By Roberta Millstein
I started swimming with Davis Aquatic Masters, better known as DAM, shortly after I moved to Davis in 2007. I was thrilled to have coach-led sets and a group of people to train with – so much more fun, and ultimately much more productive, than trying to swim on one’s own.
I quickly fell into a routine and decided that, rather than constantly reciting to myself all the many physical and psychological benefits of swimming, I would just understand that swimming three times a week was A Thing That I Would Do. Period. Only the most serious of reasons would cause me to miss a workout. And I stuck with that. Travel, serious illness, a grad student’s exam that couldn’t be scheduled at any other time – those were about the only things that would cause me to miss a workout.
Until, of course, we finally started to realize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 16, DAM strongly recommended that seniors stop going to workouts. I watched several people leave sadly. It was an eerie, surreal practice. I remember I went home and said to my partner sadly, “I think that might have been my last DAM workout for a while.” And indeed, by the end of the day, DAM had sent out an email cancelling workouts for everyone. Even though the County and State official stay-at-home orders wouldn’t come for a few more days, that was really the beginning for me.