For 90-year-old Ocean Pines resident and Sports Core Pool member, Joseph Schneider, age is just a number. He’s proven this by training to compete in the Maryland Senior Olympics this September, even though he’s never taken a swimming lesson until now.
“I’m getting stronger and my arms are getting stronger. My posture is getting better, and I’m doing real well,” Schneider told WRDE News.
For the past two months, Joe said he’s been training at Sports Core Pool in Ocean Pines. He said the group lessons help him focus on balance, posture and flexibility, all so he can compete in the freestyle and breast-stroke relays.
“Well I come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then Tuesday and Thursday I come for the Aqua Walk with Maria, and that’s where I really get punished,” Schneider told WRDE News.
But it’s that spunky personality of his that Water Aerobics Instructor Edith Vogl says gets him noticed.
“He’s very gregarious,” explained Vogl. “He loves to be around people. He loves to do things. It doesn’t matter what it is… and we’re always teasing him about the ladies. It used to be that when he first came here he was only 89 and he would introduce himself to the ladies saying, ‘Hi, I’m Joe. I’m 89 and I’m single.'”
But all joking aside, Vogl said Schneider’s drive and fearlessness is what already makes him a force to be reckoned with.
“He has the personality to do [compete], because the training for swimming is as much mental as it is physical,” said Vogl. “A lot of people think they can’t do it, the water aerobics and the senior Olympics. It’s always a matter of trying. In order to do anything, you’ve got to try.”
When WRDE asked Schneider what’s his secret to success, he said he doesn’t have one. He says he just doesn’t want to fail.
“You have to have the desire to do it, and I have the desire,” said Schneider.