I was reminded of this recently as I've been following the 8 Bridges Swim in New York, organised by Dave Barra - 120 miles down the Hudson River in 7 day-long stages. I've been compulsively following their Facebook posts, videos and pics (vicarious swimming is my second favourite sport), and all of the swimmers, by the 'vigorous abandon' jumping in test, score extremely highly. Take, for example, this excellent example of Dave Barra in 2011 during the inaugural 8 Bridges Swim:
Or this very exuberant leap during this year's event by (I think) Rondi Davies:
But from the pics that have been posted so far, the queen of exuberant launches has to be Gracie van der Byl, who I was also lucky enough to meet in La Jolla last year, and who can leap and plunge with the best of them....as well as being an amazing swimmer who is attempting to complete ALL of the stages.
Special marks for this dive bomb from the judges...
Well done to everyone swimming the 8 Bridges and to all those organising the swims - it looks fabulous. Now, if you could just organise it out of UK university term times...
And as for me, well...I like to think that there's a certain amount of exuberance to be seen here in my leap into the water for the beginning of the Bridge to Bridge swim in San Francisco last year.