A practiced follower of the science of human movement, adapting models of efficiency in motion in a liquid environment may one day form a subset for a thesis by Ryan George, but not just yet.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the 22-year old grad student from Deer Lake now working towards a master’s degree in kinesiology gets to test his knowledge and theories of human kinetics nine times a week swimming at the St. John’s Aquarena and the Memorial University of Newfoundland’s 25-metre training pool.
His time management skills are also getting a workout of late. Not just the personal bests he’s continued to meet and beat in the water, but in his day-to-day quest toward a career in occupational and physical therapy, too.
“Definitely a lot of work is coming very soon,” he said this week. “There’s not much downtime.”
George, in his fifth and final year of eligibility a senior member of Memorial University’s varsity swim team, the Sea-Hawks.
He is running a full schedule this year with a part-time job added to his classes, assignments and his varsity commitment, a waking regimen that keeps him busy from 6 a.m. until late in the evening, not counting pop-up media interviews.
In the pool, the efficient backstroker, who began with the Deer Lake Dolphns swim club, finds comfort at upping his game on the Atlantic University Sports circuit once more. His hopes for success are buoyed by record time trials and race podiums in each of his past three seasons with the Sea-Hawks, as well as his faith in an old team adage.
George modestly admits to having “a quite and up and down varsity career, but the past three years I’ve been on an incline and this year is looking even better, and I’m really excited for what we call: ‘Last year. Fast year.’”
He hopes it will be fast enough to allow him to test his mettle against the elite of university swimming in Canadian Youth Sports, a national level varsity meet.
“The standards are very hard to get,” he explained. “So, I get closer every year and I hope this is the year I get it.”
George’s “pretty good” AUS showing last season included individual and relay medals, and personal best times in all his competitive events.
George will continue a heavy training regimen right up until the AUS schedule begins Nov. 17 at the Dalhousie University MultiPlex in Halfax, N.S.
It is all part of the “hard training … to build up our aerobic fitness and fine tune our bodies to get up to speed” for what it takes to win in Atlantic varsity. That involves “a lot of technique and drill work” with practice sessions every morning and evening, too, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Regular workouts continue the other three training days.
“Friday night is really the only night I can enjoy myself,” he said. “Pretty much my whole social group is my swim team.”
The Sea-Hawks varsity swim club comprises 10 men and 10 women who train at the Olympic-sized Aquarena and MUN’s campus pool, competing separately but travelling together for dual AUS meets.
On the men’s side, George shares western Newfoundland recognition with Corner Brook brothers Daniel and Nick Sparkes, the latter also in his final year of Sea-Hawks eligibility. Daniel is in his third year with the team.