New Paltz Adult



Petra Trunkes began her love affair with the water at a very young age. "My mother says I was under the water more than I was above." After initially learning to swim in a pond in the cool inland waters of Massachusetts, she ventured into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine. "I would feel the icy cold water and dare myself to get in and swim. Once I was in the water, there was no stopping me." Often, she would jump off her father's charter fishing boat, and swim in areas that were miles off shore in the open water. When she wasn't in Maine, she was in the in-ground pool in the back yard.



Eventually, she found pools to be a greater comfort in temperature, and swam on her own for fitness. After meeting Michael, she joined a Master's Swim Program on Long Island, NY with Coach, author, and race director Steve Tarpinian and experienced the benefit of organized workouts for the first time.


Petra struggled with understanding the complexities of stroke mechanics. After having several coached other sports, she wanted a more in depth understanding of the physics of swimming. "No one seemed to be able to answer my questions."


As Mike began working at the Hudson Valley Swim Studio in New Paltz, he shared his passion for teaching by teaching Petra. "I instantly 'got it'."

Petra formally began teaching in 2007, working with beginners and up to and including tri athletes. She developed a specialty working with phobic students. "It is a joy to see someone develop a confidence and control in the water. It becomes both liberating and empowering for the student."



Petra and Michael worked together to develop Beginner Tri camps and have run several successful camps over the past 4 years. Many of their students continue to keep in touch and give them joyous updates of their progress.


Petra owns and operates the Hungry Ghost Guest House Bed and Breakfast in New Paltz, and is involved with the local farming and organic food scene - teaching and guiding people to better health and well-being through the power of diet.