm going to Montenegro with my friends for another SwimTrek. This spring, I went to the Big Island of Hawaii. It's always been one of my favorite places on earth. Kayaking and swimming with dolphins at Kealakekua Bay is always fun. The volcano has always been fascinating, but this time especially due to the recent changes in the eruption. Then there is this place in Kona called Da Poke Shack that has the best poke. Too many great places to mention. Scotland, particularly Isle of Skye, is also one of my favorite places. I've done coasteering there and a lot of hiking. It's breathtakingly beautiful, can't wait to go back there. I've been to Edinburgh, Stirling, Oban, and Inverness too. Actually, I would love pretty much any city in Scotland. London is nice too, great food. And Japan - Kyoto was my favorite. It was beautiful, and of course the food was amazing. I could keep going... Next year I'm going to Bali for my brother's wedding, so I'll spend some time exploring Bali as well as Nusa Penida (the island nearby). Always looking for travel buddies, so if anyone is interested, let me know!
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? I actually like to sleep, so how about if I didn't have to work? Travel, travel, and travel! My dream one day is to give up my primary residence and live out of a suitcase in cities around the world a couple of weeks at a time. But for now, if I didn't have to work so much, I'd like to find a new routine and work out more regularly, and make new friends to do things with.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? Err... I don't really pay attention much to music, I'd listen to whatever Alexa plays for me.
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Flying trapeze, travel, food (cook and/or eat), outdoor/active stuff.
  8. What is your claim to fame? I am known for my love of food, cooking, and traveling. And I'm pretty decent at knowing how to maximize credit card points and airline miles.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Something they're scared of.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Work out - trying to get back to that routine!
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Hmmm... was "bacon for every meal" ever a trend? Well it should be. 

Yan de Guardia

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I love surfing. I grew up in Mauritius Island, close to the ocean. I used go to the beach every day. Then, I moved to Europe and spent 11 years in Geneva, Switzerland (it was far from the ocean). After a few years living in Geneva, I could afford for my first surf trip, which turned out to be a disaster. It was impossible to paddle and get waves like I used to—too much cheese probably. From there, I decided to swim on a regular basis. When I moved to New York last year, being two blocks away from Asphalt Green, I decided to join AGUA Masters. It was clearly a step up in terms of volume and technique—I love it and am kind of addicted now. I have registered my two sons in Asphalt Green's youth swim in September. Let’s hope they will catch the swim bug as well.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Upper East Side noon or morning practices, depending on my schedule for the day.
  3. What is your day job? I have been a cotton trader my last five years in Geneva, which required traveling a lot in Africa. The move to NYC is to follow my wife who had an expatriation opportunity. I have therefore taken the chance to try to be the best dad for a year. But in September, back to work—let's see what NYC will have to offer.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I had the chance to cover several countries in Africa: Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. I was always in regions where no tourist will ever go, and it was really special. Zimbabwe clearly stood out due to the political regime in place, creating an extreme atmosphere. But for vacation, Bali is my No. 1 destination for its people, food, landscape, and waves.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Read, read, and read. So much knowledge is available through books and online through personal blogs.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? Each year we are adding one layer, so I had my period of being a big fan of Queens, Nirvana, and Jack Johnson. Since I moved to NYC, I have a French-speaking nostalgia, so I have been playing a young French artist nonstop named Juliette Armanet.
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Surfing. I have been few times at Rockaway, but if you want some advice for the Maldives/Bali/France Southwest and soon Costa Rica in Guanacaste, do not hesitate to reach out. Running. Being in Geneva we were really close to the mountains and did some trail running. My hardest was a 50k race with over 4,000-meters ascending and descending. It took me 12 hours to complete. Sharing food and wine with friends is also probably one of my favorite things. If I am in front of a homemade dark chocolate mousse, be careful, I will finish it if you are not eating it.
  8. What is your claim to fame? Mauritius is a small island, and my older brother was in advertising. I appeared in three local TV commercials. It was so fun to see your face on TV when you are 5 years old.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Diving while whales are singing; even though you do not see them, you have an incredible sensation just listening to them.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Big hug from the kids, but if they go to their mum, which is the case most of the time, a good black coffee.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Enjoy the ongoing good moments without a selfie.

