Steve Waszak, M.D.

    3804 East Highland Drive
    Seattle, Washington 98112


    Foam-Fare Reference:
    My Life After Patton:
I graduated from University of Detroit High School in 1967 where my father had graduated in 1925. I attended the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts for my undergraduate degree (1971) and the University of Michigan Medical School (1975). I swam in the freshman Big Ten Championship meet in 1968 and took third in the 200 fly. That concluded my swimming competitively. After medical school I took my residency training at the University of Washington in Seattle where I finished in 1979 and I spent the next 30 years private practice here. More recently I have worked for the Seamar Community Health Clinic in Mount Vernon, Washington, caring mainly for Hispanic farm workers.  I now have learned a little Spanish! Currently I am the Medical Director for the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe in Darrington, Washington, on a part time basis.  I am now old enough to be enrolled in Medicare but mentally I feel like I'm about 30 years old although my body is beginning to remind me otherwise!

I am married and have a daughter, Catherine, who rowed crew all four years at Holy Names Academy High School in Seattle. She received the "Team Mate" of the year award in her junior year there. She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies at the University of Washington and in May of 2014 she received her Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of Washington. She was married in December of 2013. She is the joy and focus of my life. My wife Jan  and I have taken up tennis in our "old age." We play at the Seattle Tennis Club two blocks from our home here.  I am an active member of the American Medical Tennis Association. We enjoy travel and have been to Italy four times in the last eight years because we have found it such an enjoyable country to visit.  One of my hobbies is creating video slide shows of our travel abroad. If any Patton teammates are ever in Seattle please look me up as I would love to spend some quality time reminiscing about the Patton Team.
    Some Things I Remember:
 I came to Patton in the spring of 1965 at age 15 having little experience in swimming. What amazed me was how everyone welcomed me and were kind to me despite the fact that I was such a poor swimmer. I was immediately accepted as a teammate. Sully place me in the lane with the 12 and under girls as they were the only ones I could keep up with at the time, but he gave me the feeling that despite my current lack of skill he had faith in what I might become as a swimmer. At the time I swam 1:16 for the 100 yard butterfly.

Over the summer at Brennan Pool Sully somehow coached and inspired me to become a reasonably good butterflyer. I returned in the fall and clocked a 1:01.9 in an intra-squad time trial to most people's utter amazement myself included. But all I had done was what Sully had asked us to do in the summer workouts and low and behold it worked!

During the ensuing two years the only thing I ever swam in workouts was butterfly. I had to specialize because I had come to the sport so late in life relative to others in the sport. But it worked for me. Another year passed by and I found myself captain of the team that had taken me in as a virtual swimming orphan. I loved swimming because of the team I was on, I'm sure of that. I finished my high school swimming career hitting a 54.0 for the 100 yard butterfly and being selected for the high school All-America team in 1967. It was the fulfillment of a dream for me personally and I know that I owe my success to my teammates and coaches who were so unexpectedly good to me along the way.

I never had a chance to thank you all for what you did for me but now I can and I do. You were all better than you ever dreamed at the time. That says it all. Memories? Sully barking out the seconds on his stop watch as we hit the wall in our workout heats. An encouraging word from Sully from the side of the pool. Sully's incredible sense of humor which overcame a lot of pain when we were working out. Freezing at Br-r-r-r-rennan. Did we really do that? I remember one time finally breaking down and "hiding out" in the showers at Brennan on a freezing cold, rainy day with the hot water steaming between the shower stalls. Brennan could break even the strongest soul. Hey, I only did it once, really . . . Playing cards under the stands during the Water Wonderland meets. Ralph Richards's instant, twinkling smile and ready sense of humor could make even the toughest workout fun. But most of  all I remember having quiet heart to heart conversations while sitting at the side of the Patton pool with teammates wrapped in our towels between heats during the winter workouts when it was dark outside and only the pool lights were on inside. The closeness was palpable and the friendships sustained even the most trying difficulties of  life at the time as teenagers. Truly we learned that most meaningful things are in life are those things that are invisible - true friendship being just one of them that we all learned about on the Patton team.
Where does one start? The formative years of your life as a teenager. Some of the best friends I've ever had.  Great coaches. Supportive parents. We had it all. I think a lot of us even realized it at the time. We didn't just like being on the Patton Team, we loved it. My experience on the Patton Swim Team taught me that I could achieve anything in life I put my mind and heart into without reservation. It taught me to have faith in your dreams and believe in yourself. It taught me that good friends are a treasure you can keep in your heart your whole life. It taught me that you value people for who they are not how fast they can swim. It taught me that humor is very often the best medicine. It taught me that we are much better and stronger together than apart and separate. It taught me that when you give is when you receive. That's what being on a team is all about. It taught me to focus on a goal and work for it. It taught me to concentrate. It taught me that being genuine and being yourself is the way you should always try to be. It taught me that to listen to others and their problems and difficulties can oftentimes help you solve your own problems. It taught me that it is the journey and not the destination that's more important. It taught me that Br-r-r-rennan Pool at 7:00 a.m. on a rainy summer day is the coldest place on the planet earth. (11/9/02)

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