MUSC Wellness Center Summer 2022

12 | www.We l l nes sCenterMagaz i ne. com MUSC Wellness Center swim instructor Kathleen Wilson likes to say that she has “been privileged to live four distinct lives.” In addition to helping raise two kids, Wilson is a classically-trained musician who has spent 31 years as a professional harpist, played harp with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and performed at more than 6,000 private functions. On the aquatic side, she has accomplished incredible athletic feats, including becoming the first person from South Carolina to swim the English Channel. “I had zero sprinting prowess,” recalled Wilson of the motivation behind her shift to open water swimming. What she does possess is cardiovascular endurance and an adventurous, indomitable spirit. Wilson has been in the water for events ranging from 10 miles to 36 miles, each taking anywhere from four to 21 hours. “I’ve had perfect conditions as well as miserable conditions,” she said. As if all this wasn’t impressive enough, Wilson also spent a 12year stint in public service as a three-term city councilwoman for the city of Charleston. “I didn’t want to be bored,” quipped Wilson, who currently serves as vice chair as a commissioner of public works for the Charleston Water System. In 2018, the sports facet of her life culminated with Wilson’s induction into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. She has run the Olympic torch and received the prestigious Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor, which recognizes a lifetime of extraordinary achievements, service and contributions. “Sports have been very good to me,” reflected Wilson. “That’s where my heart is.” SWIM LESSONS FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS Wilson, who has accrued 48 years of swim practice, shares her extensive firsthand knowledge, experience and passion for the water with the public at the Wellness Center’s 25-meter pool, By Colin McCandless SWIM INSTRUCTOR AND WORLD CLASS SWIMMING TALENT SHARES EXPERTISE AND PASSION FOR THE WATER. “THE LIFE AQUATIC”