The Impossible is Often Untried


By: John Geissinger
Assistant Swimming Coach

Izzy Brassfield ’13

The Washington & Lee Swim team just returned from a double dual meet in Louisville, KY. At the meet we competed against Centre and DePauw and went 1-1 respectively on both sides. At this point of the season times are not the most important outcome, it is how the races are swum. But there were a few this weekend that I would like to highlight.

Both Rick Sykes and Izzy Brassfield are seniors on are team and had fantastic meets. Rick got an NCAA “B” cut in the 50 Freestyle with a time of 20.91 while also swimming to a lifetime dual meet best of 47.10 in the 100 Free. The coaching staff challenged Rick last year to become a more complete swimmer, to expand his range, and he took that to heart. In the off-season he attacked his lifting regiment and worked on his feel for the water. All of his hard work is already paying off and the good stuff has not even come up yet. Izzy had a good 50 herself, a 25.1, but it was anchoring the Women’s 400 Freestyle relay that stood out. Last year at the conference meet, Izzy split a 53 on the relay. She went a 53.4 on Saturday. Both of these swimmers are achieving times that most people would think only possible when they are “shaved” and “rested”. Both have worked extremely hard over the years for these results and I am happy to say they are on their way to special seasons.

In sports and in life there are always people who will tell you that something cannot be done. I challenge everyone to set goals and chase after them. If Thomas Edison listened to those detractors, where would we be? Erik Sandberg-Diment once wrote that the laptop is a dream for the few, which will never catch on. Now most of our students at Washington & Lee have their own personal laptop! We have two in my house! The “Impossible” is often untried. In order for us to find out our human limits we must challenge ourselves to the point of imagination. And I am happy to say that so far the W&L Swim Teams are doing a great job at this.


One Response to “The Impossible is Often Untried”

  1. Brian Says:

    Nice post John! Another example occurred last year with prior teammate Jeff Stirling. He couldn’t bend his back nor breath properly, hindered by two metal rods keeping his severe scoliosis from getting any worse. And what did he accomplish during his last year? Barely missed out on qualifying for nationals individually in the 100 fly, arguably one of the most competitive events last year. Second best time in the 100 fly in school history. And to top it all off, he became an All-American. It is such an impressive feat, especially with his condition, that it is almost unfathomable. Those who have had scoliosis surgery or have other hindrances need to not be discouraged. Jeff tried the impossible and so can they.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: