Swimming the Distance
Meet Dr. Richard Flynn. He is a professor in the Literature and Philosophy Department at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Flynn loves to play the guitar and perform in some of Statesboro’s local eateries, but when he is not doing that, you can find him swimming in the Aquatics Center at the RAC.
Dr. Flynn began his participation in the swimming incentive programs in the spring of 2013 with “Swim 2 Break.” “Swim 2 Break” is a swimming program designed to get participants into Spring Break-shape by swimming to exotic destinations. In 2013, participants could choose Nassau, Bahamas for 8,000 yards or Cancun, Mexico for 16,000 yards. Dr. Flynn chose Cancun and he swam a whapping 47,400 yards. That’s 31,400 yards, or about 18 more miles than the 9 he was supposed to swim!
The fall offers a similar program, “Swim the SoCon,” and allows participants to swim for every touchdown the Georgia Southern Eagles score. Participants are divided into the Blue team or Gold team. Those in the Blue team swim 100 yards per touchdown scored and those in the Gold team swim 1,000 yards per touchdown. Without hesitation, Dr. Flynn participated and joined the Gold team. After a winning season with a record of 7-4, the Eagles scored enough touchdowns to make participants swim 54,000 yards, or about 30.5 miles. Dr. Flynn took the challenge and beat it by 44,700 yards for a total of 98,700 yards swam in 14 weeks. That’s just over 56 miles, which is almost exactly the distance between Statesboro and Savannah!
“I love being in the water and love how good I feel during and after I swim,” said Dr. Flynn. He added, “my breathing is much better and it helps with my arthritis as well. When I go to physical therapy, they say keep swimming, it’s the best exercise you can do.” Dr. Flynn has been a member of the RAC since 2010 and has been a regular swimmer since. A physical workout isn’t the only thing Dr. Flynn gets out of his swimming workouts. “I also do a lot of good thinking while I swim. Taking the time to take care of my body has helped my teaching and my writing.”
Dr. Flynn has decided to not only finish the swimming incentive programs, but also add a challenge of his own. “When the Eagles scored 11 touchdowns in their first game that was a real challenge. I swam 11,700 yards that first week and really felt a sense of accomplishment. After that, I kept a steady pace of 1,200 to 1,500 yards a day, giving myself game day off.” While swimming is enjoyable for Dr. Flynn, there are other factors that keep him coming back to the RAC. “I love the folks at the RAC. I always feel welcome from the moment I give them my ID at the front desk. But I am especially fond of the people in aquatics. The lifeguards are all very friendly and encouraging and they always offer warm greetings when I arrive.”