Photo courtesy of Genny Pittman.
0512 Genny PittmanGenny Pittman in the pool and ready to compete.
Genny Pittman swims every day of the week except Sunday. Three times a week she practices twice a day. Morning practices are as early as 5 a.m. and last until 6:45 a.m. Afternoons she swims from 3:40 p.m. until 6:40 p.m. This may seem crazy for a typical 16-year-old high school student. But for Genny, that’s just a normal day of the week.
“It’s a lot of sacrificing, but it’s worth it to get to see the results,” Pittman said.
Pittman has won the 100-meter backstroke at the state meet for the past three years and holds a two-year record. She has also won the 50-meter freestyle. And that’s just a glimpse of her accomplishments.
Today Pittman is working to qualify for the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. In order to meet the national qualifying time, she must shave off .08 of a second in 50-freestyle or .80 seconds in backstroke. And this goal is far from impossible.
“What do I do outside of swimming?” Pittman laughed. “When would I really have time for anything else?”
Pittman has been competing year round for 8 years. She practices at Wald Park nearly every day in Birmingham Swim League’s Senior 2 Group.
“When we go through stuff, he does too,” Pittman said. “As my coach, he is always pushing me to do my best and is proud when he watches my hard work pay off.”
After being out for 6 months due to mononucleosis, Pittman said it was hard to get back on track. She didn’t start back with normal training for 8 months.
“That was definitely tough to watch everyone get better in training and not be able to go out there and be apart of it,” Pittman said. “It really put me behind but now I’m back where I need to be.”
Before getting serious with swimming Pittman played soccer and participated in triathlons as well.
She loves hanging out with her friends and serving as class president for SGA, being a peer helper and a member of Beta Club at Homewood High School. But most of the time, you’ll find Pittman in the pool.
With colleges already on the lookout for her, Pittman hopes to be a collegiate swimmer and some day an Olympian.
“Getting to go to the upcoming Olympic trials will be a huge achievement for me,” Pittman said. “This is something I really want, and I’m going to work hard to get there.”