Alan Pearson, 91, a former swimming instructor, still swims five days a week with Toronto Early Morning Swimmers

Here's a story for those of us who struggle to keep to a regular exercise regime, and find it easy to hit the snooze button of a morning and go back to sleep.

Five days a week, for about eight months of the year, 91-year-old Alan Pearson gets up early at his Kilaben Bay home and heads to the Toronto baths to do a few laps with his mates from the Toronto Early Morning Swimmers.

Why only five days a week?

"I play golf on the other two days," Mr Pearson smiled.

He's been at it for about 60 years, although his links to the water go back even further.

As a 10-year-old, he joined Cooks Hill Surf Life Saving Club, and was hooked.

"I've just always been attracted to the water, going right back to when I first joined the surf club," he said.

That love of the water also saw him work as a swimming instructor at Toronto baths for 30 years. It was also a factor in him gaining scuba diving qualifications while working as a chief surveyor with Newcastle Water Board.

He later worked as a surveyor in Toronto for 20 years, at Pearson and Associates, on The Boulevarde, in the space now occupied by The Greater Bank.

As a swimming instructor, Mr Pearson sometimes taught two generations from the same family. And it seems many of his pupils have never forgotten him.

"I've had people stare at me in Coles," Mr Pearson said.

I used to swim about 12 laps every morning. Right now I'm only doing about six...

- Alan Pearson, 91

"This woman approached me one day and said 'You're Mr Pearson, aren't you? I was just telling my daughter that man taught me how to swim'.

"When I was teaching the kids, I'd be home by 7.30am in order to get to work," he said.

It seems the early starts in the water became a habit.

"I used to swim about 12 laps every morning," he said.

"Right now I'm only doing about six laps because I've had a few injuries to my right arm, and I can't get it up out of the water properly."

So he has worked around the injury, dog-paddling his way up and down the baths.

"I'm pretty slow in the water now," he said.

But he has no plans to stop swimming.

"Why should I give it away?" he said.

The swimming group's secretary, Ron McSporran, said Mr Pearson's determination to go swimming most mornings was an inspiration to the group.

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