Saturday, January 26, 2013

26Jan13 - Polar Plunge

Went to the North Davis Prep Academy Polar Plunge this morning.  Gordon was the only one that was able to make it out this year with me.  Despite our small number, we represented our club well.  Both of us wore our WFPBC hoodies and our red caps. 
We had some time to kill so we chatted a bit before it was time to get in.  It was nice to just relax with my swim buddy again.
Gords and me with the NDPA mascot

It was finally time to get in.  The school had a TON of their kids there and even cheerleaders!  They did a short cheer on the ice next to the hole that had been cut out.  The ice was thick but I'll be honest, I was secretly hoping it would break and a few cheerleaders would fall in.  That would have been hysterical!
We were getting ready to get in when some random guy dressed as a fur trapper wanted to take our pic.  After some posing we got ready.  Gords and I jumped in and the first thing I noticed wasn't the cold water, it was a "Bountiful lake smell".  Pretty nasty actually.  We waded across the water and got out.  The whole thing lasted less than 10 seconds but during those 10 seconds I felt pure joy.  It was so much fun doing that.  I wasn't really cold and once again loved sharing a cold water dip with my friend.  He was all smiles too. 
We were there for over an hour to jump in for 10 seconds.  Worth it! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I got an itch last night to go for a swim.  I knew it would be an interesting challenge but decided to go for it anyway.
I got to the pool at 0530 and sat on the deck for a few minutes.  I told myself to not get worked up, go for too much, or expect anything great today.  It was getting in the water that was the goal and that will be fine.
I got in and the water was cold to me.....COLD????  What a baby!!!
I kept to my promise to myself and did 6 x 50 on the minute.  The first lap felt REALLY weird and I knew it had been awhile since I had been in the water.  The water felt great but I had definitely lost that feel for the water you acquire when you swim enough.  I then did 2 x 50 kicking.  This turned out to be a very bad idea. I did the first 50 and my legs were tired a bit.  I rested then did another 50.  My legs were now shot and hurt quite a bit beyond what they should feel like when they get tired from a kicking set.  Put the kick board up and did an easy 100 with a "dead leg drag".  I was happy to see that I did average around :42 per 50 when I was doing them on the minute.
After 500, I knew I had done enough.  I'm not going to do anything stupid or push myself beyond my means.  Any exercise lately takes a huge effort and despite my deep love for swimming, I had achieved what I wanted for the day so I was happy.  I was even a bit tired when I got out but very proud of what I had done.
On a side note, I got to wear my swim parka for the first time.  I LOVE it.  It's very warm and feels great.  I just need to start adding some patches to it!

500 yards today

Friday, January 11, 2013

11Jan13 - Front Page

Today my Ice Mile story made the front page of the Standard Examiner.  I'm truly humbled by this.  The story was well written and contained some information I really wanted printed.

Here it is.

