Every year the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) inducts nine masters athletes from around the world. Representation shall be proportionate to each discipline's numbers of participants worldwide: 3 female swimmers, 3 male swimmers, 3 divers, synchronized swimmers, water polo players or contributors.
This year, P2Life is honored to congratulate two of its own athletes. David Guthrie and Tim Shead on their hard work and once in a lifetime achievement.
Even getting to be considered by IMSHOF is an astonishing achievement, one that requires more than 16 years of actively competing, spanning four five-year age groups and a complex scoring system.
To celebrate these athletes we’ll be doing a two part series on their achievements, starting this week Tim Shead, our very own Co-founder, and next week’s focus will be on David Guthrie, a celebrated swimmer and important member of the P2Life family.
Tim Shead made his splash in the Masters top 10 in 1992, and has been hard to keep up ever since, both in the pool, and for anyone attempting to recall how many records he’s broken to date.
In 2013 he earned the title of Swimming World Masters swimmer of the Year (Along with P2Life Athletes David Guthrie, Laura Val and Rich Burns). He has set 32 FINA World Records, competed in 10 FINA Masters World Championships and raked in an impressive 17 gold, 16 silver and 5 bronze medals.
Despite his consistent success throughout his Masters career, his swimming career was not without challenges.
At 21, brimming with determination he followed his dream of being in the Olympic team, with his business degree in tow, to California, where he trained with one of the best former Olympic coaches, Jim Montrella.
“Swimming was, and still is, my passion, my haven. Jim worked us, hard. He was great. I went from training for one hour at college to four hours a day with Jim. It was grueling, but becoming an Olympian isn’t easy work. It requires a ton of dedication, a great coach, and hard work. I had all of that, I was prepared,” says Shead.
“I didn’t make the team. I didn’t even make the Olympic trial cuts. I wasn’t prepared for that. I was training three times as much as I had in college, and my times had actually gotten slower. I had one of the best coaches in the world, I was training harder and I was swimming slower,” he says.
Today, Shead maintains that the secret weapon he had been missing, the reason he failed to achieve his dream, came down to nutrition. He went from Wharton where the sports nutritional program meant carefully constructed meals, three times a day, to eating junk food in California, full of calories and devoid of nutrition. The realization hit him like a ton of bricks.
Without the right nutrition his body could not recover from longer training times, not as efficiently. Consequently he swam slower times. After returning from Florida his coaching and self-imposed study taught him the importance of nutrition, which he built into the foundation that became P2Life. Shead wanted to help other swimmers, so he developed a product range to give them a boost. He then achieved his all-time, life-time, best, all at the age of 56. Today he works with Olympic level athletes and is swimming faster than he did before he was trying out for the Olympics.
This huge success in his Master career has been honored and celebrated at ISHOF, along with many other inspirational athletes. We’d like to invite you to celebrate ISHOF and give them some of the same support they give to all swimmers, so they can continue with their fantastic work, and in making sure athletes get to make history. Support the International Swimming Hall of Fame here.