Don Taylor presented with his Vorgee Million Metres Award by QTW President Shayne Baker.
Posted on Tuesday 1st September, 2020

Don Taylor – 15 Million Metres!

Congratulations to Don Taylor of QTW Toowoomba Tadpoles and QUQ University of Qld Masters, for achieving this huge milestone – 15 Million Metres!

Many thanks to Don for sharing his swimmer profile, and we look forward to seeing everyone back on pool deck again in the near future!

I first began my Masters swimming way back in 1998 with the Cairns Mudcrabs before joining the Cairns Sea Eagles and then the Malvern Marlins after I moved back to Wodonga. I am currently a member of the Toowoomba Tadpoles, University of Queensland, Darwin Stingers and the Albury Murry Cods (AIF). I am now living near Toowoomba.  

What first got me into the pool was the need to lose weight and get back to doing some regular exercise. It only seems like yesterday when it started.  I first began swimming just three times a week but over time that has increased somewhat.  What I found was the more I trained the better I swam. So I guess what they say is correct; “effort equals rewards”.

For me to maintain a reasonable standard of fitness I have to swim lots of distance but I also understand that does not suit all swimmers. Maintaining the enjoyment and the satisfaction after a swim session is what counts the most.

When I begin to focus on an upcoming event, that’s when the laps really begin to occur for me. At the beginning of the year I started swimming 10 sessions a week as I prepared for Nationals in Sydney, States in Cairns and some large open water swim events, but as we all know those events quickly disappeared.

I have been lucky though to have only missed a month of pool swimming during Covid. I’m back to my normal swim sessions again but at the moment just swimming to stay fit and healthy and most of all for the enjoyment.  My thoughts and wishes are with all those swimmers from the southern states. 

I do have a long term goal to swim well at the FINA World Championships in Japan if they proceed, so I’m keen to keep myself as fit and as strong as possible this year so training next year will be a little easier.

What I love about swimming at Masters’ events is the opportunity to catch up with so many likeminded friends and people who also enjoy being active.  I must say that after 22 years, there are many that still continue to swim so well and new ones just beginning which is great to see.  For me it’s not about the winning but swimming personal good times.  PBs are certainly hard to get now but I enjoy it so much when I see others swim their best times.

Over the years I have had some setbacks with two shoulder injuries requiring surgery.  They were not swimming related but rather accidents such as falling off an exercise ball during a pilates session and tearing all the tendons off my shoulders, and the other occurred playing social water polo years later.  The main shoulder injury happened the day before the last Nationals in Darwin so I’m really looking forward to the Nationals being there again next year in their new pool. Let’s all hope they proceed.

I enjoy medley and distance events as I’m a stayer not a sprinter. I also love the opportunity to swim open water events, and as many know, I normally head to Victoria during the summer months for the opportunity to race in those events around the Victorian coastline during the Xmas period.

The best part of swimming at any meet though is the opportunity to swim relays with team mates.  This seems to bring out the best in us all.

As I meet people around the pool during training and they ask about swimming, I encourage them all to become involved in Masters Swimming. I say it’s not about the winning, its about being active and the opportunity to challenge yourself and to race with others with similar times no matter what the ages are in that heat.