Win Chesson

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? Endorphins, community, and sunshine during long-course outdoor workouts.  I love that competing keeps me traveling to new places and that there is a strong correlation between how hard/smart you train and how fast you go.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Battery Park City. Any time but mornings!
  3. What is your day job? Investment advisor.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Myanmar, where my sister lived for five years helping advance women’s rights.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Actually finish the New Yorker, learn to cook.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be?  “All I do is Win”
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool?  Podcast listening at 2x speed, Broadway theater, trampolines.
  8. What is your claim to fame? Tyra Banks interviewed me on live television...as a drag queen!
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Bike across the country!
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Waking without an alarm.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Civility, kindness, and moral courage.

Eric Bader

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport?  A: My wife swears it’s that I have a built-in excuse to wear a speedo. B:  About four years ago I saw an Ironman promo video and thought it would be a good idea to do a triathlon, so I registered for the NYC Triathlon without knowing how to swim. I had to learn how to swim if I was going to do that race, and here we are today.
  2. When can the team find you in the pool? I swim mornings at the Upper East Side campus.
  3. What is your day job? Senior Vice President, Director of Finance at Rosenthal and Rosenthal, Inc., the largest privately held factor and finance company in the United States.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Siem Reap, Cambodia.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? What is sleep? If there were more hours in the day I would probably spend it with my family, watch some TV or read a book, and maybe figure out a way to relax.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? "Eye of The Tiger" from Rocky.
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Running, cycling, traveling, eating, cooking.
  8. What is your claim to fame? I used to be an artist (a starving one) and showed in galleries across the country. I did classical realist oil paintings—still life’s and portraits.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? See NYC from a helicopter.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Long bike ride, followed with a gigantic cup of coffee (think at least twice the size of what you’re thinking now) and an everything bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomatoes and onions, some chocolate babka, and of course, enjoying all of that with my family.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Hotdogger. 

Marc Lener

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? When I am in shape, which is getting more and more elusive as I get older, I love the mixture of tranquility, confidence, and power that I experience as I take each stroke. My favorite experience is swimming a hard workout outside during a sunset. I started swimming competitively when I was 7 years old at the Mount Kisco Marlins. As a young kid, I was deathly afraid of the swimming pool. With help from my swim instructor and first swim coach, I overcame my fear and found that I was quite fast in the pool. I remained a competitive USS swimmer for the Marlins throughout grade school and [competed] on the varsity swimming team at The University of Pennsylvania.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Upper East Side, mostly during noon practices when I can get away from work duties; sometimes in the morning if I can’t find consecutively free noon times to swim.
  3. What is your day job? I am a practicing psychiatrist as well as founder and CEO of Singula Institute, a precision medicine mental health care clinical research institute, clinic, and social impact community.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? My favorite swimming-related traveling experience was when I was able to do a swim workout in the Olympic pool in Barcelona.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Swim, spend quality time with friends and family, work on ushering the mental health startup to success!
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? Tubthumping
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Sleep.
  8. What is your claim to fame? We will see...
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Take a calculated risk that scares the crap out of you and then learn what comes from it.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Long sleep and a long time to sip on Coffee.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Spending real physical time with people rather than relying too heavily on virtual experiences; in this way, there are no edits, do-overs, or covers.

Salil Rajadhyaksha

  1. What do you love most about swimming? It's very refreshing.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I usually swim in the morning at Battery Park City.
  3. What is your day job? I am a software engineer.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I just got back from San Diego, and I thought it was really beautiful.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Probably work three days a week and take a break for the remainder of the week!
  6. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I like to explore new places.
  7. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Work and live in a different country; it widens your perspective in life.
  8. What is the best way to start the day? Gym/swim
  9. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Hummer (I always dreamed of owning one)

Rafa Flores

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? My parents first introduced swimming to me at a very young age, and what I found to love the most are the great friendships I have been able to create over the years. 
  2. When can the team find you in the pool? It has been a long time since I have been able to swim consistently, but I try to hop in when I can at Battery Park City. 
  3. What is your day job? I work at Asphalt green as a Masters Coach, and I oversee the Waterproofing Program at its Battery Park City [campus].
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica, and I experienced zip lining for the first time. I highly recommend it! The thrill and beauty of the experience was amazing!
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? If I didn’t have to sleep, I would catch up on every trending Netflix Show.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? "WIN" by Jay Rock
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I like to ride bikes and go for long runs (I will be participating in the NYC Tri!
  8. What is your claim to fame? I rode a single-speed bike in last year’s New York Tri. (I’ll be renting a bike this year.)
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Travel! Something I am currently working on.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Coffee. I am looking forward to switching back to iced coffee.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Good rom-coms.

