My Name Is... Marriott Smart

Wind Crest resident is new swimmer


About me

I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but my dad moved a lot, so I never was any place very long. When my husband and I got married, we did the same thing until we moved to Colorado in 1979. We moved to Wind Crest in 2017 from Centennial.

I studied geology at the University of Texas. Then I went to the University of Pittsburgh and got my library science degree. I worked as a librarian for Gulf Oil Corporation. I wasn’t a traditional librarian — I was always with a company.

We have two daughters, a granddaughter and a grandson.

Learning to swim

Our daughters were both competitive swimmers. They started when they were 5 years old. We watched swimming a lot but I could never do more than a sidestroke. My parents tried to give me lessons but I was never around water enough to learn.

The first chance I had was at Wind Crest, which has a pool. I decided when I got here that I was going to learn how to swim. Ann Hall, who is a fitness trainer, said she would teach me if I tried. I learned freestyle and the backstroke. I may decide to learn others.

When I was trying to swim at first, I was pretty much swallowing water. I wasn’t very good. I really didn’t have any technique. I’ve been taking lessons off and on since August. I didn’t tell my daughters that I was learning to swim until December, when one of them came and watched me.

No pressure

I love being in the water. The water is wonderful, especially when you’re old. It doesn’t hurt anything. There is no pressure. I ran for 30 years and eventually that stops because you wear out everything. My muscles had to get used to swimming but I don’t have any problems. I have some arthritis in one shoulder and it’s really helped that.

I try to swim at least every other day.

My message

I’m 83 years old. I want people to know that they can do anything they want. After I learned to swim, I thought, my goal is to tell people to go out there and try it. Just because they are in a senior facility doesn’t mean they can’t do a challenge.

Fun fact

My husband and I have been married for 60 years.

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