Setting Goals, Meeting Goals.

Meet Harriett McNeill!

On March 25, 2022, YMCA member Harriett McNeill reached a milestone in our lap pool of 2 million metres of swimming! We caught up with Harriett to find out what keeps her going and how she accomplished this incredible goal.

“The Y has made my life complete. I enjoy the friendships I have made and the many fitness classes.” Yet, it is at the pool is where we can find Harriett swimming her laps in the early mornings. Harriett’s journey to become a member of the Y began 50 years ago when she received a referral to the “Healthy Back Program” offered through the Y. Harriett suffered from a severe bad back and the instructor suggested that swimming would be helpful. Only thing was, Harriett was not a swimmer! Ed Sandow, the Aquatics Director at the time, suggested that Harriett start with swimming lessons, and as she improved, Ed recommended she join Masters Swimming. Harriett started slowly, only making it to half the length of the old Y’s 20 yard pool, but she got hooked into swimming with the competitive swimmers, and before she knew it, Harriett was swimming multiple laps and eventually competing in swim meets in Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Halifax, Winnipeg and Montreal.

How does Harriett maintain her energy and determination? Her secret is to set achievable goals. Harriett swims three times a week with a practice that allows her to get the most distance each time. She makes sure to set a goal for each swim, and then she records the distance with Masters Swimming Canada.

Harriett also made sure to get her family into swimming. Her husband and two sons enjoyed swimming lessons at the YMCA as well.

During her 50 years as a member of the YMCA, Harriett has also given back to the Y community as a member of the board of directors in the 1980s and helped out on two major campaigns. Harriett’s dedication and determination to achieve her goals is an inspiration to us all.