Jay Erzberger might affectionately be called our resident YMCA swimmer. Any afternoon he can be seen swimming laps in the pool.
Jay grew up on the Southside of Chicago. He learned to swim about as soon as he learned to walk and spent his summers in the water of Lake Geneva. Jay has enjoyed water all his life. As a high school youth, he was unable to participate in Varsity sports due to a heart murmur. However, by age 19 Jay had earned his Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguarding certifications, taught Water Skiing and Sailing and was a certified Scuba Diver.
While attending Carroll College in Waukesha, Jay taught swimming, lifeguarded and worked at a boat company. Following college, Jay became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. While employed there, Jay had an unexpected opportunity to continue his love for swimming. His working hours were 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. However, his wife, Marilyn, did not like Jay returning home so early. So, Jay happily got in his daily swimming workout before going home each day. By the time Jay was 48 years old he was swimming two miles in one hour.
Jay and his wife moved to Escanaba in 1978 to pursue a business interest. Jay’s greatest disappointment was that there was no public indoor swimming pool. With the establishment of the Y in 1985 Jay began swimming again as a Y member at the then Ramada Inn pool. When the Y pool opened in 1990, Jay was estatic to swim in a competition size pool again.
A year and a half ago, Jay was diagnosed with congestive heart failure along with suffering from severe arthritis. However, when Jay is in the water, he is pain free and he continues his daily swim. Jay is delighted that he can continue to exercise because, as he says with a grin, “It’s hard for something to hit a moving target!” Happy swimming Jay, we’ll see you in the pool.