By Emily Sampl
BOULDER, Colorado, December 3. IT'S no secret that swimmers spend a lot of time at the pool, whether it's for practice, a meet, or just to hang out. But it'd be hard to find someone who spends more time near the water than Laurie Reaburn. Reaburn, a Canadian who currently lives in the U.S. and swims for the Missouri Valley Masters, typically trains five days a week in addition to coaching two different groups six days a week. Although hectic at times, she says she enjoys the challenge.
"It's challenging sometimes, but I think it's made me a better swimmer. I definitely have to think more about my own technique when I'm coaching," she said.
Reaburn's passion for the sport hasn't gone unnoticed, as she's received much praise from her swimmers.
"One of my swimmers told me that I'm the kind of person where coaching is in my soul," she said. "A lot of people don't think they'd be good at coaching, but you just have to try it out and see, you might be surprised. I just love the feeling of helping someone get better."
Reaburn spends a lot of time helping other swimmers get better, but that hasn't slowed her own improvement. Since beginning competitive swimming at age seven, Laurie has continually gotten faster, topping times she swam in college and moving up the Masters swimming ranks.
While serving as a Navy diving officer in the Canadian Navy, she had the chance to swim in the World Military Games, and last year took second in the 400 IM at the Canadian Masters Nationals. Reaburn is hoping to move up one place at this year's Nationals, but she'll still appreciate Masters and the sport of swimming regardless of the outcome.
"The best thing about Masters is the friendships that you form," she said. "It's a completely different atmosphere than age group or college swimming, and I just appreciate being able to swim and coach as often as I can."