Swimming 100x100s while no easy effort certainly was a challenge. I had done it in the past, for myself but this was different. For the first time I was doing it for someone else. I pledged to swim 100m for every $1 raised on January 1st, 2017. Originally I wanted 100m for $100 raised but quickly realized that goal was not realistic. I was going to swim 10,000m and raise $1,000. Of course like any fundraising campaign on social media, most went ignored for the first month and slowly donations trickled in.
The day of the swim, I posted a video explaining what was about to happen and how the 100x100s would work. Within only a few minutes I started to see dozens of responses and shares. Suddenly people were donating like crazy and it seemed never-ending! In that day alone we raised over $400 and surpassed the $1000 goal by several hundred dollars! I guess this means it’s time to swim.
I started the 100x100s with 13 other people from the DU Masters group and while swimming I replayed the events of June 12th in my head as I read them. I thought about the people at the nightclub and their families. The victims and how scary the whole situation was. I didn’t know it was possible but I cried underwater.
By the 80th 100 all had quit except 4 of us including myself. I was exhausted and in a lot of pain, my muscles were hurting but I wasn’t going to stop so short to the end. The other 3 contemplated quitting but I convinced them otherwise, I mean how could you come so close to the end and just give up? The last 2000m certainly felt like the longest but it was the most rewarding. For having hit the fundraising goal and my distance goal, I could climb out of the pool and say “we did it”. Yet despite my pain and ravenous hunger that soon followed. I continued to reflect on why we were there in the first place. Not just for personal accomplishment but to do something to help others. Millions of dollars have been raised after the shootings and thousands of people have channeled their passion into making a difference to ensure that another Pulse, another Mathew Shephard or anything else ever happens again.