Swim for the roses
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

January 26, 2014

10 years strong!

10 years strong on Curacao!

So I just finished with a friendly swim that occurs here annually on Curacao for the past 10 years. “Swim for the roses” they call it. The swim is part of a larger event to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer. In addition to the swim, there is also a walk and mountain bike event.

Hundreds of people turned out for the swim this year and it was great to see people from all walks of life. From a mother asking her kids to wish her luck to a local swim team getting everyone ramped up at the start, the event brought on a real feeling of community. The race starts from The Antilles beach resort on the southeast leeward side of the island and stretches north along the coast past the sea aquarium and on up to Mambo beach, 2.7km in all. Not a terribly long distance, but still a challenge on the open sea.

With a sudden start, bobbing heads quickly turn into waving arms and white wash. I don’t think I found a rhythm till the end of the race but enjoyed the craziness all the same. From helicopters circling above to swimming over beautiful stands of the endangered Acropora corals and waving branched Gorgonians, the waves push and pull as the mental battle rages within. Swimming over deeper sections, I find myself memorized by the endless blue below and become slightly dizzy with vertigo. At one point, a five-foot barracuda passed in front of me as he headed out to find deeper water and probably a place with fewer people.

It was good to finish within the hour and I enjoyed seeing the smiles on all the other faces. The entire event struck me as a real celebration of health. Not only were people there to be active, I feel those that witness the race are also inspired, intrigued, and hopefully motivated. Although it was easy to find the ironic scene of a woman smoking while wearing a “fight cancer t-shirt,” I think it was inspiring for most and the sort of event that communities should continually work to champion.  If we can motivate people to win back their health, we will all be better off and in a much better position to assist those that have to fight for theirs.


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