Thursday, May 26, 2011

Swimming to Africa

Last week I watched a documentary called "Swim." It's the tale of two soldiers who set out to swim the Straits of Gibraltar to raise money for disabled veterans. It was quite moving. It reminded me of the noble nature of Americans.

Then I got around to thinking about this blog and how traffic has significantly increased over the past few months and if there was a way to leverage those extra eyeballs into something good. With Memorial Day coming up, it didn't take a rocket scientist to put 2 plus 2 together.

It came out 12.5

Next week, beginning on Monday, I plan to reproduce the Swim Across Gibraltar feat. Of course, with a family and a job and a mortgage and two college tuitions looming on the horizon, I won't actually be swimming the fast moving currents off the coast of Spain. (Besides I'm not a big fan of flying and Spanish food tends to makes me gassy.)

But I will be doing the next best thing. Going twice or possibly three times a day to rack up the mileage at the pool of my brother's condo complex in Playa Vista.

Granted I won't be dealing with the cold water, the sharks and the massive boats that clog up the shipping lanes of Gibraltar, but I will be duplicating the swim of David Broyles and Rush Vann.  And let's not forget I've got quite a few extra years and few extra pounds than both these boys.

Not to mention my thick stubby arms and legs which makes swimming 12 miles in 7 days close to impossible.

This is where you come in. For more than two years I've been providing the laughs, the funny stories and the revealing anecdotes, absolutely free. I've enjoyed every moment of it. In fact, the blog has become a labor of love. But I have not asked anything from you, the reader.

Until today.

No matter where you stand politically, the fact of the matter is that we have brave young men and women standing in harm's way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and sometimes in Pakistan. Many of these soldiers do not come back the same as the way they left. Some are mentally damaged. Others, like the ones in the film, physically. We owe them. In a way that can't be repaid.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

So I'm asking you to step up to the plate and pledge 1 dollar for every mile I swim. If I do the 12 miles (and if you know me, you know I finish anything I start) it will cost you $12. If I manage to get 100 sponsors (about 1/2 of the daily traffic to this site), that will be $1200. Maybe it will be more if this social media thing actually works.

Help me help some disabled vets. Contact me at: And thanks in advance.

Next week will be a running travelogue of my aquatic quest. But don't expect any pictures of me in a Speedo. Unless we can somehow reach $2500.


laura l. sweet said...

I'm tempted to pledge the $2500 just for a pic of you in a speedo- and the rights to republish it on my blog ;)

Mark said...

I will give you $5 a mile and would like a 5X7 Laura.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to double-down and say $2.00 per mile!