SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, October 15. IT was a beautiful fall morning at the Cactus Aquatic Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. At 7 a.m., a small group of swimmers arrived at the outdoor pool with the pleasant morning temps in the mid 60s. Water temp was estimated to be about 83 degrees.
This was no ordinary Saturday morning workout for this small band of renegades as they prepared for the fifth annual "Hour of Power" swim. The only question in everyone's mind was, "will I be able to complete the swim this year".
At 7:16 after the group had completed a light warm-up, the "Hour of Power" began.
It might be helpful to explain what the "Hour of Power" is. It is a pretty simple single set that takes exactly one hour to complete.
60 x 25yds Fly on a 1:00 minute interval…and each 25 is a no breather.
After each group of 10 swims, one of the participants jumps up on the blocks to sing their college, high school, or elementary school fight song before the group begins the next swim. Since 4 or 5 of the 7 swimmers participating in this year's event were in their mid 50's remembering a school fight song is sometimes a big challenge as well. One swimmer who grew up in Illinois could only remember the fight song for the Chicago Bears so he sang that.
The singing and banter that takes place between each swim is an important part of the tradition and a good laugh enjoyed by the group can have a significant negative impact on a person's oxygen debt going into the next swim.
After the completion of the Hour of Power, by all 7 swimmers who started the set, a few of the participants decided to top off the workout with a 50 underwater swim.
Then it was time for handshakes all around, a quick shave and a shower, then off on their separate ways for another beautiful Arizona weekend.
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