Chris Harris

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? Swimming is a rare zen moment for me where I get to block out the daily stressors of work, family life, and living in New York. For a brief time, I am 100 percent focused on breathing, stroke technique, body position, etc., and everything else falls away. Swimming creates balance for me and, though fleeting, gives me total peace of mind. I started swimming when I was 4 years old. I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is a big swimming town. Basically everyone I knew was a swimmer, so I don’t consciously remember choosing to learn to swim. It was just something everyone I knew did.  
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I swim in the mornings on the Upper East Side.
  3. What is your day job? Investment banking
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Le Mont Saint Michel, an eighth-century fortified, floating monastery surrounded by quick sand, off the coast of Normandy, France, ranks pretty high on the list. 
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? I would find another way to relax.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? This question is too hard. No one song can sum up an entire life. I have a rotating selection of songs that fits that bill, which on any given day can include some (or all) of the following and countless others: Under Pressure, Queen/David Bowie; CREAM, Wu-Tang Clan; Family Affair, Mary J. Blige; People Are People, Depeche Mode; Feeling Good, Nina Simone; Over My Head, The Fray; I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, U2
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I speak French and love wine. My daughter’s middle name is Margaux.
  8. What is your claim to fame? I look for balance in my life. The inertia of life naturally tilts you toward extremes, so actively seeking balance requires a conscious effort. I still haven’t found it but am looking (hence the U2 song above).
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Karaoke in front of a large crowd of highly opinionated strangers.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Swimming followed by espresso and breakfast with a peaceful walk home.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? MC Hammer pants.

 

Kelly Kearns 

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I love that it’s both an individual sport and a team sport. We set individual goals with objective measures of performance and success, but at the same time rely heavily on our teammates to help us achieve those goals by keeping us motivated and pushing us to practice harder. I first gave swimming a shot after struggling with a lot of other sports (I have zero hand-eye coordination). I immediately felt very at home in the pool and never looked back.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I swim in the mornings at Battery Park City, but I hope to make it to the Upper East Side soon for one of those two-hour Saturday morning practices!
  3. What is your day job? I’m an actuary at an insurance company…kind of like Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly except I underwrite pension plans that other companies want to sell to us rather than individual life insurance policies.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Cape Town, South Africa. I thought it was so cool that you could be swimming in the ocean and at the same time staring straight at the mountains. The food, wine, people, animals, and scenery were all incredible, and I hope to get back there one day!
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Read more books. I love reading, but it’s the first thing I end up sacrificing when life gets busy. My favorite genres are historical fiction and mysteries – recommendations welcome!
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? "Won’t Back Down" (Tom Petty).
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Running and traveling. I also love trying new foods and NYC is the perfect city for that!
  8. What is your claim to fame? Disclaimer: this is pretty nerdy. My high school had a competition to see who could memorize the most digits of pi and the winner got a free pizza and a 2L bottle of coke. I memorized 500, but I think this record has since been beaten.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Take a two-week (or more!) vacation. It’s the minimum amount of time you need to fully check out and come back feeling refreshed.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Swimming – duh! Followed by coffee and avocado toast topped with poached eggs #unashamedmillenial
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? I am happy with a lot of the 80s trends that have already made a comeback – though I am also happy they’ve been toned down a bit (velvet, ruffles, off-the-shoulder, big sleeves, etc.)!

Jamie Titak

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I love swimming because you work all your muscles, it is really fun and I love being in the water. I had been a dancer for most of my life and got bored of Ballet and wanted to try something new.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Upper East Side at noon.
  3. What is your day job? I am a healthcare IT consultant and go to NYU Stern part-time for my MBA.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Russia.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Read, travel, do homework, swim and train my dog.
  6. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Reading, running, training my dog.
  7. What is your claim to fame? I was the fastest girl at my military camp in the 50-yard freestyle when I was 15.
  8. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Travel to different countries and experience other cultures.
  9. What is the best way to start the day? A walk with my German Shepherd.
  10. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Overalls, but they are already coming back.

