A Swimming Adventure

Exciting news! I’ve won a contest for an adventure swim!

Here’s what happened: A few weeks ago, ultra-swimmer Jamie Patrick put out a call for people to share ideas for a self-created swimming adventure. Jamie and three judges would consider proposals for a crazy/interesting/inspiring swim and give the winner of the contest $500 toward his or her goal as well as a box full of swimming goodies like a SwiMP3.

This got me thinking. I’d been casting about for another swim after the river race in Chattanooga in June, but hadn’t really come across anything that felt right. I considered doing an endurance swim in Lake Tahoe once we moved back to San Francisco next year. But it didn’t actually get me excited. Then, on a run one day, Jill and I came up with the idea to turn our trip back to San Francisco next summer into an open-water adventure. I would swim for one to three miles in the waters of every state we traverse while Jill would either canoe with our Dachshund Gracie or just stay shoreside. I thought it’d be fun to blog along the way about the communities, people, and ecosystems I meet, exploring our country’s complicated relationship with water. This is the adventure swim I proposed in my application to the contest.

Earlier this week, I got a call from Jamie telling me that I had won. Here’s an write-up about the contest. Here’s the announcement about how I was chosen. Here’s one about my motivation for swimming.

Since I’m a self-taught swimmer, I decided to use the contest money for swimming lessons that started in October. They’ve made a big difference already. Thanks, Ashley!

I’ll be blogging about the adventure as well as my pre-trip planning. I have some ideas about our course. I’m also open to suggestions from friends, family, and strangers on where to drive, swim, and stay. If you’re nearby and want to join me in the water, let me know!

Stay splashy!


The Chattanooga Rat Race, a 4.5-mile swim in the Tennessee River, June 2011


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