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2845 Vineland Avenue Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI, 49508
United States

616 822 5445

Benson Products, LLC is the creator of the Splash Count™, a portable waterproof submersible digital sports clock, timer and counter. Splash Count™ can be used for various activities  such as swimming, soccer, basketball, biking, triathlon, fitness, coaching, training, timing, exercise circuits, game timer, and game scores. Coaches, athletic directors, trainers, and teachers continue to find many uses for our versatile product!   


Lynn Benson's Blog



Motivation - What Drives the Competitor

Lynn Benson - Benson Products

runners crosstraining.jpg

What force drives some people to be running long distance races when they are grandparents? Why are they cross-training on the stationary bikes at the gym and doing weight lifting boot camps? These two training partners were at the local YMCA when I asked them for some feedback on these questions.

Jim is a grandfather. He runs marathons and other long distance events and has been doing it for years. He is the unofficial but true leader of a loosely organized running group that has blossomed in the past few years. There is no coach, just friends who encourage each other. They share their plans for runs using a Facebook page to coordinate starting times and running routes and distance goals for training runs throughout the week. They share articles about running, training, food and inspiration. They invite more people to join them and then they share advice, their time and encouragement with each other. No one needs to run alone because there is someone who is willing to go. 
Molly is a grandmother. She started training with Jim’s group a few years back and has worked her way up to competing in 5 and 10K distance running events. In her 70’s, Molly is a new runner. She inspires many in this group as she perseveres through all of the typical runner issues like sore muscles, bones and joint, colds and even a fall at the finish line last year that gave her scrapes and a big goose egg.
They started listing off more reasons and explanations than I could keep up with so I will only touch on a few of their responses.
What motivates you to do all of this work?
Jim: “I sign up for a race well in advance so it is on the calendar and I know I have to be ready for it”
Molly: ”I do it to be healthy and keep a good weight.”
Jim: “There are people who depend on me to do this. I got here this morning and there was a person grabbing me and insisting I run with her so she would get her run in.”
Molly: “I need this for my mental health”
Jim: “I’ve got to set an example for people, my kids and grandkids. They see me doing this and they do it too.”
Molly: “My blood pressure stays down.”
Jim: “This keeps us going. You know, this is good stuff!”
Molly: “The friends. It’s so great to encourage each other.”

These are great reasons to train and workout and compete. They had several more that I couldn’t hold in my memory long enough to put in this post.

Please share with us. I would love to hear the motivation behind your participation in running, swimming, or any sport or physical activity. What drives you to train? Please leave your comments to share with my readers. 

Lynn Benson is the Managing Member of Benson Products, LLC and a retired Physical Education teacher, former Aquatic Supervisor, and the mother of 3 and grandmother of 7. Lynn is the inventor of Splash Count TM sports clock, scoreboard and counter. This article is based on her observations and opinion.


Always be Prepared

Lynn Benson - Benson Products

 I almost always carry at least one Splash Count™ sports timer and counter in the car with me wherever I go. I just expect that there will be someone who wants to see it or use it. I got started in the habit after a Grand Rapids Inventors Network (GRIN) meeting a couple of years ago. Another inventor, Orville Crane, wanted to see the product and I didn’t have one with me. I showed him some pictures and information about it, but that is not the same as actually having the real thing. Orville recommended I always carry it with me. So I started carrying the Splash Count™. Which brings up the reason for the post.

I am a volunteer baker! We bake Clara Cookies, protein cookies that are so yummy you would never suspect they are good for you! My friend, Rebecca Cruttenden, is passionate about getting children into loving, forever homes and out of the uncertainty of being orphans. Her solution is Team Orphans, a non-profit organization that raises money for adoption grants. The money is given through Brittany’s Hope as adoption grants to be used by families bringing hard-to-adopt children home. Besides competing in Ironman Triathlons and raising money by having people sponsor her, Rebecca decided to bake cookies and sell them to bring in more money for the kids.

