TNYA Spotlight: Steve Riback

Steve RibackHey, do you know Steve Riback? Maybe you know him from the Asbury Park weekends that he hosts for the team. Or maybe you know him from the Animal Medical Center, where he works as a vet. Or perhaps you know him from the lane — he’s tall, dark and handsome, so you can’t miss him! Well, you can get to know him, or to know him better, through this edition of the TNYA spotlight. Steve, take it away:

Open-water racing as a kid meant sailboat racing. I grew up on the north shore of Long Island and fell in love with sailing and sailboat racing. All through college and graduate school and until my 40s, I raced dinghies and large boats. Short races might be an hour in a bay, and a long distance race might be from Newport to Bermuda.

After graduate school, I was a lap swimmer until a friend turned me on to open-water swimming. At that time, open-water racing was a relatively new sport, and we’d have to travel several hours to find a one-mile swim. I was surprised to find out that I had some aptitude in the open water, so racing became a no-brainer.

Swimming for me has appeal on two levels. First, I found that wherever I lived, it was the swimmers who befriended me. Joining TNYA has been my way of meeting quality people who shared a common bond. It was my way of becoming acclimated to NYC and has become my family. Thanks for that, TNYA. On another level, open-water swimming is my therapy. My brain turns off and I just enjoy the moment. No lines on the bottom, no chlorine, no flip turns (did I mention no flip turns?), dolphins, sharks, sting rays, fish, waves, sunshine on my face, cold water, warm water…Every swim is different, yet every swim in the ocean brings me inner peace, even if the water is tumultuous.

Nothing else quite makes me feel that good. Well, maybe drinking Champagne at breakfast after my open-water swims with swim friends makes me feel pretty good as well.

Check out his photo op, attached. Hey, where’s the Champagne?