Since our home pool was gone, we had to figure out “okay, well, how are we going to train?” So man, I was already all over the province, but COVID-19 literally took me all over the province. I swam in pools in the Palisades, and Ladera, and Long Beach, and Burbank, and Altadena, and you name it, I’ve been to pretty much every major pool in the province. That was a stepping stone, dude, and now we’re on the next step. I drew strength from that experience, to be honest.
I can imagine if you’re training for the Paralympics, there isn’t much free time. But if you have free time, what do you enjoy?
Dude, my time is not free. When I’m not swimming, I’m the Executive Director and Founder of the Swim Up Hill Foundation, Inc. We are on a mission to teach one million people to swim each year in BIPOC and low-to-middle-income communities. So I spend a lot of my time organizing my staff, managing documents, organizing events, managing budgets and things like that, just being a businessman.
Other than that, I’m an avid reader. I probably read between four and six books a month. And that comes from autobiographies, biographies, self-improvement, you name it. That’s pretty much my time there. But yes, I find great satisfaction in fulfilling my destiny. That’s what I call it. It’s not even work, it’s like working on my lot here, and it brings me a lot, a lot, a lot of joy. So I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
I’d say you definitely aren’t. Even people who don’t train for the 50-meter freestyle usually don’t read four to six books a month.
Well, again, that’s such a corporate mentality of it. I embarked on this journey to truly become the LeBron James of swimming – to simply become the best I can be, but also the most recognized swimmer in the world. I take inspiration from the music industry and then from some of my various industries of entertainment and artists, and you understand that the art form itself is probably about 30% and 70% business in the end. The world’s greatest CEOs read an average of 72 books a year. So if that’s the company I want to be in, then you have to keep that pace.