Rebecca and her sister developed a few recipes for delicious gluten free, nutrient dense, cookies that athletes can use before, during and after training and during long races. They are easily digested even when on a long bike ride. However, unlike some protein bars, these cookies are so good, you’ll want to eat them for desert. We bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Coconut Chocolate Chip, and Double Chocolate with Almonds. Two of these flavors also have a vegan option! We now have about 30 retail outlets that are selling the cookies and they can be ordered on line or by phone. We bake hundreds each week.

Last week, we were having difficulty with the kitchen timers that we use to time the cookies in the oven. After setting the timers, we discovered neither one of the two we were using was working correctly. They were immediately going to 00:00. I remembered the Splash Count™ sports timer and counter I had brought along so I got it from the car. I never know when someone will need to time or count with the Splash Count™!! Today it was Clara Cookies! It was great to be able to see the time remaining from all the way across the kitchen. 

This experience reinforces the importance of being ready! Splash Count sports timer and counter is so versatile, you can be ready for a wide variety of timing and counting needs in just about any conditions.

Lynn Benson is the Managing Member of Benson Products, LLC and a retired Physical Education teacher, former Aquatic Supervisor, and the mother of 3 and grandmother of 7. Lynn is the inventor of Splash Count. This article is based on her observations and opinion.

What about Those Girls?

Lynn Benson - Benson Products

Yearbook Picture of the senior captains of the sports teams, 1969.

Yearbook Picture of the senior captains of the sports teams, 1969.

I am a girl from the 'olden times!' I grew up before Title IX. Girls did not have the opportunities that exist today for school sports. Don't get me wrong. Girls did get to play some sports, but it certainly was not like it is today. There were not as many sports opportunities for girls as there were for boys and we always took what was left... of the money, the gym time, the equipment. This picture says a lot about what it was like back then. Only two girls.


The girls went to the local school sports games for the high school events. We cheered for the boys' home team at basketball and football games and we learned the basics of the rules and how to watch the games. At family gatherings, we played softball! We had badminton and volleyball nets in the yard from time to time. Our parents and the neighbors participated. We also got involved with the swim team offered by the YMCA and a local country club league and some of us were in gymnastics classes or dance lessons. Of course all of these and more were available to the boys. The schools however, offered less for girls than for boys, and at the time, participation was all free through the school.


Until I was out of high school and in college, girls' high school sports opportunities were available but limited. That has changed dramatically after the passage of Title IX. Prior to Title IX, some girls could get into gymnastics and cheer leading and a few had softball, basketball, track, golf and tennis depending on the community. At our school, girls had only side-line cheer leading, and gymnastics. (Read to the end to find out how we got swimming.) We could play basketball in an intramural club at school called GAA. Our boys had all of the sports listed above except cheer leading and they had baseball instead of softball, in addition to football, cross country and wrestling. Most of the boys programs had Varsity and JV programs as well. The boys had priority for the use of the facilities at the schools and priority when it came to budget.


Our high school added a swimming pool the year I was in 10th grade. The athletic director was planning a swim team for the boys, but none for the girls. When my mother asked about this, she was told that there was not enough money in the budget for a girls' team. Mom had to fight for our opportunity to use the pool and have a girls' swim team. She insisted on having a team because there were many girls who had been competing in various country clubs and at the YMCA over the previous few years and of course, they wanted a chance to compete as a team for the local high school. Mom told the superintendent that she would coach the team without pay. The AD and superintendent insisted she earn a life saving certificate and become a Water Safety Instructor in order to be the coach. So, without pay and after earning the required certifications, she became our coach. The demand was so great that more than 60 girls wanted to be on the team! She needed an assistant (volunteer swimming instructor) to help with girls who really did not know how to swim but were anxious to be in the sport anyway. We won all of our league meets for the first 3 years of the program. They started paying the coach after the first year.


