Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
In 2008, after years of doing local open water swim competitions and triathlons, I committed myself to take-on (and write about) adventurous, cold water marathon swims in far away places.
To sum up succinctly, I finished Alaska's 8.2 mile "2008 Pennock Island Challenge," - my 11 page Alaska adventure essay is here: http://www.getfreeebooks.com/?p=1517 In 2009, 2010, I completed San Francisco's "Bridge to Bridge 10k Swim" twice. In 2010, my longtime goal of finishing the historic "Boston Light Swim" was realized when I touched warm, very sweet L Street sand. My 2009 unsuccessful Boston Light attempt resulted in my widely published essay/story/ebook, "North to the Boston Light" -- http://www.e-bookspace.com/node/74 ... In 2011, I was one of 11 marathon swimmers to finish the revival or the resurrection of the "Great Salt Lake Open Water Marathon Swim." In 2013, I swam across the Strait of Gibraltar. I am the 421st swimmer since 1928 (non-wetsuit) to make a successful one way crossing.
In my view, a swimmer can experience real drama doing long, cold swims at sea not only because the environment can change in a heartbeat but a swimmer's mental and physical condition can also change in a flash, and, yes, new and different bodies of water create unique challenges for a swimmer. To be true, it's hard for me to think of some other sport or activity that could compare to cold open-water swimming. That said, my motto is: "Have swimsuit, goggles and GU (energy gel), will travel."
One of my swimming poems: http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2011/08/far-away-destinations-poem-by-john.html
As for my work on dry land, I run my own British classic car book internet business and I'm under contract with various colleges as a speech (public speaking) lecturer. I'm also writing short stories and poetry (mostly about swimming adventures) after a long break (I was a poet/writer and ocean lifeguard in my Montauk years). Here is another poem: http://cibbows.blogspot.com/2009/09/somewhere-in-sky.html
Back to open-water and to sum up: yes, I've done a lot of events over the years but the past few seasons have been the most challenging and the most rewarding for me.. Presently, the stars appear to be perfectly aligned-- I am one of many NYC swimmers connecting with both NYC SWIM and CIBBOWS at a time when open-water swimming is getting a lot of attention -- one might call it an "Open Water Swimming Movement!" So, yes, it's great to be part of the NYC swimming scene, and, yes, it's great to be a part of the "Global Swimming Movement."... As for the future, I plan to seek swimming adventures at home and in far-away places next year and beyond...
"My travel book is open wide, ocean adventures are on the list, and, hey, the high seas will always wait for me."...
~ by me, jd..