Tony Renshaw

Tony grew up swimming outside of Albany, NY, back in the pre-Asphalt Green days when it was a mystery how the New York City region at the Empire State Games had such fast swimmers without decent pools in the city. Today, he swims in the morning at the Upper East Side campus, where (fortunately) the swimmers don’t seem to mind that he can’t count laps. During the day, he works for a small financial software company downtown, where his co-workers are just as confused about what he does as his lane mates are during a workout. His claim to fame is likely his house on Maui, which has led to completely unrealistic expectations about beaches. He enjoys the beaches here in New York but is mystified why anyone would actually go in that cold, cold water, let alone swim out to some lonesome buoy half a mile offshore.

Dan Dickerson

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I first got started in the sport as a five year old when I jumped in the neighborhood pool to play with my buddies and not really knowing how to swim. In order to stay water safe, my mom thought it would be a good idea to enroll me in swim lessons. While I eventually ended up diving in college, the thing I love the most about swimming is the ability to work every muscle in your body without consciously doing so.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I typically swim three times a week at nights at the Upper East Side campus. 
  3. What is your day job? I work for JPMorgan in Corporate Derivatives Structuring for Foreign Exchange.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Southern Spain - I wrote my senior thesis on the influence of Moorish conquest on southern Spain’s architecture. La Alhambra is a must see if you’ve never been!
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? It’s a toss up between golfing or skiing - really moved on to the leisure sports post college athletics.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? Blink 182, "What’s My Age Again?" Mentally I feel 21 years old but definitely can’t party like it anymore.
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I was in a band for a couple of years out of college, but I’d say my hobbies are now split between golf, tennis, skiing, and traveling.
  8. What is your claim to fame? Besides convincing my wife Kate to marry a bonehead like me, I was fortunate enough to serve as the captain of the Princeton University Swimming and Diving Team. In a sport that lacks diversity, it really meant alot to me to be able to serve as Princeton’s first African American team captain as well as the first African American to win an individual Ivy League title  for diving. Most importantly, the friendships I forged along the way will last me a lifetime - my closest friends to this day are my former teammates.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Try a food they’d typically be too grossed out to eat.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Making the bed! No matter what you do from that point on, you’ve at least accomplished one thing that day.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Boy bands - if you don’t love a little 'NSync or Backstreet Boys then you’re kidding yourself.

Tom Cole 

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I got started in competitive swimming in high school—was going to go out for the basketball team, but at the last minute a friend convinced me to go out for the swimming team, even though I had never swum competitively, and our high school did not have a pool.  I love the social aspect of meeting interesting people, and I love that you can measure your progress (or decline) very specifically.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Upper East Side mornings
  3. What is your day job? I run leveraged finance at Citibank (work with private equity and non-investment grade corporate clients).
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled?  Love everywhere I have traveled in Italy--last year Lake Como, this year, Tuscany. Great food, wine, and people.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? If I didn't sleep I would read more and hang out with friends.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? Don't Worry, Be Happy
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I run a men's ministry Thursday mornings for over 100 guys--would love to have some Masters swimmers join us. We have a guest speaker each week discuss his or her life story— trying to help men to be better husbands, fathers, friends, and sons.
  8. What is your claim to fame? Toss up—survived two heart attacks in the last five years while swimming at Asphalt Green. Or, first high school swimmer in Illinois to break 21 in the 50 (20.9), 46 in the 100 (45.6), and 50 in the 100 fly (49.9). 
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Get to know people from all walks of life. I have learned a lot from people who have been homeless, spent time in prison, and lived in an orphanage. Everyone has a story, and we can learn from everyone's life journey.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Hearing Stella talk about her dates—from the guy in his 20s to the guy who will soon turn 80.  Her book is going to be amazing.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? 9am-5pm workday and no cell phones.

 

Gene Schloss

How Gene got into swimming: I was mostly a runner [growing up]. However, with a titanium knee, swimming is much more forgiving on the joints. I started swimming on my high school swim team. Then, as now, I was not too speedy (that is a euphemism for slow), but I really enjoy the exercise almost as much as the camaraderie engendered by our interesting and friendly group.

When you can find Gene in the pool: I swim at noon on Tuesday and Thursday on the Upper East Side.

Favorite travel experience: One of my more interesting travel experiences was In Morocco where we slept in a tent and rode on a camel (I’d rather smoke one than ride one).

Day job: I am a retired consulting actuary. I owned a pension consulting firm. It was an interesting, challenging and rewarding business. I was responsible for deciding how to structure and fund an employee's future retirement so that together with Social Security and personal funds she/he could retire with some assurance that they would be financially comfortable.

