I grew up in Alameda, CA, and started swimming competitively at age 7. My whole family swam, but I enjoyed it the most. I was on both medley and freestyle relays that were ranked top ten in the nation for 9-10 yr old girls. During a team trip to Hawaii as a 12 yr old, I tied the Hawaiian record for the 50 meter freestyle. I won my first open water swim at 13. I qualified for three National Junior Olympic meets as a teen. I broke the 200 I.M. record at one of those meets, held in Lincoln, Nebraska. I was our high school swim team captain and MVP my senior year. Although I didn’t know this until years later, I held school records in a few events, with my 100 freestyle time lasting 10 years.
I studied art at UCSB, and traded competitive swimming for ocean swimming and surfing. My husband wants to make sure you know that I caught my first wave riding tandem with him! Soon after college I married ( yes, to that surfer guy ), and started working as a textile artist. Within three years of marriage, we had two daughters. With a partner, I started a small children’s clothing company called, “Shrimps.” We continued for a few years, but after awhile, it was clear that I couldn’t manage a clothing company AND take care of my kids full time. I chose the kids. There after, I volunteered for many years in the school art’s program.
In my youth, I lifeguarded at pools and taught swim lessons in various places. I also coached a small handicapped swim team at UCSB. One of my swimmers even went on to the Handicapped Olympics. In 1996, I started coaching for the El Segundo Swim Team, where my girls were swimming. Then in 2000, I came on board with Surfside.
In 2006, after years of Pier to Pier swim races, I wondered whether I could swim the Catalina Channel. In the fall of 2007, starting late at night, I swam through the darkness and touched land at what would later become the Terrenea Resort. Finishing my swim in the morning, I was able to coach the “C” group that night!
Time sure flies! 2020 will mark my 20th year with Surfside. I feel very fortunate to be part of this team, helping kids do what I’ve enjoyed doing my whole life! I love watching their improvements and success’s. Thank you for this rich and wonderful opportunity to coach your kids!
Coach Beth Lee