I’ve always been drawn to the water, and living in Chicago, the vastness of Lake Michigan spoke to me. The sense of freedom and renewal that couldn’t be found elsewhere. On June 13, 2020, I took a leap into Lake Michigan for the first time in nine months. The day started with a pounding bourbon hangover, and my wife strongly suggested I get out of the house and ride a bike to the lake. I rode three miles to the lakefront and plunged into the lake. The shock of the water washed away the hangover like a magician’s trick.
It felt good to do something so simple that felt great and it began a journey that continues to the present day. It was a breath of fresh air, something positive to look forward to, somewhere to forget the pandemic, politics and protests. This became the ritual that I thirsted for to improve my mental health. I started shedding the weight of the world with a simple splash and emerging from the water reborn and revitalized.