In 1968, when he was appointed to the Pinellas-Pasco circuit court bench, Beach was in his late 30s, smoking three packs a day, and couldn’t go up a flight of stairs without breathing hard. He quit cold turkey and went back to the sport he had enjoyed in high school, swimming. That led to his competition in masters swimming events.
In addition to prolonging his life by improving his physical condition, swimming is good for him mentally, Beach says. “It’s gotten me through some personal problems in my life, like my divorce. I’ve made some of my best law decisions right there in the pool. I’ve got all this time by myself, nobody is interrupting me and I’ll be thinking about some case and decide, ‘That’s what I’m going to do.’ It’s a great influence, emotionally and physically.”
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