Three thousand yards every practice – whether sprinting or long distance, 30-year-old swimmer Catherine Vorrasi, felt her muscles strengthen and times drop five weeks before the Master’s National Championships.
“I’ve always swam and I’ve never been in this good of shape,” said Catherine. “I don’t feel lethargic and don’t get cramps anymore. It’s awesome.”
Diving head first into a pool of veteran swimmers, Catherine competed in the Master’s National Championships in California from Aug. 7 to 11. She swam in the 30-34 age category where she captured a first place in the mixed 200-meter free relay and the mixed 200-meter medley relay. Other medaled events included the 200-meter free, 50-meter fly, 50-meter free and women’s 200-meter free relay.
“I think I’m really, really lucky in that I didn’t train that hard. You know when people ask you want to say you have, but I just have really good genes,” said Catherine.
Catherine’s first race was in first grade at an international school in Cyprus where she was living at the time. Her teacher called for all those who signed up for the swimming competition to line up – knowing no better, 5-year-old Catherine lined up with her classmates.
“I’d never had swim lessons before and I just ran over there before my mom could stop me,” said Catherine. “Apparently my mom said I’d swim and it’d look terrible but I was still ahead of people. I still have the little medal I won.”
She had a natural gift. Throughout middle school and high school Catherine swam three days a week while being involved in track and playing piano. After high school she attended the Naval Academy Prep School and the Coast Guard Academy until going to George Mason University where she obtained a Bachelor’s in P.E. and health and a teaching license in 2007.
Soon after graduating Catherine started to job search and found the aquatic manager position in Oro Valley – a few interviews later she was hired. Throughout college and while working full time Catherine swam. She eventually joined the SaddleBrooke team and started competing in local swim meets. Without even knowing it Catherine started swimming times around that of national competitors in her age group.
“My coach just told me one day and said after that I signed up for a couple more events to try and qualify,” said Catherine. “Once I heard it was in California I decided I was going.”
With the help of Andrea Curless, a health coach, and the staff at Cheers to You! Nutrition, Catherine was soon put on a nutritional and training plan for the five weeks leading up to nationals. She had visited Cheers a week before with her friends and was first introduced to Herbalife and the keys to having a healthy diet. Herbalife is a global nutrition and weight management company. After a physical assessment, Catherine was given Herbalife products and a diet plan, which included rebuild and endurance formula.
“I started eating more, because before I usually would just forget to eat during the day and I started hydrating myself more,” said Catherine. “I really believe what they told me because of how it helped. It’s crazy how well it has worked.”
Along with nutrition, Catherine increased her practices to six days a week in the pool – each practice running an hour long. She also did TRX strength training on and off throughout the week. Five weeks later Catherine walked away from nationals with several medals around her neck and undoubtedly with a smile on her face.
“To me it’s just more about having fun and it was really fun,” said Catherine.
Catherine is unsure of where swimming will now take her, but as long as she is having fun – she will continue to compete.