Tyler resident Mary Hudson celebrated her 90th birthday recently by challenging herself to swim 90 pool lengths.

"I'm kind of a goal setter, and if you don't set a goal how are you ever going to reach it?" Ms. Hudson said. "I've always liked water, and I've taught swimming for 58 years."

Ms. Hudson is a retired teacher who continues to teach adult swimming classes at Tyler Junior College. Ms. Hudson walks every morning and swims two to three times a week. Jeremy Bumgardner, the director at Tyler YMCA, says Ms. Hudson is a role model for everyone at the YMCA in Tyler.

"Mary is a sweet lady, and she is a great role model for all of us up here," Bumgardner said. "I hope to be doing that well when I am 90 years old."

Ms. Hudson suggests people start swimming or other exercise programs when they're young young. She recommends water aerobics, because it is easy on the joints.

"Water exercise is great, because you're not fighting gravity and the buoyancy helps," Ms. Hudson said. "I walk every morning, too, and have been doing that for a long time."

Ms. Hudson credits having started an exercise routine about 10 years before she retired from teaching, saying if she hadn't started back then, her physical health would not be where it is today.

"I've done 90 laps in this pool before, it's just a mile and a quarter," said Ms. Hudson.

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