In this blog post, we are sharing the inspiring story of our Ambassador Teresa Pérez Gavilán Robles (@qfbteresa) in Durango, Mexico. She grew up a competitive swimmer, then took 12 years off to focus on her career and deal with some severe health issues.
Today, she is back in the pool, and her health is better than ever. Hear what it was like to overcome her fears and come out on top.
Hi there! My name is Teresa and I live in Durango, Mexico. I am a 43-year-old single mom, and a teacher at the Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango. At night, I also work in the clinical laboratory of one of the IMSS hospitals, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social.
I love spending time with my 5-year-old son. He likes sports, so we skate together, go running to the park and of course we both swim!!
Her Swimming Story:
My mom was my first swim teacher. She taught me how to swim when I was 6 years old, then I took swimming lessons at different clubs but I never took it seriously until I started my career at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL).
I was 18 years old back then and I decided to join my faculty swim team. I got accepted and I started training everyday. My coach was great, and incredibly patient while we worked on improving all my strokes. After a few months training with the faculty of chemistry team, I had the opportunity to experience my first competition during the intra university games. Surprisingly I won first, second, third and fourth places in all the events I swam!
When I was in my second year at UANL I got a scholarship and the opportunity to become part of the university swimming team. It was a great experience but my schedule as a chemistry student was a total disaster and I couldn’t find the way to combine my demanding career with a swimming team that required me swim 4 hours per day. So I went back to train and compete with my faculty team until I graduated.
The next three years I could manage to swim for the faculty of medicine swimming team while I was enrolled in the postgraduate program. I trained and competed for the medicine team until I finally got my masters degree in medical microbiology.
After university, I came back to my home town and I couldn’t swim because I had to recover from a shoulder surgery from a bad fall. A year later, I came back to swimming just for fun, fitness and as physical therapy for my shoulder. I kept that up for two years, until life got really busy.
Her Health Took a Downfall:
So for the next 12 years, I did not swim at all. I was busy going to school, working full-time, and raising my son. It was terrible!
A few years ago I accumulated a lot of health problems that included a very risky pregnancy, a gallbladder extraction, lots of allergies, serious sleeping disorders, anxiety and stress that almost put me into depression.
I had to go to the psychiatrist who prescribed a bunch of pills I needed in order to get better. I thought to myself “maybe swimming would help all of this go away?”
So in February 2018, I decided to start swimming again! I found the MySwimPro app right away, and have been consistent in my training ever since!
Getting Back Into Swimming:
My return to swimming has made a huge impact on my life!
Growing up, I always trained with a coach, so I never had to worry about planning my workouts. I remember I used to have an abacus on the pool deck to count laps and an old water resistant Casio watch with a function of ciclic timer to control the intervals. LOL!
When I got back into swimming last year (after 12 years off), my busy schedule was too hectic to be able to hire a personal coach or join a team. I looked for some of the workouts I still had written in an old notebook I kept from college, but those were too hard for me now that I had taken 12 years off!
“Before MySwimPro, I was kind of lost and swimming laps without any plan or structure.”
How Swimming Changed My Life:
My health has completely transformed now that I am swimming regularly.
View this post on Instagram
#Breaststroke delight 👌🏼 I totally love breaststroke, today I really enjoyed the #workout 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 but I’m worry…. yesterday we had backstroke hell… ehem… I mean, heaven, today Breaststroke total delight, so…. @faresksebati, are we having fly torture tomorrow? 🤔 I’m scared 😟 hahaha #myswimpro #breaststrokebeststroke #breaststroker #breaststrokeswimming #lovebreaststroke
With MySwimPro, I have a fun and different workouts everyday. It’s truly a personal virtual coach that keeps track of my progress and keeps me motivated.
“After a few months using the app, I noticed incredible improvements not only in the sport, but also in my physical and mental health.“
Today I’m not taking medication, I sleep perfectly, I can control my stress better, and my cervical injury is there but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I have a better relationship with my family, friends, coworkers and students. In general, I feel awesome and I don’t plan to quit swimming anytime soon!
Improving My Health In The Pool:
The more I swim, the happier I feel. I am a busy single mom, and swimming helps me feel strong, motivated, and relaxed.
I love swimming because I can watch myself consistently getting better. My technique improves, and my times get faster. MySwimPro really helps with all that.
Swimming has also made a big impact on my social community. I have made many friends online through MySwimPro, and met so many new swimmers in my local town.
Durango did not have an adult masters swimming team, but a few months ago my friends and I helped to start one! Check out this awesome photo of our group of swimmers participating in the 2019 World Swim Day Virtual Swim!
We really enjoyed swimming together, and MySwimPro helped to connect us all.
Swimming With The App:
I love everything about MySwimPro. I have the app on my iPhone and my Apple Watch.
I find the technique videos very useful, and I always learn new things from their email newsletters and YouTube channel.
When I go to the pool, I usually select the Workout Of The Day or follow my dedicated Training Plan and load it on my Apple Watch.
It will coach me through each swim set, and track all my splits, heart rate and strokes while I swim. It’s awesome!
The global community within MySwimPro keeps me motivated, and feels like I am truly part of something bigger than myself.
“The app itself is a great tool to have, but the support of a whole virtual team is priceless!”
So far, I have already completed two training plans and have noticed a big improvement in my swimming.
My Advice For New Swimmers:
1. Just start swimming! Even if you have never done it before, it does not matter. It does not matter how old you are, or how you look in a swimsuit… just swim!
2. Be consistent. You will not become a professional overnight. You will have your own process, and if you are consistent with your training, you will fall in love with the sport.
3. As soon as you can, get some equipment. All you need to start is a swimsuit, swim cap and goggles. Once you are swimming often, I recommend buying some equipment that makes it more fun! Try a new pair of fins, paddles, a snorkel, pull-buoy and a kickboard.
I am so excited to be part of the Ambassador Team at MySwimPro, and would love to help any new swimmer find their love for this great sport!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Teresa! We are proud to have you on our Ambassador team and cannot wait to see you reach your goals this year!