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People Are Awesome: Office Supply Salesman's 40-Hour Tahoe Swim

Jamie Patrick's Labor Day weekend plans: Test the limits of human capability by swimming the entire circumference of Lake Tahoe.

Got big plans this Labor Day Weekend? While the rest of us are plotting our escape from the city for one last summer getaway or gathering in the Nevada desert to await the ritual burning of a gigantic human effigy, Jamie Patrick, office supplies salesman and adventurer, is going for a very, very long swim.

Patrick set off from the shore of Lake Tahoe just after dawn this morning and he won't touch ground, a boat, or another human until he swims 68 miles—the entire circumference of the lake. He thinks that will take him 40 hours or so and he's eager to push the absolute limits of his endurance, he told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

I've never been the fastest or the best at anything, but when I found out I could swim long and control my heart rate it was exciting for me. I'm not out on a death wish here, but I do feel like I haven't reached my barrier yet. That's what drives me. I know where I can go. I just don't know how far I can go yet.

The thing about doing stuff like this is when you go into a bad place, mentally and physically, having the experience of knowing that you will pop out the other side is what keeps you going.


That impulse—to test the outer limits of human physical capability is truly rare in a society where comfort and convenience are in high supply. Two years ago Patrick completed a shorter lake swim: 44 miles double crossing Tahoe which left him vomiting blood for the final 10 miles. He spent three days in the hospital recovering from kidney failure.

He since has trained closely with a nutritionist and completed a 31-mile Sacramento River swim without incident. Patrick teamed up with the Sierra Club's Water Sentinels project to raise money during this Tahoe swim and you can show your support with a donation here. You can also watch his progress, in real time, here.

And when you wake up tomorrow morning, maybe a little hungover, basking in the long holiday weekend that lies ahead, remember that Jamie Patrick is still swimming.

H/T Jaimal Yogis

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