Welcome (Back) to the Blog

It has been many months since our English Channel swim last August, and what welearned from my coach, Marcia Cleveland, is really true, “What you think of as ‘normal’ changes – get used to it.”

During these last few months, we rested and healed, we have been flattered by the accolades, we drank wine and stayed up late, and we got back in the water to train like crazy.  It has been great.

You will notice that the website has a new look and feel.  In addition to the blog, it has lots of Susan’s beautiful photography and videos, stories and other information.  You can find us on Facebook, too, by searching under “A Long Swim.”  Technology is grand.

Catalina Swim – Going to California

Inasmuch as we just couldn’t leave well enough alone, Team A Long Swim is off on another challenge.  This time, it will be “swimming Catalina” which is open water swimmer-speak for swimming the San Pedro Channel between Santa Catalina Island to Palos Verdes point in southern California.

A Catalina swim is as long as (and thought by most to be every bit as challenging as) the English Channel, but the challenges will be different; there is a reason that only 250 people have ever completed the swim.  We will put together some information on Catalina, and invite you to come along on the journey.

Our scheduled date to swim is July 25th.

Supporting the Les Turner ALS Foundation

As we did with the English Channel swim in 2011, we are supporting the Les Turner ALS Foundation with the Catalina swim in 2012.  Together we raised over $165,000 because of the generosity of some 600 individuals, corporations and foundations.  It was simply overwhelming to see the support.

The Les Turner Foundation supports all things related to ALS, including the research it funds at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  In a bit of spiritual – some would say karmic – coincidence, it was the researchers at Northwestern that announced the breakthrough of the discovery of the common cause of ALS on the same day that we swam the English Channel last August.  This is the biggest news in ALS since Lou Gehrig himself, and it really lights the path to finding a cure.

A Long Swim is swept up in pursuing that path, and is eager to keep it rolling.  Research progress is accelerating.  Donations fund that progress.  It is that simple.  We have a goal of another $50,000 this year; there is a prominent “Donate Here” button on the left axis of this web page.  Please click it.

Speaking Engagements

I am thrilled to see that people are interested in hearing about A Long Swim.  It was easy to put together a presentation because Susan’s photos and videos were so good, and all I have to do is tell the story.

We have spoken to a number of different audiences, including corporate management teams, civic organizations, swim clubs and even veterinarians.  The message of the presentations is pretty simple:

  • The Arrogance of Ignorance – There is something terrifying and exhilarating, childlike and charming about plunging toward an audacious goal.
  • Maximize Your Return on Luck – Everyone gets lucky now and then.  The goal is to be prepared so that you can recognize a lucky break and that you can capitalize on it.
  • Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork – Anything can be accomplished with teamwork, and nothing can be accomplished without it.  The thing that would seem to be the most individual activity in the world – swimming the English Channel – would be impossible without the right team.  If you are the teammate in the Speedo, the A Long Swim team is a good team to be on.

Let us know if you would like to learn more about the presentation.  We love giving it.

So, welcome back to the journey that is A Long Swim.  This year we will be in for another swim of a lifetime, another gazillion stories, and maybe another ALS research breakthrough.

See you at the beach.  I will report back.