Louis Canaiy

A man of many talents and hobbies

Louis says he's been in the water since before he could walk. He joined a local club team when at the age of 9. He found his stroke - primarily freestyle and also the butterfly. Before relocating to Boston, Louis was swimming with Miami's gay team and loved it. He joined LANES in January 2017 to find a necessary athletic outlet. When not at the pool, what keeps Louis busy? He's a Principal Systems Reliability Engineer for a software startup. And what does that mean, he says "a large portion of my job is solving problems." Besides swimming and working, Louis enjoys hitting the gym, gardening, flying his drone, and taking photos. Asked to share some closing thoughts on LANES, Louis states "The team is good people, and I do my best to carry that spirit forward and help others - especially newcomers - feel as at home as I do on the team. I also enjoy the broad range of personal experiences and swimming acumen the team encompasses." 

William Lawson
Yay Sports! 

Joining LANES in June 2014, Will looked at the team as a way to make swimming more interesting and challenging than swimming alone at the gym, and for a way to meet new people after recently moving to Boston. Having grown up around pools, Will joined his first team at age 11. Will quickly found backstroke to be his preferred stroke - and the one he excelled at. When not in the pool, Will is the Assistant Director for Administration at the Picower Institute at one of Boston's leading universities, MIT. When not in the pool or at work, Will enjoys spending time in Provincetown, traveling, watching sports (a big Patriots fan) and enjoying cocktails, wine, and good food. Will's closing thoughts on LANES are: "To anyone thinking about joining the team - just do it! You won't be disappointed, no matter what your reasons are for joining."

David O'Brien
Gloria Vanderbilt's more handsome son

Often mistaken for a more handsome version of Anderson Cooper, David is one of the original members of LANES and a tremendous asset to the team. He has been with the team since 1992 (yes, more than 20 years!). In addition to being an avid swimmer, David is a devoted golfer (mostly because of the clothes), a car aficionado (mostly because of the cars) and crazed snowboarder (mostly because Anderson boards). His twerking career is still a work in progress.


Heather Barna
Head Coach
Our Mermaid in shining armor

Heather's smile, warmth, fun-loving attitude mixed with her Can Do/You Will Do coaching style make her a perfect fit for the team and leadership ranks. Since joining LANES in Spring 2013, Heather has made a (great!) lasting impact in the practice pool, during meets and from the coaching deck.Heather's first memories of swimming date back to swimming in a pond in North Carolina, then to the pool in her apartment complex when her family lived in Iran (yes, really!) and more concretely, to the swim instructor she had back in Indiana who ultimately encouraged her to join a swim team. When not coaching LANES or working as an operations manager for an online virtual tour company, Heather loves cooking and has taken up a strong interest in photography. Above all though, Heather enjoys dog time with Buzzard, cat time with Commando and human time with Ethan. If you have any doubt about how lucky we are to have Heather part of this crazy wonderful LANES family, here's her thoughts on swimming: "I'm a huge fan and believer in Masters swimming.I ended up taking their Coaching Certification Class last spring - they really foster the idea of it being a group for everyone- It doesn't matter if you are a lap swimmer looking for more, a former Div 1 college swimmer, a person looking for a social outlet, encouragement for a fitness program, a triathlete...Masters Swimming is there for every person."

Chester Palen-Michel
Our Social Butterfly! Anyone for brunch? 

Initially introduced to IGLA swimming via the Gay Games while living in Ohio, Chester joined LANES in 2019 after moving to Boston. He was looking for the same sense of community and enthusiasm for swimming that he saw at the Gay Games, and we're so glad he found it! He started swimming at 10 years old, and while he's looking to get better at fly, he certainly mastered the breastroke. Formerly an English as a Second Language instructor, Chester is now a PhD studemt studying Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing, which keeps him very busy. When not in the pool or doing research, he enjoys cooking, running, and visiting family back in Ohio. Chester's final thoughts on the team are "LANES is a wonderful group of supportive people and a great opportunity to enjoy swimming for exercise, competition, socializing, or whatever aspect of swimming you're looking for!"

DJ Fitzpatrick
From grunge concerts to the pool!   

DJ found LANES in 2018 when looking for a team to swim with as a way to meet new people, and was happy to have found both - good friends and a great team of which he's quickly become an integral part. Another swimmer who started young at 5 years old and returned to the pool after a break, he now can't imagine not swimming - unless it's breastroke or distance, his least favorites! When not in the pool or at work as an Equity Portfolio Manager, he's likely watching sports (football, hockey, and horse racing) or planning the next concert to attend.  Some final words of wisdom from DJ: "I remember back when I joined that I initially was a bit intimidated about getting back into a team practice setting and unsure if I would be able to hold up in the practices. I was wrong! So, for anyone on the fence, please give it a try. It's a relaxed atmosphere; we're all there to have fun while getting a work out; and you may just make some new friends both in and out of the pool." 

Jim Seligman
Jimmy's a fierce competitor and our Nana

In 2002, Jim found himself recently out of a long-term relationship and turned to the team as a great way to meet new people and get back into swimming more regularly. No stranger to the pool, Jim grew up swimming as a kid but didn't tackle competitive swim until high school. If you ask him his favorite stroke? The answer is great - and honest. "I love butterfly though it is exhausting." To unwind after a hard swim practice or his day job owning his own dental practice in the South End, Jim loves to garden, cook, travel, and spend time with his husband and family. Jim's closing comments about LANES speak for themselves - "I will always appreciate the friendships I have made through the team. I feel very lucky that I joined the team way back when."