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Q.  Swim Lake Michigan?

A.  The goal is to jump in Lake Michigan once every single day of summer, which, in Northern Michigan, unofficially runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

Q.  But why?

A.  Two years ago, at the end of the season, I realized I only swam in Lake Michigan twice.  (The summer of 2010.)  And I was appalled.  Disgusted, even.  Here we have this beautiful body of fresh water at our disposal, this huge natural resource that visitors to this area sell their soul all year to experience for just one week.  There I was, three miles away, and I couldn't be bothered to swim in it more than twice?  Unforgiveable.

Last summer, I probably swam in Lake Michigan 30 times.  And it changed my life.  Even if it was only for five minutes at a time, floating in the lake was enough to totally cancel out any feelings of fear, anger or stress in my life.  Being totally submerged in the water is like being cradled in the womb.  It's the safest, most comforting place I can think of.  And the more I swim in it, the harder it is to stay away.  Over the winter, I thought why not?  Why not jump in every single day this summer?  So here I am.

Q.  Big Water?  I don't get it.

A.  The word 'Michigan' translates to 'Big Water' in the Ojibwa language, the Native American tribe that first settled this part of the state.

Q.  Every day?  What about when it's raining?  Or 45 degrees out?

A.  Yup.  Every day.  (We admit we might not have been thinking this one through.)

Q.  Where are you?

A.  Hold your left hand in front of your face.  The tip of your pinky finger is Leelanau County, Michigan, on the 45th Parallel.  Good Harbor Beach, our main beach hub, is just south of Leland and a bit north of Glen Arbor. 

Q.  Do you go to the same beach every day?  Doesn't that get boring?

A.  Due to ease of execution, most swims will happen at Good Harbor Beach--less than five miles away, it's the closest public access to my house.  However, I plan to travel to as many beaches as I can as the summer progresses and I'm feeling more adventurous.  (And as the weather gets better.)

Q.  When do you usually swim?

A.  Most of the time, I like to go in the morning, after a workout, any time between 7 and 10:30 a.m.  But when the weather is cooler (like now, in early June,) I'll wait until after work, between 6:30 and 9 p.m., when the water has had a chance to warm up from the day's sun.  I plan to take in at least one sunrise this summer, so look for that on The Daily Swim

Q.  Can we join you?  Do you ever organize beach meet-ups?

A.  Heck, yes!  While morning swims are most often about peace and solitude, I'd love some company--99 days is a long time to go it alone.  Pro Tip: Beaches are especially great places to hang out in the evenings with a gigantic bonfire, a bunch of friends and a cooler of homebrews.  (Sometimes you don't even need your bathing suit for an evening dip, but you didn't hear that from me!)

Q.  What's in your beach bag?

A.  Always: my swimsuit, flip flops, towel, my iPhone, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, bottle of water, hairties, whatever novel I'm currently reading (right now it's The Poisonwood Bible Dust to Dust: A Memoir) and a small knitting project. 

Sometimes: dried fruit, sparkling water (morning), unsweetened iced tea (afternoon), Short's Bellaire Brown (evening), a notebook, pens, crossword puzzles, a charted lace project, a sweatshirt, headphones, a bottle opener, a lighter and an extra sarong.

Q.  Will you share your super-secret local beach spots?

A.  Nope.  My mom would kill me!    

Q. Who was the best Beatle?

A.  George.  Obviously.  Is this even a question?