Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Oscar speech edition

Now that I'm home where I can actually do something about all the work I've got in arrears, let's get just enough of a blog entry out there to stay on schedule -- and to wrap up a few very important thank-yous. And in no particular order, since I'm too deeply grateful in all cases to prioritize.

Thanks to Dr. Robert Norris at MSU Sports Medicine for giving me the caution and the confidence to do this swim. Because of him I didn't have to wonder why my shoulder hurt, and even more importantly, I didn't have to wonder as much about the odds and consequences of any given decision. Obviously I swam. And the shoulder held up. No sharp pains, and not even any aches until very mild aching after the Golden Gate swim, and that could have been anything. If anything beat me up, it was the travel to and from San Francisco. Airplanes. Now, those are punishing.

Speaking of airplanes, thanks to Debbie and everyone at for covering my air and other travel expenses. Without their help, I couldn't have done this without breaking my promise not to take tempting book-promotion trips unless I could do it without losing money. I shall thank them by telling you all to shop there and by gushing about how wonderful they are, which is easy since I gush and recommend them all the time anyway.

Speaking of gushing, thanks to J.C. Dill, event photographer and new friend as of Saturday morning on the Hyde Street Pier, for shooting and posting some fantastic photos (you can find more here or in the first comment at the bottom of my "Calm and cool" blog post). If the air travel beat me up more than the waves, J.C.'s pictures gave me more goosebumps than the water temperature.

Speaking of those photos, nice shot of Rich and me. And thanks to my coaches, Rich and Iian Mull, who I believe finally turned me into a swimmer. Not that they were the only coaches who did it, just the prime ones. Thanks also for terrific guidance from Matt Gianodis, Jessie Byelich, Bill Copland, Tom Garmyn, Alec Mull, Lew Kidder, Jim Richardson and whatever glaring omission I'm undoubtedly committing.

Speaking of turning people into swimmers, thanks to Joe Zemaitis and his crew from SwimFAST, who made this swim possible not only for me -- only coincidentally and happily for me, really -- but for every kid who got to do it, who will do it and who's inspired by the kids who did do it. This is a life-changing swim for an adult. Can you imagine what it does for a kid?

Speaking of making this possible, thanks to Bob Roper and all the volunteers from the South End Rowing Club, the Dolphin Club, Team Neptune and lots of elsewheres, for making the swim possible and safe. And in particular to South End member Kathie Hewko, for the instant friendship and subsequent tour of the South End clubhouse. If I didn't have enough reasons to want to live in San Francisco, now I have one more. If I lived there, I'd sign up in a skipped heartbeat.

Speaking of heartbeats, thanks to my wife, Patty, for putting up with and even encouraging yet another crazy and exhausting -- and I don't mean exhausting for me -- segment for the lifetime highlight reel.

Speaking of crazy and exhausting, thanks to Kathryn and Brian, and Rich and Leslie, and Ruth and Dean and Bryan and Randi and Allison and Megan and Shannon and even more relatives, for driving -- and driving Patty and me -- way out of their way to provide so much friendship and support of all varieties, and to Jim and Kristan for all that plus their house and shower and gaseous dog. Life is so good. Holy smokes, this brief note is looking like an over-long Oscar speech.

So finally, speaking of Oscars, thanks to Chas and Scott and Pete and Amanda, one of whom actually HAS thanked people, Oscar in hand, for a wonderful and mind-boggling yet somehow non-intimidating dinner. Which is another blog entry waiting to happen. But now, we all need to get back to other work.

And speaking of we-all, thank you guys for all the support, encouragement and advice. I owe you.


Michael said...

No, We owe You for being such an inspiration to us all!

La Professora said...

"If I didn't have enough reasons to want to live in San Francisco, now I have one more."

Come to the dark (okay, foggy) side, we have sourdough.

veloben said...

Ya know Chicago is just as interesting, has lots of water and great cycling with none of the earthquake issues.

Oh and we have snow for XC skiing. Really, move here.

Jef Mallett said...

Wow. San Francisco sourdough vs. snow and relatively solid ground. And as it happens, the two coldest bodies of water I've ever swam more than a few feet in. And both home to some exquisitely cool people, it's worth noting here.

Liz said...

oh my gosh, you really did it! Unbelievable. Congratulations.

Noel said...

If you ha work in a arrears... you need a more comfortable filing system.
DC has the Atlantic and crab cakes... and will be suffering for the next couple weeks with "Caps Fever". I ride to forget.