Based upon the John Cheever story "The Swimmer" my intentions are to swim from the San Francisco peninsula down to the Los Angeles area. Positioned along the California coast are approximately fifteen pools chosen by me as locations for a swim. Working with a time frame of four travel days between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a morning, afternoon and evening swim at three different locations are planned for each day. I am to arrive in the Los Angeles area on Wednesday, October 31. On Friday, November 2 I will begin my return trip back to the San Francisco area. In like fashion my return trip home will include stops along the way for a swim. I return home to San Mateo, California on Sunday, November 4.
My spirit and motivation for this journey comes from a number of people whom, over the past several years I met down at the swimming pool. These individuals range in age from four to ninety-four. Some are learning to swim for the first time in their lives, while others are seeking ways to modify, improve and expand their swimming skills. Some of these swimmers have special needs, and for them swimming is an extremely critical part of their existence. I witness people using water as an effective tool in the dealing with the ageing process. Some of the people I speak of are Masters swimmers. One swimmer I met medaled in the 1996 Olympics. While others are learning to overcome their fear of water. But for all, swimming or to just simply be in the water is a defining part of their profile. They all bring to the water's edge their unique and profound interpretations of swimming. They as do I, have a swimming journey. They have a story to tell.
For one week I become vicariously and somewhat anonymously John Cheever's Neddy Merrill, the title character of the story. Using cameras (where permission granted) and note pads it is my intentions to document my swimming journey as much as possible.
I am appreciative of the inspiration, motivation and moral support the late John Cheever, Dr. Gregory T.A. Kovacs, Susie Knoll and Barbara Overman and others have given me as I plan this journey. They dignify my time in the water. And they prevent me from taking myself too seriously as a swimmer.
See you down at the pool,
San Mateo, California