Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Back in the water
Lately Facebook has been placing old posts on my newsfeed.
It's some nostalgic marketing ploy to remind you how important they are in your lives.
They're also hawking a service that will allow you to publish all your old FaceBook posts in some fetishized narcissistic hardcover book. Apologies to anyone who has shelled out the $495 bucks.
In any case, I got a reminder of something I had posted three years ago.
To mark D-Day and the Allies landing on the beaches of Normandy. It was my symbolic cross channel swim to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project.
I swam 21 miles in 7 days.
Together, we donated $4000 for the noblest of causes.
Another D-Day has just passed and I feel bad that I haven't continued the long fundraising swims. Work and shipping two girls off to college has been a full time occupation.
But I like to think life is more than about posting funny Kim Jung Un pictures, pimping cars and slinging funny anecdotes about advertising, parenting and shitty white trash neighbors. So for the upcoming Veterans Day in November, I will swim back the other way.
And to raise the stakes, I will attempt to amass the 21 miles in 5 days instead of 7.
This will be difficult for several reasons, the least of which being this aging 44 year old body. But also because my swimming situation has changed.
I was using the beautiful pool at my brother's condo complex in Playa Vista. I often had the entire place to myself and the water was the perfect 78 degrees and crystal clear.
Now I am across the street at a dump known by many locals as LA Fitness.The water is too warm at 81 degrees. It's dirty, because the pool guy is also one of the junior salesman. He dumps some chlorine in the water when he is not picking the pockets of unsuspecting customers.
Moreover, the pool is crowded. Disgusting men with hairy backs. Old women with their space-hogging Aquasize routines. And non-swimmers who have mistaken the gym pool for the wading lagoon at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.
Then there's hygiene. I don't know what these people are bathing with but it's not Ivory, or Zest, or Irish Spring. It's more like a soap fashioned from potpourri, Pakistani incense candles and spoiled cilantro.
But the swim, and the money we will raise, will be worth it.
Three years ago, the Wounded Warrior people sent me a fleece blanket for the generous donation. This year, I've got my eye on the windbreaker.
Stay tuned for details.