Every year around the mid of September I do a swim in the SF bay. Well, by every year, I mean the last two years and I’m about to do my third year. Swim Across America is a special event.
I somehow got talked into doing this swim by one of my teammates, Jessica Steffins. Jessica is a phenomenal swimmer, she was actually part of team USA Waterpolo in 2012 that won the gold medal in 2012. I really didn’t know what I was getting into. It’s a very early morning start, around the palace of fine arts in the city.
Half asleep they throw you onto a bus and ship you across the city to where you board a ferry. Once on the ferry, you get tatted up with some temporary tattoos marking your commitment to the event. First year, you get a rookie tattoo. I plastered an additional tattoo on my forehead.
They then put you on a boat, and take you out into the bay. There is a ceremony where they invite people who have been touched by cancer to talk about their experiences with the disease. Some get up and talk about their loved ones, some doctors get up and talk about their experiences treating cancers, but the most powerful stories are those who are surviving with cancer and still out here to swim.
Those stories are really very powerful. I’d do the swim just for those stories alone.
Year one was a smaller group, we had only a couple of people from Salesforce signed up on our team. I believe there were four of us.
Once you jump off the boat you swim in to shore. I was wearing a full sleeved wetsuit and was very hot the whole way in. I panicked just out of the boat and was concerned about making it in. Jessica was there to calm me down and had me focus on taking a couple of strokes and breaking then doing a couple more then breaking again.
Year two I practiced more. I spent a lot of time in the pool working on my swimming. We even did a practice run in the ocean. The group was much bigger, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 people. I got salesforce tattoos for the team.
The process was roughly the same, but there was a lot more current and it made the swim much harder, and I actually had to be towed in a bit at the end.
It’s coming and I haven’t done any real training. I’ve been spending more time in the water this year, both in Newport, surfing, wind surfing, and wake boarding, but I have spent very little time on long swims. This is really going to be a change. Please consider donating!
Reasons to Donate
I’ve had several friends ask why they would donate to a swim that I’m doing? Here are several reasons why you should consider donating:
- Most importantly: you agree with the notion that cancer is a terrible thing and it is especially terrible in the young ones. Childhood is rough enough, going through cancer as well just seems like too much.
- You wish you could swim this year, but didn’t register in time, so you want to donate your sign up money to my fund.
- The more you donate the more I feel like crap if I don’t make the swim. Help me raise my minimum so that I have no choice but to get up at 2 am, drive to the city and then spend some time in the super cold bay! Think of it as a punishment for all the ways I’ve annoyed you over the years. Get me back!
- You want to support the engineering team. Currently I’m the only engineer on the SFIQ team, please don’t let Will Roller and his product ways beat me.
How to Donate
Go there and donate some money. Any little bit helps.