BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A Vestal man has swam the equivalent of cross-country and back one mile at a time.
Len Schwartz notched his 7,000th mile swimming last week in the YMCA Binghamton pool.
Schwartz began tracking his miles back in the mid-80’s when he noticed other swimmers doing the same.
At age 67, the retired occupational health and safety professional swims 3 to 5 days a week.
He typically swims a little more than a mile which equates to 72 lengths or 36 laps in the pool.
Schwartz says he doesn’t think his accomplishment is all that special. He credits the community of swimmers at the Y with helping to keep him motivated.
“Only 1 out of 10 times it feels good. Most days, I don’t feel like coming. I just don’t listen to myself. I just show up anyway. If you want to be consistent, you can’t listen to yourself and all of the excuses that you throw out there.”
Schwartz says the swimming does as much for his mental health as his physical fitness.
Lifeguards held a surprise party for him on Thursday when he crossed the 7,000 mile mark.
Schwartz says he has not set goal and plans to continue swimming and tracking his miles for as long as he can.