In August of 2012 (around the 15th – 17th, depending on weather conditions), we’ll be crossing Lake Michigan at its midpoint. Straight across, this is a 50 mile swim… an ultra-marathon swim. With current and wind and the ever-changing, unpredictable weather on the lake, the likelihood is we’ll swim between 55 and 60 miles when we step on the beach in Ludington, Michigan.
We’ll get in the water before the sunrises in Two Rivers, Wisconsin and start our approximately 30-35 hour journey. A support boat (or two) will lead the way with a captain, first mate and several other crew members. These crew members will be our lifeline. They will feed us and keep us motivated and guide us through the trip. Crew members will rotate shifts in a small boat that will trail the main boat. Feeding is easier from the smaller boat due to the height of the main boat and the safety of being far from the motors and shifting nature of the larger vessel.
This is a very difficult swim. There’s no sugar coating it. It’s hard. Only one person on earth has completed a mid-lake crossing. Some have given a valiant effort, but not made it. Our goal is to become the first married couple, and only the second and third persons ever, to complete a mid-lake swim across Lake Michigan between Wisconsin and Michigan.
For Lake Michigan in general, Sara would be the first U.S. female to cross. As a married couple, we’d be the first anywhere on the lake to make a crossing together. In fact, in our initial research, we can’t find an instance of any married couple completing an ultra-marathon swim together anywhere in the world (if you know of one, let us know!).
Lake Michigan may be a lake, but standing on shore, it looks no different than looking out over the Atlantic Ocean or Pacific Ocean. After 14 miles, land will no longer be visible from either direction. We’ll swim in pitch black waters, battle swells, fight to stay awake, wrestle with hallucinations, and push our bodies to the limit as we travel roughly two marathons in the water. Nearly 2.5 times the distance of the English Channel.
But, when we’ve completed this unbelievable task, we’ll look at that lake differently than 99.99% of the population. We’ll be mentally and physically stronger and we’ll know we can tackle any task.
We hope to serve as inspiration for parents struggling with perinatal mood disorders. To show that as you step into the water (when your baby is born), you’ll battle ups and downs and feel, at times, like all hope is lost… but, soon you’ll see the land ahead and as you close in, you’ll know you can get through it. You’ll know that the hard times are behind you and you can step out of your blues and into a brighter future.
Please join Team Tow and help us make this crossing. You will all be with us in spirit and your support and prayers will help us through.