November 23, 2020

Alumna still swims at Webster

Edie Powers, 62, swims laps in Webster University’s University Center pool. Powers began swimming with her family 58 years ago. PHOTO BY HAYDEN ANDREWS

It has been 58 years since Edie Powers began swimming with her family at St. Louis’ YMCA in 1954. Now at age 62, Powers has left her water wings behind to swim a mile a day at Webster University’s University Center pool.

“Immediately after you swim, you are more alert and awake,” Powers said. “The blood has pumped so thoroughly through your body. When you’re in the water, it’s a routine. It keeps your mind working and alert.”

Powers spent her youth swimming on family vacations, at pools in city parks and on a synchronized swim team.

“My parents were big swimmers,” Powers said. “I always went with them. My mom is 94 and was a big, big swimmer up until her stroke two years ago. She stuck with it.”

Keeping up daily visits to the pool hasn’t always been easy for Powers.

“(My husband and I) were 12 years overseas,” Powers said. We went to Norway and taught in schools there. That was more of a challenge to go swimming. It was inside, but it was cold. But we went. We always went three times a week, minimum.”

On the days she doesn’t make it to the water, Powers notices.

“(I) really feel it. I never really loosen up. You can go as fast or as slow or vary it any way you need to for what you feel,” Powers said. “I find I can plan my whole day when I’m in there.”

Crediting “the amazing staff at Webster pool,” she has maintained a pass to Webster’s pool for four years.

“They always make sure to get you in a lane,” Powers said.

Powers is an alumna of Webster, receiving her master’s degree in 1990.

“Edie is one of our most beloved community pool members. She rarely misses her swim time and is a shining example for other swimmers,” said Myrna Homm, coordinator of fitness center and aquatics at the University Center.

Now that she’s retired in Webster Groves, the only days she doesn’t hit the pool are when she visits two daughters, who also share a love of water. The younger was a diver all through high school, still participating recreationally. The other loves swimming Powers said.

Powers has support from

her family to pursue what she loves. She hopes to pass it on to everyone she is close to.

“I have always been impressed with Edie’s commitment to swimming for health and fitness,” said Joe Powers, Edie Powers’ husband. “She has also been a strong advocate for water safety skills and made sure our daughters could swim at an early age.”

Edie Powers is open to any new experience, having even tried Zumba. However, she always returns to the pool.

“I’ve done some walking, some running,” Edie Powers said. “It becomes more stressful to keep up with those impact kinds of things. Swimming is an overall workout without the injuries.”

Though there are some days when Edie Powers has to talk herself into it, she always returns to what she enjoys most.

“(I) look forward to (swimming),” Edie Powers said. I know I’m going to get a boost from it.”

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