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BOOK COVER

What is it like to overcome
being different? To live a normal
life when society tells you
your life isn't normal?

Odd Man Out: An Autobiography is more than just a story of Jeff Commings' journey through a swimming career that took him to two Olympic Trials, granted him a place on several USA Swimming national teams and helped him break several Masters swimming world records.

The true stories you will read in this book also tell of a young man struggling to live his life as a gay man in a sport and a society that he feared wouldn't accept him. Equally heartbreaking and funny, this book is an uncompromising tale of the courage, perseverance, talent and friendships that help bring out the best in you. It tests readers from all walks of life to look inwardly and reflect on their own fears and insecurities.

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United States Masters Swimming (USMS) National & Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Masters World Record Holder
USMS All-Star, FINA All-Time Top Ten World Rankings & FINA World Champion
Pan-American Games Bronze Medalist
Former USA National Team Member
High School, USA-Swimming, NCAA & USMS All-American
Specializes in Sprinting, Breaststroke, Backstroke & I.M.


Jeff Commings began his swimming career in St. Louis when he was 4 years old, where he was literally thrown into the water at a local Boys’ Club. After his initial floundering, Jeff took to the water with ease and joined the Boys’ Club team. A year after his introduction to swimming, he signed up for his first meet.

Jeff improved, winning his first trophy at 6 for the 25 fly. Later, as he grew, Jeff found a natural talent for the breaststroke. After rising in the local ranks, he made a name for himself on the national scene with a Top 16 ranking among 11- and 12-year-olds in the 50-meter breast. 1991 came as a breakout year. He was 3rd in the 100-meter breast at the national championships, as well as a berth on the Pan-American team traveling to Cuba where he won bronze.

Jeff attended the University of Texas - Austin on a full scholarship under the tutelage of Olympic Coach Eddie Reese. His highest placing at the NCAA championships was third in the 100 breast his sophomore year. He would end his college career an eight-time All-American, USA Swimming National Team member and four-time conference champion in the Southwest Conference.

Jeff attended two Olympic Trials, in 1992 and 1996. After the 1996 Trials, Jeff moved to Colorado Springs to train under renowned coach and former world record holder Jonty Skinner and then retired in 1998.

In 1999, Jeff discovered Masters Swimming and initially used the workouts as a way to stay in shape, vowing to never compete in another high-stress meet. That vow didn’t last long. At the 2003 Masters National Championships, Jeff won five events and set his first national record in the 100 breast. The following summer, Jeff set a Masters World Record in the 100-meter Individual Medley. Another national record and world records followed.

Jeff continues to train with the Phoenix Masters in preparation for Masters swimming competitions. He is Co-Founder of Dolphins Of The Desert Swimming Academy.

 
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