Larissa Rodriguez only learned to swim last year at age 40, and now she’s making waves across the aquatics industry.

In August 2011 she launched, a Website dedicated to encouraging nonswimming adults to learn.

“It’s almost a calling,” she says. Rodriguez had lessons as a child, but never mastered swimming. It wasn’t until she planned a tropical vacation that she decided to try again.

The vacation was to celebrate the completion of her MBA at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and after some hesitation, she enrolled in lessons at a private swim school in Chanhassen, Minn.

Rodriguez successfully learned the four major strokes in time to enjoy all sorts of water activities on her trip, including jet skiing and swimming with the sharks.

“Learning to swim is really one of my biggest personal accomplishments,” says Rodriguez, who still swims several times a week.

She started last year to share her experience with other adults who are in the same place she was.

“I’m trying to create awareness,” she says. “Everything is geared toward children, and that’s turning off a lot of adults because they don’t see themselves swimming. Let’s change some of the marketing and segment it so we can change that.”

To that end, she’s connecting with leaders in the aquatics industry, including USA Swimming, and hoping that her unique perspective will continue to attract attention.