On July 20, 2013, I’ll be putting on a wet suit and swimming 1.7 miles of open water to help Save the Bay...
I’ve lived in the beautiful state of Rhode Island for 48 years, moving here at 12 years old with my family. I’ve spent more hours than I can count enjoying the magnificence of Rhode Island’s beaches, bays and waterways… from beach dates as a teenager to water skiing behind my Dad’s boat to playing in the sand with my own four children to now riding waves with my 9 grandchildren. I’ve been from coast-to-coast in the USA and to Europe, but I still find home and its shores the most beautiful of all.
I’m going to put it out there that I’m not a swimmer. I know the mechanics of swimming, but I’m methodical and slow at it. I’ve managed a Half Ironman swim (1.2 miles) and some sprint triathlon swims, but that’s it. This will not, though, deter me from a Bucket List item that I’ve been pondering for 37 years – the Save the Bay Swim for Narragansett Bay. I registered for this 1.7-mile fundraiser open water swim yesterday.
My heart is already pounding.
Founded in 1977, the Bay Swim is Save The Bay’s largest annual fundraiser, serving as a critical support to efforts to protect and restore the Narragansett Bay region. In 2012, the Swim raised a record-setting $355,000 through sponsorship and swimmer-driven fundraising. Swimmer gifts ranged from $400 to $5,225 and were the direct result of swimmers collectively engaging more than 4,000 donors in support of their swim! In Save The Bay’s formative years, the Swim helped keep the organization afloat. The Save The Bay of today is a legacy of those first brave souls who crossed the East Passage.
So, ahem… the East Passage, a 1.7-mile swim course running roughly parallel to the Newport Bridge; the finish in Jamestown around Taylor Point in Potter Cove…
So why, exactly, am I doing this?
My head is wrapped around a lot of reasons. First, I love Narragansett Bay and want it preserved for my grandkids and all future generations; second, it’s a Bucket List personal challenge that’s been sitting in my head for the 37 years the Save the Bay Swim has existed, and 60 seems like a good age to do something about it; third, I watch my grandkids swim, compete and cheer on their teammates, and I encourage their spirit, challenges and love of it all. I want them to be as proud of me as I am of them…
Yes, it’s my 9 grandkids who inspire me to try things, to do things that I don’t even know I can do.
I want my grandkids to know that there are big challenges, challenges like Saving a Bay, that inspire people to do more than they’ve ever thought they can do.
I want my grandkids to know that Grandma is just as courageous as they are each time they stand on a block and wait for the inner and outer challenges to kick-start a race, a goal, an accomplishment; the feeling of doing something for your team, for yourself and sometimes for even something as big as Narragansett Bay.
So… on July 20, 2013, I’ll be putting on a wet suit and swimming 1.7 miles of open water to help Save the Bay. I am scared senseless and incredibly exhilarated all at the same time at the thought of doing this. I think I can. I think I can.
I know I can. Can you hear my heart pounding!?
I have included my personal Save the Bay page here for encouraging words and/or even the smallest donation, because every penny helps to protect and restore our beautiful Narragansett Bay.