Stella Dellamora

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport?  I love the people that make me laugh and push me to swim faster. And, mortifying Coach Craig by saying ridiculous things. I started swimming when I was in grade school.  I think my parents liked the babysitting it provided so they could play tennis. I swam competitively through college.  No more meets for me, though. Now I just swim for fitness and fun.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Mornings! Upper East Side!
  3. What is your day job? I help people be more awesome by finding order and balance in their personal and professional lives. I help leaders make the hard stuff easier- mostly in schools.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled?  I travel all the time.  Just back from a SwimTrek trip to the Maldives with past AGUA coach Craig Keller and past AGUA swimmer Allison Coley Keller. That was pretty interesting and fabulous!
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?  I like to sleep.  It’s the only time I slow down and turn my brain off. I’d use my extra time to sleep.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be?  The Jaws theme song
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Fashion! Travel! Writing! Reading! Baking!
  8. What is your claim to fame? Other than just being Stella?  My mom and I are currently racing in all 50 states. In less than three years, we have done running races in 23 states.  By the end of June we will be at 29.  Shortest= 5Ks. Longest = half marathons and a half marathon-distance Tough Mudder.  My mom is a bada**! I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? See a sunrise and a sunset from a boat in the middle of the ocean, where you can’t see anything but water and sky.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Trying to keep up with Geoff and Jordan in the pool.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Bob Bliss actually showing up at swim practice. 

 

Sarida Muslow

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I love all the friends I met swimming, the places I have traveled, and the overall challenge. My dad wanted me to do something athletic and it was swimming or tennis. I was a much better swimmer, so I continued to swim competitively. 
  2. When can the Masters team find you coaching? I coach in the morning on the Upper East Side.
  3. What is your day job? I work full time at a nonprofit, and I am part-time student getting my Postbaccalaureate. 
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Stavanger, Norway
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Spend more time with my family
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? Livin' La Vida Loca
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I am trying out running. I am not very good at it, but I like doing the races around the city.
  8. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Move somewhere new
  9. What is the best way to start the day? Coffee, two dates, and a workout
  10. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Postcards

Tony Labozzetta

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I joined masters originally to improve my triathlon swimming. Now I swim for the workouts and to watch the faster swimmers in the next lane leave me in the dust.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Upper East Side mornings. My legs stop moving after 5pm.
  3. What is your day job? President of a Manhattan-based real estate development company, rehabilitated attorney.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I’ve hiked the Dolomites, cycled the Alps, walked the Old City in Jerusalem, all memorable.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Sleep more.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? "Deacon Blues" by Steely Dan (I have no idea why)
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Cycling, golf, bourbon, my family.
  8. What is your claim to fame? I was never on the cover of "Time Magazine."
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Sing in a karaoke bar.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Get out of bed.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Manual transmissions. I despise automatic.

 

Paola Ulloa

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I love the combination of freshness [and] my heart rate [increasing] progressively while I am trying to breathe—it's like joy and pain. I am not a ‘real’ swimmer; I [learned] with my parents. When I was a kid we were [did] family competitions at the pool, and I loved to spend hours there. My hometown is warm the entire year, so I was in the pool every weekend. I started swimming more seriously when I started doing triathlon in 2015.
  2. When and where do you swim? At morning, noon or night? Upper East Side or Battery Park? Mornings at the Upper East Side campus, but now with the upcoming tri season I am trying some evening swims. 
  3. What is your day job? I work in marketing insights at Coty for Hair Care Brands, a Beauty company with Headquarters here in New York.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I have traveled to some interesting places, but my favorite place ever was Barcelona, Spain. I wish I can leave there someday.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Probably sleep more, study a new subject, write a book (a dream to do it), and go out more.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? I don’t know, but I love Colombian music (like Carlos Vives, or salsa, or vallenato) 
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Run and bike. Now skiing is becoming a thing and kitesurfing is the new sport. I also like to listen podcasts about new business models/strategy/entrepreneurship.
  8. What is your claim to fame? “Commit yourself to your goals and go after it: stay dedicated, preserved, and work hard for it…but always smiling.”
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Skydiving (I still have not done it, but I promise to do it this year).
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Coffee + banana + sport (swim, bike, or run). I don’t know what do to when I wake up and don’t need to do any training. It's nerdy, but I like to feel active in the morning.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? The 80s!

