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Wisconsin marathon swimmer takes advantage of state's lakes this Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 6:34 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 06:51:47-04

Unless you live on the water, you may never see her.

"I go to bed early, I usually go to bed around eight or nine, then I get up a little after three," says Melodee Liegl, marathon swimmer who joined USA Master's Swimming in 1995.

But the moment the lakes warm up in Wisconsin, Liegl jumps in.

"Oh, it's exciting. I just can't wait. I know it's going to be a little cold today, but it's just lovely, says Liegl.

As a marathon swimmer, Liegl has swam miles upon miles in open waters around the world. And while she's used to colder elements, nothing beats the warm water of the ocean.

"I went tropical this year and I'm going to do a swim in September in the Caribbean," says Liegl. "It's 20 miles, but it's in beautiful 75-degree water and I'm in my element, so that's happiness."

Still, a Wisconsinite to her core, Liegl loves the water in her backyard.

"I have so many lakes to choose from. I'll just wake up one day and think, where should I go today. Beaver is one of my favorites, Upper Nebobbin is another one, and Silver Lake are my favorites," says Liegl.

It's one of the reasons, she sees herself swimming into her 90s.

"There are people that are breaking records in their 90s and even over 100 that are competing still. I'm like, that's what I want to be doing when I'm old," says Liegl.

Sure, marathon swimming isn't for everyone, but it is one of the few sports that's easier on the joints and the mind.

"It's my own free time to be by myself, and I have a lot of time to think about things. I just love the thought of hopping into a lake and being on my own," says Liegl.

If you don't enjoy the silence, you could always turn a lake into a personal concert.

"I have over 600 songs on here and as soon as you go under the water, it amplifies," says Liegl, explaining the Finis equipment she uses while training.

Even if you're still stuck on the idea of a 4 a.m. wake-up call, Liegl says once you've had the lake to yourself, you'll understand.

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