In short, I’ve had a cast on a foot every spring for the last 3 springs from playing football. Don’t let anyone tell you flag football is non-contact.
Aside from the foot problems, I needed something new to try for a workout. As it turns out, I went for something old. I used to swim a lot. Swimming long distance offered me a new way to keep in shape and have fun.
Of course, me being me, I couldn’t:
A) do something without a Big, Audacious Goal
B) do something that didn’t challenge my friends as well.
About the same time my Dad told me that his childhood friend (and former college quarterback) returned to NY to swim this same race for his 60th birthday in 2007. While his friend had won the entire race several times in his youth, I figured that if a 60 year old man could do it, I should be able to as well. I also realized that at that time, I probably could not do it. Plus, once I found out you needed a kayak team, I set out finding a training team.
So there you have it. Quadruple baits of need, novelty, camaraderie, and ego.