Maura Hanlon-Grossi

  1. What do you love most about swimming?  Why did you get started in the sport?  I love being submerged in the water and feel the movement of my body glide through the water. I can block out the rest of the world and relax. I love the benefits your body gets from swimming. I feel strong, alive, and ready for anything. As a child I spent summers on Long lsland and my parents put me in the Red Cross classes to learn how to swim. I enjoyed swimming in the ocean and body surfing the waves. Years later, as a physical education major, I took up swimming again and worked part time through college as a lifeguard and water safety instructor at the Central YMCA in Queens. I stopped swimming for 10 years and began running marathons instead. Eventually I found my way to triathlons for a few years until the birth of my two children, when swimming went on the back shelf for a while. About 13 years ago when registering my children for swim classes at the Asphalt Green I came upon the Masters team and have been swimming ever since.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I swim at the Upper East Side campus at noon.
  3. What is your day job? I am a health and wellness nurse coach and reflexologist. I have a small practice here on the Upper East Side. I previously worked for 20 years at New York University Langone Medical Center as management in the operating room, cardiovascular, and orthopedic services.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Last year I finally went with my husband to Paris, the city of love and good wine!
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?  Read and exercise more!
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? “I’m Still Standing” by Elon John
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I enjoy traveling to new places. I love to read and belong to a few book clubs. I take yoga classes a few times per week and walk my dog, Theo, a few miles every morning. I am also right now immerged in learning Spanish. Oh, and I love to dance.
  8. What is your claim to fame? Having a good sense of humor (you have to, to raise two teenagers in NYC) and being married to my husband for almost 26 years).
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Run a marathon
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Exercise of course! I walk my goldendoodle, Theo, 5 miles in the park, rain or shine!
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Bell-bottoms!

Corrine Jenkins

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I started swimming when I was 5 [years old], and I don’t think I was given much a choice - my parents put me on the swim team, and I never looked back. But the thing that drew me back to the pool after a nearly three-year hiatus was the camaraderie. I’ve made my best friends on the pool deck my whole life, and I really missed having a team. And let’s face it - anyone who chooses to jump in the pool, in the middle of winter, before the sun comes up is of a special breed and the kind of person I want to have around me. Swimming is also the best escape - it’s amazing what peace I get from an hour staring at a black line. 
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Mornings at Battery Park City, plus the occasional Saturday in the Upper East Side when I’m feeling particularly motivated. 
  3. What is your day job? I work in equity research covering small/mid cap biotechnology stocks at Goldman Sachs
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I did a six-week backpacking trip after college, mostly in Eastern Europe. I especially enjoyed Poland.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Read more – recommendations are welcome.  
  6. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I love to ski, cook, do yoga, and watch college football (roll tide!).  
  7. What is your claim to fame? I can do the splits. 
  8. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Travel alone.
  9. What is the best way to start the day? Swimming! 

Alister Ramírez Márquez

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? My teammates and meets. I started because I had the fantasy that if I would swim, my children would continue in the water.  They stopped at 12 and I began my incredible journey.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I started 8 years ago, but I never swam before. I swim at noon and some days at night. Upper East Side.
  3. What is your day job? I am a professor of Hispanic American Literature and language at CUNY, and I’m also a writer.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Vietnam and Cambodia.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Write a historical novel on War War I, with Manhattan as the main character.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? I don’t have a particular song, but I like Colombian and Mexican cumbias, you can hear a mixture of the African percussion, the European strings, and the influence of Indian wind instruments. It’s powerful.   
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Italian and French films from the 60s, traveling and seeing the European prints and drawing collection of the MET. 
  8. What is your claim to fame? One of my novels was awarded an international prize in Chile.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Read War and Peace by Tolstoy, and if you don’t like to read, to eat cheese cake that my wife made.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Planning what I’m going to focus on during swimming practice.
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? A cool Remington typewriter.

Geoff Pitt

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I started swimming as a teenager and swam competitively through college. With a few breaks after, I have kept swimming since I find it a most efficient form of exercise.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Upper East Side mornings
  3. What is your day job?  I am a cardiologist with a primary focus on basic research and disease mechanisms.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled?  Denmark with my wife—Copenhagen is a great city; and Greece with the family—the islands are beautiful, and the historic sites are great.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?  I like sleep. Not sure I want to give it up.
  6. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Learn a second language.
  7. What is the best way to start the day? Swimming, breakfast, nap.
  8. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Seeing people walk down the street or ride in an elevator without interacting with their phone.

