Rani Greer has had to get creative with the way she swims this spring.
Since COVID-19 has shut down the state, the Pontotoc swimmer has been stuck swimming in the pool in her backyard, and she’s had to resort to running to keep her cardio strong.
Greer spends a few hours every morning stretching and running two to three miles. She wraps up her morning workout with pushups, sit-ups and other cardio workouts. In the afternoons, she tries to spend an hour swimming in place in her pool.
After she gets out of the pool, she goes and runs again.
To allow herself to swim in place, Greer created a contraption in her back yard that is hooked to a pole. She hooked a horse lead rope around the pole and tied a dog leash to the rope. She then wraps the dog leash around her stomach, and it allows her to pull against the pole.
“I went to a swim camp a year ago and they had an endless pool, and I swam in that,” Greer said. “So I thought of that when making it. I also saw it on USA Swimming, where a USA swimmer was doing it also.
“But the water is freezing. I started it right after spring break, and it’s been really cold.”
Greer is already an accomplished high school swimmer. She just wrapped up her junior year and has won four individual Class I state championships in two years. She won both the 200-yard individual medley (IM) and the 100-yard breast stroke in back-to-back years.
This season in the 200-yard IM, she finished in 2:09.11 and beat the runner-up by over 13 seconds. In the 100-yard breast stroke, she finished in 1:06.99, winning by over 9 seconds.
Greer said there is no doubt that she will lose time off her events, but the biggest issue that swimmers are facing during this time is losing the feel of the water. She created her makeshift endless pool so she could maintain that as much as possible and so she could try to stay in swimming shape.
The team usually practices in the Tupelo Aquatic Center or in the pool at the Pontotoc Country Club, and Greer has been able to visit by herself once since the pools opened last week. During her visit, she said she swam around 5,000 yards.
“The pool opened up last week, but we can’t practice until June 1,” Greer said. “We are following what the state guidelines are telling us to do, so we are going to be six feet apart in the water when we are allowed to get back in.”