Dave Treen is clocking the days, weeks and months of his life with a schedule that would test the limits and resolve of people half his age.
Over two weekends in late July and early August, Treen participated in the biennial State Games of America in Lynchburg, Va., taking home multiple medals in his chosen sports of swimming and running.
“They hold it every other year. Last time was in Grand Rapids, this time it was in Lynchburg, In another two years, it’ll be in Des Moines. You have to qualify first. What you do is medal in a major event: for me, swimming and or running. New Jersey doesn’t have state championships, but Virginia does and the past three years, I’ve medaled there,” Treen explained.
Treen is based in Cherry Hill, having lived here all his life. He grew up in the Erlton section of the township, and has taken to the pool since the age of 9 at Erlton Swim Club. He attended and swam for Cherry Hill High School West, before heading to Ferrum College – a school situated south of Roanoke – and continued to swim for the Division III program for four years.
“I won the Virginia state 5K championships last year and the year before that was a bronze and a silver. Last year, in 11 events in swimming, I won 11 gold medals in 11 events. So after you qualify (in a given event), they contact you and say you can register for nationals. That’s when I left the area, set up a tour around Lynchburg so I could compete.”
The tour he’s talking about is not of trails and swimming venues, but of artistic venues. Treen is a musician as well, who needs to budget his time properly to ensure peak performance. He plays a variety of instruments, but on tour he sticks simply to a guitar and his voice.
“I’m going on tour for a week starting (Sept. 5). So what I do is, I set up my tours around my swim meets and running races. I’ll go on tour, swim or run and so forth,” he said.
“I train seven days a week, between running, swimming and weight training. (Playing music is) what makes it difficult, because when I go on tour, I train in the morning. If it’s a running day, I’ll run from the hotel room, if it’s a weight or swimming day I go to the local training center of whatever city I’m in. I’ll come back, do a show and play at night. Then it’s off to the next city and repeat.”
Treen admits it’s the pressure, the need to balance all the things, that makes his life fulfilling, that keeps him from losing his edge. Fear indeed can be a motivating factor in pursuit of success, even in the 60 to 64 age group.
“This year, they had the 5K run and two swimming events, your 50-meter course like you see at the Olympics or World Championships, and then the second day is the yard events. I ran the 5K championships on the first Saturday, and then the following week was the (swimming). I swam five events and won three golds and two silver medals. The second day was also five events, and I won four golds and one silver,” he revealed.
While the secret of his success is freely available, how he became known to The Sun is a bit of a mystery.
“I scuba dive. I travel the world and do underwater videography. And I have a list of about eight dozen (contacts). I create a gallery of all these clips and photos and I send a link out. It’s national and international, and there’s local people on it too. It’s probably somebody from that list, because people always ask me ‘how did you do on your swim meet and on your run?’ That was a pleasant surprise,” Treen said.
The grind never seems to end, but Treen’s passion has yet to wane.
“I love what I do; I live for this. I live for swimming, running, music, diving. For example, in the spring I was doing a tour through the central U.S., upstate New York and New England. There was a meet in Ohio, in a place 25 miles south of Cleveland. Saturday night, I’m playing a concert in Cleveland, the next morning, I’m doing a meet down there, and then it’s off to Buffalo,” he mused.
To find out more about the games, visit: http://stategamesofamerica.com/.
For more information on Treen’s musical endeavors, visit: http://www.davetreenmusic.com.