Meet Brian Young of Fort Washington, PA. Brian is a proud dad to three young men, Leighton, Drew, and Zach, and is married to his partner for life, Dona.

By trade, Brian is a Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors practicing in Philadelphia and along the shore points in Southern New Jersey.

Brian, by passion, is a LIFELONG Swimmer.

At the age of three, Brian swam his first length of the pool at the Torresdale Frankford Country Club, located in a section of Philadelphia known as Northeast Philly. He distinctly remembers his Aunt Sharon and her friend Meg cheering him on from the deck until he made it from one end of the pool to the other. As he remembers it, it was his “crowning” achievement that summer.

He loved that moment.

The next summer, in 1969, Brian “joined” the swim team as a four-year-old; actually, he said he was more like a team rug rat. Because of his age, he was too young to be put on the official roster, and therefore, could not be entered into races at swim meets.

At the team banquet at the end of the season, swimmers received awards and trophies. Since Brian was not officially on the team, he did not get a team trophy. Witnessing the disappointment of this four-year-old, one of the 18 & under swimmers gave Brian his team trophy. The trophy, which meant so much to Brian, still sits on his office desk today. It serves as a reminder to him how little things can impact us in very big ways.

Growing up in the Philadelphia area, Brian swam all year round for the following teams: Philadelphia Aquatic Club (PAC), Torresdale, Somerton Springs Swim Club, Our Lady of Calvary Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), Archbishop Ryan High School, The George School, and Lower Moreland Aquatic Club.

When asked how a young kid got to these places, he said, “I grubbed for rides; many of us did.” No matter what it took, he was determined to find ways to get to practice and swim meets by means such as walking, biking, carpooling, etc. He even remembers “thumbing a ride” one or two times. Really.

For Brian, it was always about the water.

Swim coaches use their discretion to give their swimmers a break from practice from time to time. One particular memory from his time at PAC was with a coach named “Happy Jack”. “He worked our butts off!! But he always made some time for fun.” At PAC, if the team had a good week of practice, the coach gave them a free day on a Friday to play water polo. This is where Brian got the itch to play water polo.

During his senior year at Archbishop Ryan High School, Brian swam for his high school and also joined in on water polo games at the Lower Moreland High School. Somehow, he went from picking up games to playing on the Lower Moreland High School water polo team. Yes, Brian even traveled to games on the Lower Moreland school buses. How he was able to play for Lower Moreland while being a student at Archbishop Ryan is curious at best. I guess when you’re a kid, opportunities arise in unexpected places.

That wasn’t the only time, however.

Brian attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for two years. He swam for the school team known then as the Big Indians and played for the water polo team as well. In his junior year, he transferred to St. Joseph’s University. Given there was not a swim team at St. Joe’s, Brian decided to give it a go with the Hawk’s rugby team. He loved it although he would soon learn that he really did miss the water.

During his years at St. Joe’s, Brian also played water polo for the club team at the University of Pennsylvania. And when I say he played at Penn, I mean he “played” on behalf of Penn against other teams. I guess it’s fair to say these were different times for sure.

After Brian finished college, he got married, moved to California, and started his family. After a 28 year break from swimming, he jumped in the pool again in November 2018.

Today, Brian works out with a group of masters swimmers at the YMCA in Ambler, PA, and with the Ocean City Bay Sharks. The Bay Sharks are a highly exclusive team of two that cruise the back bays and ocean off of Ocean City, New Jersey. They are small in size, yet not to be denied:).

He swam with these groups while training for ocean swims, triathlons, and an Iron Man competition in Lake Placid, New York. His first masters swim meet was scheduled for March 2020. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the meet was canceled. This would have been his first official swim meet since March 1985. Brian said he’s looking forward to getting back in the pool once the Covid pandemic is in the rearview mirror.

Why swimming? Brian said, “I enjoyed swimming, and it came naturally to me. I was fortunate to be good at it, and I liked to win. Practice was my alone time, which I loved. It was my release, and it was therapeutic for me.”

Brian shared that his grandfather swam laps after work at Torresdale. He believes that’s when his grandfather would unwind and think. Like his grandfather, swimming has become part of Brian’s routine and allows Brian time to think and to live a more balanced life, both mentally and physically.

Through swimming, Brian met some amazing people like Shawn, Tony, Paul, Drew, Michelle, and his Ocean City Bay Shark partner, Meg. He either kept friends he met as a child or has reconnected with them as an adult. Most importantly, if not for swimming, he would have never met his wife, Dona.

Being a LIFELONG swimmer is an ongoing journey that is still alive and strong in his life today. You can take the swimmer out of the water, but you can’t take the water out of the swimmer.

And for me, I would have never had the opportunity to know my brother-in-law Brian if not for his LIFELONG passion for swimming.

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