First of all, before I get to the numbers, I guess I should tell you where the heck I got that name, “Elaine-iaK”. As a new USMS (U.S. Masters Swimming) swimmer, I joined in on the discussion forums to ask questions and learn as much as I could about competitive swimming. It had been since 1979 when I had last competed, back in high school, and things had changed a lot in the sport. (Besides, I was pretty much self-taught back then, which is another story entirely…) So, I signed up on the forums as “ElaineK” and jumped in with both feet, as I always seem to do when I am enthusiastic and passionate about something. Well, my enthusiasm for swimming was noticed by one of the other “forumites”, who is a wonderful mentoring presence on the forums for other swimmers. And, to one of my enthusiastic posts, he responded, “Elaine-iak, love your enthusiasm…” So, the name stuck; I thought it was perfect for me.
Now, about those number: Countries traveled = 61, states traveled = 19, working cruises (see “About” for more info on that) = 35, non-working cruises = 6, chocolate labels collected = 245 files/ several more to be filed, countries from which those chocolate labels were obtained = 50 (see “Chocolate” for index).