Different Strokes

Einstein offers approximately 60 clubs and interest groups for students and, in many cases, other members of the Einstein community. Over the past two years, among the new clubs established has been the Einstein Swim Club. Meeting on most Wednesday evenings throughout the year, club members learn proper swimming technique from Dr. Andreas Markmann, a Yale research scientist whose girlfriend, Alena Janda is a graduate student at Einstein.

A native of Germany, Dr. Markmann learned to swim at the age of 6 and has been swimming throughout his life, also enjoying other aquatic activities such as scuba diving, windsurfing, and underwater rugby. After taking swim technique classes from national level swimmers in Munich, Germany, he developed an interest in coaching. Encouraged by private coaching experiences with friends, two years ago he joined the volunteer staff at Einstein’s Falk Recreation Center, where he offers free swim classes that are open to all members of the Einstein community who are members of the center.

“Swimming is a great workout,” said Dr. Markmann. “When done properly, it is a safe and gentle way to exercise and improve your endurance. There are different ways to swim fast, and we stress using our muscles and relieving our joints.”

The club’s mission aims to encourage members of the Einstein community to take up and commit to swimming as a regular form of exercise. “We believe that swimming is an important life skill and that lap swimming can be a safe and healthy way to improve one's well-being,” noted Ms. Janda, who is one of the club’s founding members. “Andreas teaches all four popular swim styles -- freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly -- with an emphasis on healthy, sustainable execution and, for those who are interested, proper form for competitive speed.”

The lessons, which can be attended on a drop-in basis, offer a group learning experience for individuals at all levels, from non-swimmers to advanced swimmers. They consist of 40 minutes of drills followed by a 40-minute workout that is tailored to three levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced.

“We’ve got a track record of increasing pool usage at the Falk Recreation Center,” said Ms. Janda, “and we encourage efficient use of pool space by teaching lane etiquette.”

“I am happy to see that a lot of people have checked out our lessons, and quite a few have stayed and formed the core membership of the club, regular swimmers I really enjoy working out with,” added Dr. Markmann.

Club members have represented Einstein at open water swims and triathlons throughout the state of New York. The group is in the process of planning a swim-run event slated for sometime this summer, with funds raised supporting Einstein’s Community Health Outreach Clinic, or ECHO Clinic. For additional information about the Einstein Swim Club, visit http://sites.google.com/site/einsteinswim/home. And for questions or to learn whether classes are in session, e-mail einsteinswim@gmail.com.

Einstein Swim Club coach, Andreas Markmann, demonstrates proper stroke
Einstein Swim Club coach, Andreas Markmann, demonstrates proper stroke
Mastering the underwater glide at the start and turns of a lap
Mastering the underwater glide at the start and turns of a lap
Swim club members intent on learning
Swim club members intent on learning
 

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