Leased owner-operator Siphiwe Baleka, with Springfield, Mo.-based Prime Inc., won two national championships at the 2011 U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday, April 29. Baleka, who joined Prime three years ago, won first place in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle with the second fastest times of the year. He also placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke, sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and 14th in the 50-yard butterfly.
“I was just hoping to make it into the top ten,” said Baleka. “I still can’t believe I won two national championships.”
Racing at spring nationals was not only a personal goal for Baleka, whose competition there marked a return to competitive swimming after an 18-year hiatus, but it was also the final phase of research for Fitness Trucking Inc., Baleka’s company that, similar to the long-running Truckercise program I wrote about last week, provides truck drivers with a series of exercises on DVD. Drivers can perform these exercises while in the truck or just outside the cab in 30 minutes or less.Via Fitness Trucking, Baleka also offers a program for drivers who are looking to compete in athletic competition; based on his own experience with comprehensive training on the road, he walks drivers through what they can do to get into fighting trim, as it were.
Baleka was recently featured in vid via the ‘Morning Swim Show’ by Swimming World Magazine. You can check out the vid of the 40-year-old Prime driver/swimming champion here.
“Wherever I am picking up or delivering a load, I use my GPS to find a YMCA,” Baleka says. “I just want to show other truck drivers that you can stay fit even while on the road and compete at a high level if you have the desire to do so.”
Stay tuned to the blog for the efforts of others among the growing movement of health-conscious drivers out there, including some familiar faces.