Thursday, May 24, 2012


We've gained a lot of momentum the past few days. I used social media to solicit donations and the response was overwhelming. Jordan was also featured on the Nothing But Nets Web site, next to Mandi Moore, who she is outpacing. We have a newspaper article coming out. I have never been really good at self-promotion or sales (a major flaw in the business I'm in). However, with the altruistic angle of raising money for mosquito nets, it is easy to self-promote. Every time we update Jordan on the current tally, her eyes get wide. She is amazed at the support her network is giving her. We are humbled.
Everything is coming together so well and Jordan is very prepared. She'll do a little training in the Bay Sunday, but I won't be able to go down until later. We have a huge crew rallying to meet us on the beach. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little pressure, hoping everything goes perfectly. Thank you to everyone. I have been pretty good in the past about supporting things like this that people do. From now on, it is no questions asked-we'll support everyone!

mini-interview with Jordan

We have a newspaper report coming out in the Sacramento Bee. Jordan was asked for a few words. Here is what she had to say...
"I'm a little bit nervous but mostly excited. I'm just nervous because I've never done it before. I think I am prepared. One of the reasons I wanted to do it was to help the kids in Africa. I didn't have a goal but I've earned more money than that actress (Mandi Moore). The hardest part will be jumping off the boat. I don't want anyone to land on me!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What the Mama has to Say

Jordan, 18 months
For me, the little girl in this picture is who will be swimming in that big, big bay on Monday. This little girl who is, at one, so clearly comfortable and happy in the water. Who is independent, strong, and brave. And nine.
Jordan. Now. 
I'm not sure how she's nine, because it really doesn't seem that long ago that I held her while she kicked in the cold waters of the South Fork American, pushed her towards her dad in the gym pool, and watched her launch off the blocks at age four in her first year on the Dry Diggins Dolphins swim team.
Wow, that's me back there. With a baby. Sigh.
Water has always been Jordan's passion, and her peace. From playing mermaids endlessly in her preschool and kindergarten years, to her evolution into finding her competitive self and her team self, to simple days on the river and in pool after pool, Jordan is never more Jordan than when she is in water. I've always sworn she has gills.

Watching Jordan train is inspirational.  She never complains, never balks, never slows, never whines. She sees water as a privilege and a refuge.

When Jordan and her dad first began to set things in motion for this swim, I wanted to really sit back and let it be their thing. And then, Tom hit a tree while snowboarding and while my first thoughts were of course for his well-being, immediately followed this thought: I'd better start swimming.

Thanks, friends. My idea of the Bay.

I love swimming. I've never been on a swim team, don't remember lessons. But I love water, too, and dreamed myself a mermaid as a child. I know her peace, and share the joy of feeling your body move sleekly though water. These last years at the gym, I never felt I had enough time to change and shower and still get in enough of a workout for the hours allotted the kids in the gym playroom, but I've been thrilled to prove myself wrong. Swimming again this last month has been a huge gift. I am sooo much slower than Jordan, and I know without a doubt that Tom is the one comfortable in the cold waters of the Pacific, but for my girl I'd do anything. I tracked down a wetsuit with a fabulous pedigree (xoxo Steph and Deanna), hit the pool, and am dedicated to supporting her in whatever way she needs me.

I look a little more like this now. But a lot less cute.
It was a big wake-up call in another way: Tom and I have always been athletic, and have prioritized health and fitness. But in the last year, the spaces between my workouts were longer than they'd ever been, and my body was becoming unrecognizable to me. When I realized I might be swimming with Jordan, I realized also that I hadn't been living as the example I wanted to set for my children, It's a huge struggle as a mom of three with a couple of businesses to find time for everything, but excuses are just excuses. I'm back on the path, and I love that right now the path is leading me through water.

Tom's knee has been holding up well in training swims with Jordan and he swears he's going to be by her side. His training has been great as well - the two of them head off on weekends to Folsom Lake and swim for ninety minutes. Then they come home and eat, and Jordan heads off to swim team practice. Did I mention she's never complained? Once? Tom is a man of his word, and he's thrilled to be doing this with his daughter. But heads-up, honey - I get next.

Think great thoughts for my girl on Monday. I know her greatest challenge is going to be getting on that boat that takes them out to Alcatraz - and then jumping off of it into the big, huge ocean. Once she's in, it's cake - she is so well trained, so ready to make the swim, so at home in the water that my worry will end.

She has a lot to swim for - I am humbled by the friends and family that have supported her in her fundraising efforts. She has been witness to a lot of illness, especially cancer, in her life. She could've chosen a charity supporting cancer research, But Nothing But Nets is so tangible, and makes huge sense: $10 buys and distributes one life-saving mosquito net. She's not counting the dollars she raises but the nets those dollars buy. Thank you, each and every one of you who have given her that extra inspiration.

And thank you to the many of you who have supported her with words and with promises to show up and with hugs and cheers. She's made the longest part of the journey in my mind, that's the finish line right there up ahead. Already, I couldn't be more proud.
Thanks for the great shot, Vintage Photography!

Friday, April 13, 2012

When we were in Capitola over spring break, we thought we'd swim around the Capitola Pier for a training swim. Jordan had a shorty 2/1 wetsuit and a healthy concern with the (small) incoming swell. We jumped in and it did not work-Jordan wanted nothing to do with it. Wrong gear, too much swell, sensory overload. I immediately thought "What have I gotten myself into?" I signed up for this swim, published our intentions to everyone, started a fundraiser, and now I will have to call it all off. Should I reimburse the people who donated?
Instead, we went to the O'Neill wetsuit outlet and got a 4/3 full suit and forgot about open ocean swims. In San Francisco Bay, there is no swell so we don't need to train for that. Upon getting home, it was off to Folsom Lake to try again. Folsom Lake is really warm in the summer, but we found out it is cold in the winter. My objective was to get there, get in, swim back and forth as many times as possible under the Salmon Falls bridge, and gain some confidence. It is about 100 yards across, so we set our goal of 5 times over and back. Without swell, it was awesome. The cold is a factor, but Jordan is super hearty and not that affected by it. We ended up doing 7 trips across and I cannot describe my relief to know that the journey continues. Two days later we spent 40 minutes in the cold water and had a ball.
The entire time I am trying to figure out if Jordan is really into this or is doing it for me. I have asked her multiple times to tell me if she is not into it. She assures me she is and I have to trust her. At Folsom Lake, she tells me that what helps her get through is thinking about the lives of the kids she is helping save, so thank you again to everyone who has donated.
This whole thing is also a great chance at personal growth for me. Anyone who knows me knows I do not obsess with preparation or gear. I make due with bare minimum, a reactor and not a planner. I would show up at alcatraz without the right gear and suffer through it. I do not have that choice with Jordan. I am forced to analyze systems and gear and make necessary adjustments. The wetsuit and swim cap were the start. I want her to have a hot pink cap so I can see her easily. We've decided against gloves and booties. This will be the most I've ever prepared for any event (and I've done an IronMan).
Thanks to everyone for believing in us. Thank to my family for supporting and enabling us.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

From Dad...Training is going well. Jordan is swimming 4 times each week in the pool, up to 1.5 hours. I swim about once a week when there is room. Otherwise, I run while Jordan swims. I try to stay true to my mantra that if your kids are working out, so should you. Get it while you can...
Anyway, we ran into a bit of a stumbling block with the youngest ever claim. It turns out a 7 year old has done the Alcatraz Swim. So, we had to backtrack a little bit and we're still not sure if our claim of youngest female ever holds true. In any event, we've gotten some attention for our efforts and turned it into a good We believe that it is healthy to have a cause that is bigger than yourself, a mission that goes beyond you. Jordan is thrilled to use her quest of Alcatraz to raise money for kids in Africa.
Next week will be a big benchmark in training. We are going to Santa Cruz and will be able to train in the ocean-that will be an eye opening experience.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Oops! I’m really sorry, but I accidentally got the wrong information and am not actually going to be the youngest person ever to do the Alcatraz swim. Last night, we found out that a 7 year old from Arizona did it. He found out about it the same way we did: from a magazine. His cause was for better water safety. But I will still be the youngest to do it without a wetsuit, probably, so I’m still doing Nothing But Nets. Sorry again for the false information.

Written by Jordan

Why it Matters

Why should we over here in America care about other people across the world? Well, they’re humans too and they also have the right to live. A lot of people think they should just take care of themselves. Actually, it is kind of tough for them to because they don’t have as much money in Africa. Also, they don’t have the resources or materials to make mosquito nets. That is why we should help them.

Think about it. If one of your friends got malaria, how would you feel?

written by Jordan