The WordPress admin dashboard informs me this is – hell’s bells! – post #200 here at Freshwater Swimmer. Sometime in the next month, three additional milestones will be reached:
- My 2-year blogoversary! (Remember this post?)
- 50,000 page views (not including RSS). Just a couple months behind Donal.
- Best of all: 1,000 comments! That’s an average of 5 comments for every post (recently it’s been more like 10 per post — granted, some of those are my own!). I could be wrong, but I think this statistic might be unmatched in the universe of open-water swimming blogs. So, to my commenters, especially the frequent ones – Katie, Mike, Amanda, Adam, David, Donal, Rob, and Sully – thank you! And keep ’em coming. I appreciate the engagement, and am gratified that you find my stuff worth reading.
Regular visitors may have noticed a few changes afoot – some new fonts, an updated theme, and alas – a new header image. Much as I loved that spectacular view of the Chicago lakefront, it no longer reflects my reality. The new header is less eye-catching, but I prefer it for a couple reasons: First, it actually shows someone swimming. Second, that swimmer happens to be me. The photo was taken as I warmed up before the USMS 10K National Championship in Noblesville, Indiana.
Finally, a brief word on this site’s title, “Freshwater Swimmer.”
A few people have asked me (and others have probably wondered) how I can be a “freshwater swimmer” when I now live in California, and almost all my recent swims have been in saltwater. That’s a reasonable question.
I settled on Freshwater Swimmer for a few reasons:
- At the time (obviously), I lived in the Great Lakes region of the United States.
- Given that most American marathon swimmers live on the coasts, it seemed like one way to distinctively “brand” myself.
- Less obviously, it was also a winking nod to the famous “freshwater vs. saltwater” debate in macroeconomics. I lived in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago – the best-known “freshwater school” – so it seemed especially appropriate.
Now, of course, the title makes considerably less sense. But I decided to keep it anyway. Regardless of where I live – now and in the future – the Midwest is where I discovered the joys of open-water swimming. I became an open-water swimmer in freshwater. I became a marathon swimmer in freshwater. I learned to swim in cold water… in freshwater. I learned to swim in rough water… in freshwater.
So Freshwater Swimmer it is – and will remain!