Meet NC Swimmer Charlotte Warren Disher.
Charlotte is a 49 year-old swimmer with Bowker Aquatics and Fireball Masters in Winston-Salem, NC. †She competes for the Bowker Aquatics Swim Team.
She †is a part-time Youth Minister (6th-12th grades) as well as the Head Swim Coach, coaching 6th-9th graders, at her son's Independent School, Summit School, in Winston-Salem. She will return as Swim Coach there again next year as well.
Disher enjoys traveling, reading, volunteering (at church, her sonsí schools and also performing outreach work in the area of domestic violence), and swim officiating High School, USA, and summer league swim meets.
She has been married to her husband Tony for 20 years and has 2 teenage boys; Harrison, age 15 and Hamilton, age 17. Her 17-year old Hamilton started swimming at age 8, when a friend begged the family to join the struggling summer swim team at their club pool. Hamilton qualified and placed in finals that 1st year of swimming competitively and Disher's love affair with swimming was rekindled.†
Last year, that same son, who has given up swimming and turned to coaching instead, inspired her to get back in the water. He said to her one day, right before he gave up swimming: ďMom, you want me to swim more than I want to swim!Ē His verbal inspiration and the fact that Disher had been advised by an orthopedist 8 years ago to give up what she thought was her first love, running, due to the absence of cartilage in her left ankle sealed her fate to become a competitive master swimmer.
Disher† learned to swim when she was 3 years old in Block Island Sound off Weekapaug, RI where her family spent their summers. Her parents said she took to the water right away with no fear, until that first big wave caught her. She honed her swimming skills in a pond called Mixville Beach in Chesire, CT as well as the Hamden-North Haven YMCA and various summer camps in CT and MA.
"I guess Iíve been swimming in some capacity for 46 years. Iíve always loved water sports, including ice-skating and small-craft sailing as a teenager. Swimming for me is a passion, whether Iím in the water or on deck officiating. I swam for one season when I was 7 years old and placed 3rd in a competitive swim carnival at Yale University. I still have the silver plate I received as an award! Iím not certain why I didnít continue swimming competitively, but by the time I was 13 years old, I became an avid runner instead. I was bitten by the ďswim bugĒ again my senior year in high school, competing exclusively in the 500 free and relay events," she says.
Disher typically swims 3-4 days per week with two different Mastersí teams for added flexibility, variety of workouts and camaraderie. She also swims alone on Sunday afternoons, between morning and evening ministry obligations.
"I competed in my first USMS swim meet in April of 2011, slightly over 2 months after my re-entry into the water. Since returning to the water just over a year ago, my two favorite strokes are back and breast. I never learned butterfly as a child or teenager, so I got my teenaged sons to teach me that stroke last year! My favorite competitive event, so far, has been the 100 IM because of the challenge of swimming all 4 strokes legally! Fly will never be my favorite stroke, but I would like to work up to the 200 IM by next year! And, I hope to overcome the high school haunting of the 500 free and compete in that event once again," she says. "I guess that big wave in RI, the schools of jellyfish every July and August, or the mucky bottom at Mixville Beach in CT led me to prefer swimming in bodies of water in which I can see the bottom, which more often than not is a swimming pool."
When asked what might be something fun to know about her, she responded: "I was a police officer for 15 years before returning to graduate school at Wake Forest to complete my Master of Divinity in 2004. I completed one marathon at the age of 42 years and two half-marathons in the two years prior to that. I am not particularly fond of cycling, but I would like to compete in at least one sprint triathlon within the next 5 or 6 years."