Who’s In That Lane? (February, 2024)

February 27, 2024

Melanie Perry and Daniel Hommes

There’s a story in every lane. That’s what we will be learning as we introduce our swimmers each month. In this second edition of Who’s In That Lane, I am proud to introduce Mel Perry and Daniel Hommes. The picture above is how most of us see them when they swim the early workouts at the CLU pool. They look great, don’t they? These pictures were taken at 5:55 AM in a 38-degree day, and all you see are smiles and optimism as they head into their workout. I love it!

Daniel and Mel have a few things in common. They are both proud parents, they both have full time jobs, they both much prefer distance sets to sprints (it’s good for me to see that non-sprinters really exist!), neither gets excited when Nancy announces a kicking set (which tells us they are both highly intelligent), they are both world travelers, and they’ve both been with CVMM about three years.

Let’s take a deeper look at Mel Perry first.

As a swimmer, Mel swam for her high school team (she was in the first ever graduating class of the Calabasas High School Coyotes!), and she’s been swimming with different masters’ groups since she was in her 20s. Although she’s done a few masters meets, she hasn’t done any recently. We will work on that! Swimming 100s on the 1:40 feels like a great workout to Mel. Her husband Bob is her consistent lane partner. You don’t see too many husband/wife tandems here, so I regard that as something super cool. I keep asking my wife to join us, but she is not excited about the 4:45 alarm.

Mel derives great meaning and pleasure from her job as an account director for Belmond, a luxury travel brand. She’s been in travel her entire career, and she’s loved being with Belmond for the last twenty years. One of the best parts of her job is knowing that every client conversation is different and unique, and her creativity can come through with every trip she plans. I love that. And of course, her job allows her to do what she truly loves, travel around the world. She shared pictures of her travels to Italy’s Amalfi Coast and Peru’s Machu Pichu. That’s good living. #jealous

I often swim in the lane next to Mel. She’s rock solid, and someday, I’ll have a flip turn as smooth, graceful, and powerful as hers. I hope. And what gets her out of bed and on time to our early workouts is that she knows she doing right by her health, and the camaraderie with her fellow swimmers has her leaving every workout smiling.

And now, Daniel Hommes

Daniel has been a lifelong athlete, but he’s fairly new to swimming. Born and raised in Holland, he just missed qualifying for the Dutch 1988 Olympic rowing team. After that he started cycling and running marathons. But to compete in triathlons, he had to hit the pool. He had a major health scare about ten years ago, and has thankfully recovered. And he’s now getting serious about these triathlons. He’s competed in several 70.3 events (I always call those half-ironmans, but I think 70.3 is the more accepted term), and he’s aiming for a full ironman event in Barcelona this fall. You can see his other means of moving below, with his bike and after completing and ironman with his son. Pretty cool dad stuff right there.

By day, Daniel worked for eight years as gastroenterologist at UCLA, helping patients with complex chronic diseases. These days, he has transitioned to developing a company that will bring in AI-powered decision making that will help health givers in daily clinical practice. I love it. Helping to bring cutting edge research to doctors’ offices and clinics around the world, even in the smallest of towns, is truly making a difference.

As far as swimming, Daniel feels plenty challenged by repeating 100s on a 2:00 interval. He has not yet done a swim meet with CVMM, but I think he would be a fantastic in the 800- and 1500-yard events. I want him to do those, because I never want Nancy to ask me to enter those events. And as far as CVMM goes, he is truly appreciative of the professional level of coaching that Nancy Reno provides, and is constantly in awe of the amazing swimmers swimming up and down our pool.

So there you go! Thanks to Mel and Daniel for sharing their love of swimming, and how it supports their already super interesting lives. We have quite the group here in CVMM. I can’t wait to share more of our stories.

To see all Who’s In That Lane? posts, please click here!

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