OWC's New Direction

2009 has been an amazing year for Open Water Chicago – and we certainly didn’t waste any time getting started. Just after sunrise on January 1, 2009, three of us – Chris, Dave, and I – donned our thermal gear and waded out past the wood pilings at North Avenue Beach into the mostly frozen open water for a New Year’s Day 1/2 mile. This pretty much set the tone for “OWC” going forward and essentially captured what we are all about.

Over the course of the year, we welcomed all types of people out at Ladder #1 as well as within our virtual community. And as we continued to highlight our adventures and share critical swimming and fitness-related information with the general public, Open Water Chicago soon became an epicenter for both a local and global community of sports and fitness enthusiasts seeking to add a bit more excitement to their workouts – and to perhaps test their limits beyond what they thought was possible.

Given this evolution, I’ve made a few changes to Open Water Chicago to further foster this growing movement. First – although not anything new to OWC regulars – we’ve officially formalized our mission and purpose accordingly:

Open Water Chicago exists to deliver “adventures in fitness” to both the local and global communities of sports enthusiasts. We are committed to providing you with the best information and opportunities you need to optimize your health and to fully experience the joy of being in the elements.

What this means is that, from this point forward, we will focus our efforts on creating value for you by doing (or continuing to do) the following:

– Organizing group open water swim meetups and events

– Publishing “on-site” updates on Lake Michigan swim conditions and water temperatures

– Publishing positive, entertaining, and motivational news on local swim-related activities

– Researching and posting key swimming-related content

– Researching and posting key fitness-related content

– Leveraging the strength and influence of OWC to advance the causes and interests that impact both the Great Lakes and the Chicago health/fitness communities

And one other thing…We’ve also got a COOL NEW LOGO that we’ll be putting on various items you can buy to help support OWC and our mission!

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more awesome updates!

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  1. diver dave
    October 6, 2009

    ! ! ! The F.A.A. was on the news stating that aircraft flying over lake Michigan are blinded by ladder #1.

  2. diver dave
    October 6, 2009

    I have swam at the north wall of Oak street beach for near 35 years and nobody told me about a web site called Open Water Chicago ! When did this start and why wasn’t I told? Just kidding . Steve it has been great to be able to tell people to pull up your site in order to prove that yes. we are crazy and we do swim all year round and have a great deal of fun with all of the regulars that hang out there. Paul the mayor of oak street beach, will be 80 this december and i have seen the photos of him at 2 years old working on his world class deep and dark brown suntan. i guess 78 plus years at ladder #1 would make anyone the king of the beach. We also welcome all new comers weather they can or cannot swim. Who could forget the pineapples and special sauce, hot tea, inner tubing, kyacking , tall ladder stunts. swimming through one foot of slush, floating on ice burgs and my favorite the mexican ice cream cart with my favorite COCONUT ice cream…. yummy. QUIT YOUR JOB LETS GO TO THE BEACH !!!
    diver dave

    • srhernan
      October 6, 2009

      Our coveted swim spot has existed long before I was around. And – God willing – it will still be around at some distant point in the future when I have long since shuffled off this mortal coil.

      I am and always will be merely an observer and a documenter of this timeless phenomenon. Long live Ladder #1!


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