Crystal Perry

Hometown: Waddell, AZ 🌵 5th generation Arizonan, and my kids are 6th – very hard find these days!

Current residence: Bella Vista, AR

Family: Hubby Robby brought us to NWA originally to work with Walmart. We brought our 4 pretty awesome kids: Hannah (16) RJ (16) Charity (10) Amelia (8)

Occupation: A Nursing Professor.  I am a nurse of almost 20 years experience, and currently teaching mental health at NWACC.

Swimming background:  I have been swimming competitively since I was 3 years old. As my mama says, I was born in the water. I always dreamed of swimming the mile in the Olympics one day, but I actually quit swimming for almost 7 years (age 28-35). I had a bad MS attack that caused me to not know up from down after a flip turn one day … I could have easily drowned if not witnessed, so swimming was out for many years. I love swimming. I went back to swimming about 5 years ago when I signed up for my first ever triathlon. I talked my friend into joining me one very early morning and told her after we both jumped in what had happened to me. I was nervous, but the water truly felt like coming home.

Favorite event/race: In a pool meet, I would say the 500 Free, but I love endurance swimming. I am not a sprinter, never have been fast, but I can usually outlast most everyone (teasing).  My favorite race length has to be the half Ironman distance. My favorite race event is hard to choose. TriFest for MS has to be one of my top 3 events of the year, and this year I raced The Walmart Oz Mile for the first time. I loved every loop!

Swimming hero: Honestly, I was obsessed with every female Olympic swimmer from 1984 on! They all inspired me, and I watched video after video as a kid learning how to swim like the Olympians.

Swimming goals: I really want to do endurance open water. Distances in the miles. I found a 10 mile race called “Swim the Suck” in Tennessee, and I think I can do it!

Advice to new masters swimmers: Don’t Quit. Keep at it and enjoy the journey. I am new to masters swimming and hope to actually do more masters swim meets this coming year!

Hobbies:  If I’m not swimming, biking, running, teaching, or reading, I’m with my kids doing sports, hikes, playing, reading, eating – lol

Favorite drills: Every swim workout I do fingertip, one arm, and what I call catch-up paddle drill.  I’m not sure the actual name of the drill but basically it’s using my arm as a paddle focusing on using every part of my arm to sweep the water.

Do you participate in other sports? Triathalons, running

Where do you currently swim? Bentonville Community Center and Beaver Lake.


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