Margarite Yuelys

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I love that it can be an individual sport and a team sport all at one time. It is about supporting each other to be [our] best no matter what that is. I started swimming competitively in high school because I wanted to do something different and I love being in the water.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I [swim] nights on the Upper East Side.
  3. What is your day job? I teach high school math. The best part of my job is working with the kids.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I lived in Greece for six months in college and this let me travel to some remote places in the country and see some cool things.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Read or swim. In the summer I am known for not getting out of the water.
  6. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? I normally talk about one of four things: my family, my friends, Greece, and the Giants. Although it is not a hobby, my life revolves around the people in my life.
  7. What is your claim to fame? I tend to have random solutions to random problems. When this happens I like to say, "All I do is win."
  8. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Sit down with the matriarch or patriarch of [his or her] family and have them tell you the history of your family. I really enjoy listening to the stories of the past.
  9. What is the best way to start the day? The best way to start the day is by going to the gym, even if it is hard. 
  10. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? I am not quite trendy so I am not sure if I want any to come back. Though I do miss music that isn't rap being popular. 

Kevin Schaub

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I love the feeling of the water and pushing myself to make times and new goals. I got into swimming when my oldest brother started and had to follow along in his footsteps.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I swim in the morning at [Asphalt Green's] Battery Park City campus!
  3. What is your day job? I work at Mediacom in media investment.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? I have ben to the updated 1976 Olympic pool in Montreal. The pool is an architectural achievement.
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Learn to play an instrument (would make me immensely cooler).
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? "Blue" by Eiffel 65. I liked the color blue so much as a kid that my family to this day only gets me blue-colored clothing.
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Writing and watching television.
  8. What is your claim to fame? My mac and cheese is very delicious but [also] so artery clogging [that] it will probably give you a heart attack.
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Compete in a triathlon due to its demanding training.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? With a morning swim!
  11. What fad or trend do you hope comes back? Jean shorts—I rocked those in middle school.

Jonathan Horowitz

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? I swam in high school, and I took up swimming again when I started training for triathlons in 2009.  I really enjoy the camaraderie and the “collective suffering” during swim practice.  I also find the other Masters swimmers to be an interesting, accomplished, and engaging group of folks.
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? I generally swim in the evening practices on the Upper East Side during the week, and I swim on Saturday mornings as well.
  3. What is your day job? I am a Managing Director in the Chief Investment Office of J.P. Morgan Chase.  I am a portfolio manager responsible for some of the fixed income structured product portfolios.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? By far the most interesting place I have traveled is Morocco. 
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Learn foreign languages and catch up on my reading.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? "Material Girl" by Madonna (I have 3 daughters).
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Triathlons, boxing and barbecuing.
  8. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Scuba diving.
  9. What is the best way to start the day? Any kind of exercise, followed by a big breakfast.

Doug Mark 

  1. What do you love most about swimming? Why did you get started in the sport? [I love] the combination of the individual and team aspect of the sport. As an individual, it’s up to you to show up and take on the challenge of refining your technique and pushing your fitness. When racing, it’s all on you to get it done. However, a great team makes it fun, and it’s encouraging and inspiring to feed off your teammates. I especially love Masters because while each of us might be there for different reasons and have various goals, everyone who shows up to swim wants to be there! I first joined a competitive swim team at age 7 because my older siblings did it. It became a way of life through collegiate swimming.  Fun fact: As far as I know, I swam in the first-ever swim meet in the Upper East Side Asphalt Green pool as an age group swimmer (a dual meet between my team, the Flushing Y Flyers, and the newly formed AGUA, which was primarily the combination of two other teams we often swam against - GAK and the West Side Y).
  2. When can your teammates find you in the pool? Weeknights on the Upper East Side.
  3. What is your day job? Fixed income trader and portfolio manager.
  4. Where is the most interesting place you have traveled? Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  5. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Explore the outdoors—probably chasing snow or on an adventurous hike.
  6. If you had to pick one song that sums up your life, what would it be? “Teach Me How to Dougie”
  7. What are your hobbies outside of the pool? Snowboarding, hiking, running, being a disappointed Mets fan.
  8. What is your claim to fame? Was a contestant or gumshoe on the early 90s kids TV gameshow “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” (episode is posted on YouTube)
  9. What is one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Hike to the top of a mountain.
  10. What is the best way to start the day? Get outside and watch the sunrise.