Whenever a sport is added to the offerings of a school athletic department, there are struggles to overcome. Money, space, scheduling, officials, coaches and many other considerations. Since Title IX has been in effect for several decades, girls can not be left out. In our town in the late 1960's, a new team for the boys seemed a natural, almost expected addition when the pool was built even though the budget was tight. The thought of adding a team for girls did not enter the heads of the men in charge. It took a lot of effort on the part of my mother to make this a possibility for the girls. As I see the level of competition for girls and women getting stronger each year, I appreciate the women and the men who pushed for equality for girls in school sports. Thanks Mom!

Lynn Benson is the Managing Member of Benson Products, LLC and a retired Physical Education teacher, former Aquatic Supervisor, and the mother of 3 and grandmother of 7. Lynn is the inventor of Splash Count portable sports clock and counter. This article is based on her observations and opinion.

Youth Basketball at it's Best

Lynn Benson - Benson Products

I am impressed by the program. It was not the skill level of the girls or the number of baskets they made. So why was I impressed? I was impressed by the attitude of the crowd, the coaches and the official. I was impressed by the attitude of the girls as they played.

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A Culture of Adult Fitness

Lynn Benson - Benson Products

In the 1950's and 1960's I grew up with all the baby boomers. Some of our parents played golf, softball, volleyball and/or they bowled once a week. There were a few dads who played a little hoops. A very few went out to run for exercise. The women seemed to like the idea of getting a thin figure and many exercised with the TV fitness gurus of the time. Some would swim occasionally. I remember a surge of interest in jogging to get fit in the late 60's. Some of the parents were out there trying this option to loose unwanted weight or to try to get back in shape. They did not have 5 K and 10 K races to keep them motivated and there was barely a culture to encourage those few joggers who gave this a try. Most gave this up quickly due to injury or discouragement.


Now in the 2010's life is different! We still have DVD exercise programs that are advertised all over the TV and internet aimed at getting an attractive body but many adult participants are pursuing endurance sports with a focus on health. Unlike bowling or golf once a week, these endurance sports require on-going training just to be a participant. More and more helpful information is being written to help people understand how to start a training program in a way that allows them to progress and strengthen gradually. There are groups to participate with and there are community and national events that give a challenge to participants at all levels of ability. Communities are building running and biking trails and other fitness facilities to encourage a fitness for life opportunity for all of the people, not just the kids!


Everyday moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas are competing in Marathons and ½ Marathon races, biking events, triathlons and many more types of events that require a high level of fitness. After high school, there is no reason to stop being active in sports! Even those who never were in sports as a youth will be able to find leagues and events that are for men or women in many different activities that encourage adults to attain and maintain a high level of fitness.

Splash Count at the 1 mile mark at the Reeds Lake Run in East Grand Rapids, MI to display race time.

Splash Count at the 1 mile mark at the Reeds Lake Run in East Grand Rapids, MI to display race time.

I sometimes read articles about high percentages of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in our country that are discouraging. Could this surge of adult participation in all of these activities be the change we have been needing? I do think there is hope for the future. Physical activity is strong medicine. The health and fitness culture is growing. Running, walking, cycling and many more healthful activity options are available in our communities. I am encouraged by the numbers of people I see along the trails and in the the fitness clubs or gathered at the start lines of so many races in so many communities.

If you are one that is on the outside of this fitness culture and want to make a change for the health of it, do some reading and get some advice from those who are trained in the field of fitness and from your doctor. Start slowly and carefully so you will reduce the potential for injury. You don't need to compete to get the benefit, but it can be an incentive to strive for a goal of completing a challenge. Find one or two options that fit your needs, location and interests, grab a friend or two and go out there and participate! Those Marathon Moms and Dads started out by walking or jogging one block!

Lynn Benson is the Managing Member of Benson Products, LLC and a retired Physical Education teacher, former Aquatic Supervisor, and the mother of 3 and grandmother of 7. Lynn is the inventor of Splash Count. This article is based on her observations and opinion.