HELENA — Whether in lakes, pools or the open seas, Peggy Stringer — president of Big Sky Montana Masters Swim Club — has earned plenty of accolades since deciding to take on this new challenge of technical swim coaching in and around the Capital City.
“I started swimming with Masters swimmers, and I became a much better swimmer. Right after that, I started swimming at 50, then at 55 I went to the World Champion Triathlon in Vancouver, B.C.,” Stringer said.
Stringer continues to coach both children and adults all over the great state of Montana, mainly due to her love and desire to help people learn how to become better swimmers, no matter their age.
“Discipline, determination and desire, so if you train and if you have those three things, those three Ds, you will have the best thing ever," Stringer said. "You’ll always win, you will always have fun, you’ll always finish and you will feel good. It doesn’t matter if you’re in first or last place, it just matters that you’ve done it and you’ve done your best. ... That’s kind of my philosophy."
Not only did Stringer qualify and race in the IRONMAN World Championships in several countries, she has also accomplished many open water marathons. Stringer was chosen to receive the Charlotte Sanddal Inspirational Swimmer Award in 2021. Most recently, she swam a 7K in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Oh, I just love helping people and learning to teach people how to swim and be better swimmers, it’s really important to everything you do,” Stringer added. “Swimming is a lifetime sport. You may not run all your life, but you can sure swim."
Her determination to keep the communities of Montana connected and swimming since 2020 is admirable, as Stringer has provided much-needed motivation for swimmers of all levels, both in life as well as in the deep, dark open waters of the Pacific Ocean.
“I swim a lot in the ocean," Stringer said. "There is no black line, you have to sight on where you want to go, you have to make sure that you’re going straight. So, I do a lot of open water swimming, I also help triathletes and help people learn to swim open water."
Stringer coaches at the YMCA as well as the Capital City Health Club. For more information, visit usms.org.