The first time, and it started with a dare...

A dare to swim in the San Francisco Bay – without a wetsuit – in November. 

Two years ago, today, on November 22nd 2009, encouraged by my friends Jordan and Mr. Chase, I dove into the icy 54 degree Bay, for the first time, without a wetsuit.

Standing in the knee-deep water before diving in to swim, my legs instantly froze. OMG. FROZE.  And I was so nervous. So nervous. 

I remember telling my friends the day before that I was planning to swim in the Bay. Everyone thought I was crazy. But it was a dare, and I certainly wasn’t about to back down. I had to do it; it was a crazy idea and I loved it.

Besides, it was too late anyway. Here I was, on a cold November afternoon, in my swimsuit, wearing a funky old-school thermal cap, standing in the San Francisco Bay, freezing. And my friend Mr. Chase was capturing all of this on camera. No pressure.

"My legs are numb"

"That's good, your whole body is going to be numb in about 3 minutes"

OMG...

3-2-1. I dive in.

Wow. I remember I couldn’t really breathe because of the shock to my body. I felt like someone had their foot on my chest. But that brief moment of panic paled in comparison to the utter exhilaration I felt in my heart.

I felt so alive. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. 25 minutes later my friend Jordan remarked that he had never seen anyone jump in the Bay for the first time and smile, ear-to-ear.

I was hooked.