On May 9 of this year, local middle school teacher and Bond Community Center (BCC) member Sallie Barta reached her goal of swimming 5,000 miles.
A journey 15 years in the making, she got her feet wet for the first time in January 1998. Her daughter was headed off to college when Barta noticed an ad for the Tinman triathlon on campus.
"I thought that would be fun," she said. "Except for one thing. I didn't know how to swim."
Since she did not want to drown in the first leg of her first triathlon she signed up for swimming lessons at the Bond Community Center.
"I started swimming one lap and then two laps and eventually I was thrilled to swim a half mile in the pool," Barta said. "I now swim 60-63 laps or almost 1.75 miles a day."
After six months of lessons Barta was in love with swimming.
"It is not exercise to me," said Barta. "I have always been a morning person and am happy to get up every morning at 5 a.m. and swim before work."
She is hoping to continue swimming daily to achieve 10,000 miles.
Her students are always telling her that when she retires she can swim as much as she wants.
"But I want to golf, ride my bike and visit my grandkids too," said Barta. "I thank God everyday for having the BCC in the community and the good health to be able to do all of these things."