At age 70, there’s not a lot that slows down Dave Noble.
While the U.S. Masters swimmer admits that his times aren’t as fast as they used to be, that hasn’t stopped him from participating in — and winning — competitions.
In this year’s Show-Me State games in Columbia, Noble finished first in his age group (70-74) in the 100-yard individual medley (1:18.68), 100-yard freestyle (1:10.19) and 200-yard freestyle (2:30.98).
On Saturday, Noble, who is from Raymore, opened competition at the FINA World Masters Championships in Montreal, where he will race in eight events.
Even more impressive is the fact that he took a 42-year hiatus from exercising, he said. He swam competitively in high school and college — he attended Central Missouri — then stopped competing.
Seven years ago, though, Noble decided to turn to a healthier lifestyle. It was time to get back in the pool.
He started with a few laps the first day.
“I was done. That’s all I could do,” he said. “It wore me out.”
The following day he got back in, and this time he decided to swim 10 laps. He continued to swim five to six days a week for six months, each time increasing the number of laps. These days he estimates he swims 2,000 yards a day, five days a week.
“Health-wise, I feel better than I did when I was 30,” he said. “If I met me when I was 30, I could out-swim and probably out-run myself (now).”
Noble said the best way for him to prepare for a meet is to try not to think about it. Otherwise, he won’t get enough sleep. Other factors, such as what he eats the night before and his focus, also affect his performance.
His goal is to finish in the top 10 in each of his events in Montreal.
“If I won something, I’d be ecstatic,” he said.