OGDEN — On Thursday, Dec. 13, Goody Tyler IV stood at water’s edge of the Salt Lake Marina, stripped down to a Speedo, cap and goggles, waded into the 41-degree water and started swimming.
After two quarter-mile laps to the mouth of the marina and back, his body started shifting to survival mode, pulling blood from the limbs to keep his core warm. After the third lap, the searing pain and growing inability to convince his body to keep going were almost too much to bear.
As Tyler started the fourth lap, his body started shutting down and willpower was the only thing lifting his arms and kicking his legs. Tyler’s swimming buddies, Gordon Gridley and Josh Green, started their car to warm it up as he approached the shore 40 minutes after getting in the water. They immediately covered him, and because his legs wouldn’t support his standing weight, carried him to the car.
It took another hour to get his body temperature out of the danger zone, and for Tyler to comprehend that he was only the sixth American to complete the Ice Mile.
Four days later, Tyler started his first round of chemotherapy.
“We had no idea he was going to try the Ice Mile,” Gridley said, explaining that he and Green thought it would just be the typical 400-yard swim the group did on a regular basis. “But we knew he was going in for chemo, and he wanted this to be a memorable swim.”
Gridley got out after one lap and Tyler told him he was going to try for two more. Gridley followed along the marina wall, snapping pictures with his phone while keeping an eye on his friend in the water.
“Once I was diagnosed in November, I knew that day was my last chance to do it this season,” Tyler said. “When I finish with therapy the water will be well into the 40s and 50s, and I’d have to wait until next December for another chance. I was thinking, ‘If I can just do a half-mile today I’ll be good, but something inside of me just snapped and I went for it.”
Founded in 2009 by Ram Barkai, the International Ice Swimming Association is an organization that officiates Ice Swims around the world and aims to establish Ice Swimming as a recognized sport. An Ice Swim (or Ice Mile) is a one-mile swim in water temperature 41 degrees or below following the English Channel swim rules. Pending the processing of his paperwork, Tyler will be the 41st person in the world to have accomplished the feat, the sixth from the U.S.
“I got into cold-water swimming about two years ago,” Tyler said. “We started swimming in the Great Salt Lake at least once a week, and that’s when we found out about the International Ice Swimming Association.
“The Ice Mile was always in the back of my mind. Could I ever do something that intense? It’s just something so rigorous and so difficult to achieve.”
What most people don’t understand, Gridley explained, isn’t how difficult the swim itself is, but what happens after.
“The most dangerous part is when you get out of the water,” Gridley said. “If all that cold blood in your feet and hands goes to your heart too fast, you’ll have a heart attack.”
After a few minutes in the car, Gridley and Green carried Tyler to the marina shower and started at a luke-warm temperature. Little by little they increased the heat. As his shivering slowed and body temperature rose, Tyler’s accomplishment sank in, along with his imminent treatment for testicular cancer.
Overcome, Tyler broke down in front of his friends and released all his joy and frustration.
“It was quite an emotional time in that shower,” Gridley said. “He told us what he had been going through for the past months and just knowing what he’d be going through … it was very emotional for all of us.”
An avid marathon swimmer since his time in the Army more than a decade ago, Tyler discovered cold-water swimming in 2012. But the 36-year-old Virginia native, husband, father of two girls and Army veteran said it has been difficult balancing his treatment along with his job teaching physical education and sixth-grade world history at Navigator Pointe Academy in West Jordan.
He said swimming has helped put cancer into perspective, and completing the Ice Mile is something he draws on when the chemo leaves him physically and mentally exhausted.
“One of the best ways to describe when you’re swimming is your brain and your body go into all-out war against each other and against you,” he said. “You’re constantly fighting against your body to keep moving because it wants to stop, and your brain wants you to stop, too, and it eventually starts pulling blood from your arms and legs trying to make you stop.”
Tyler said some of his “warm-water” (50-60 degree) marathon swims can last six to seven hours and, just like the Ice Mile, draw undeniable parallels with cancer treatment where his infusions span five straight days and last six hours each day.
“I’m used to being uncomfortable for long periods of time doing these swims,” he said. “That’s a big benefit when you go in for chemotherapy. It’s an advantage I have, because you are going to be uncomfortable for long periods. You are going to be sick, and tired, and agitated, and p----- off and hungry all at the same time, and yet you have to keep going forward.”
Tyler pulls from his experiences in the water on days when the effects of chemo make getting out of bed impossible or summoning the energy to put on a pair of pants seems like a monumental task.
Aside from the tremendous support of his family and friends, Tyler is quick to point out how “unbelievably amazing” Principal Judy Farris at Navigator Pointe Academy has been in accommodating his treatment.
Farris said it’s the least they can do for one of their most beloved staff members.
“The kids think he’s absolutely the coolest,” Farris said. “He is a really great role model for these kids to look up to, and he’s also great with the staff. He’s a team player and ready to help anytime anyone needs it. We really love him.”
Tyler’s latest round of chemo took place earlier this week, but that’s not about to slow him down. Listed on his swim blog are three goals for 2013:
1. Beat cancer!
2. Complete another Utah Triple Crown.
3. At least one 20-mile swim. Most likely Bear Lake or Lake Tahoe crossing.
For most people that list would seem impossible at best. For those who know Goody Tyler, they have no doubt he’ll accomplish those goals and plenty more.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

1Jan13 - New Years Day Polar Plunge

I've been looking forward to this day for a few weeks now. I was worried I may not have the ability to swim or feel up to going out on New Years Day to play with my cold water buddies. Luckily for me I felt well enough to go. Gordon has spend tireless hours organizing our 2nd polar plunge on the 1st of Jan of the year but this year he made it into an official race. It turned out to be a huge success. 8 people showed up! The course was 400 yards which is to the end of the marina and back. There were a TON of people there too. So many volunteers, family members, and even the press was there! Not just one but two media people were covering it. We've been begging for years for them to cover our events and finally they did. One was from the paper and the other from the Fox13 news. I arrived with Patricia and my kids around 1130. There was a guy there from Fox13 news out of Salt Lake that wanted to interview Gords, Josh, and me. We took a few minutes and did some camera time. When he found out that I had cancer and am still participating in swims when I can, he was blown away. He asked if he could do a full story on me soon. I agreed. I was humbled and tickled when I saw Josh for the first time today. He had shaven his head to show his support for me. I was truly touched.
Josh showing his support
Another thing that really got me chocked up was almost every swimmer there was dedicating this swim to me. Some admitted the ONLY reason they are doing it today was for me. You can't imagine how much that means. I thank you all. It's moments like today that DEFINITELY take some of the sting of chemo away. Once everyone signed wavers, Gordon gave a briefing on how things were going to go then I gave a safety briefing. Everyone there we know and has earned a cap so it was a HUGE comfort that I wasn't talking to anyone that I wasn't already sure our club has confidence with the cold water. There were 8 swimmers going in 4 waves of 2 people. Gords' wife Cathi was doing the timing and on the loudspeaker getting people to keep cheering for the swimmers. She's great at keeping people motivated. The 3rd wave were my 2 friends I convinced just this morning to come. Kim Patterson and Anne Stanish. Kim was 95% sure she was in but I somehow pulled a mind trick on Anne and she cursed my name as she was pulling into the marina. The 2 of them took off together and Kim was alone so I happily walked along the marina walkway to cheer her on. They both did great. It was more exciting than I can describe watching my friends swim. I was a bit bummed that I couldn't swim but seeing everyone else actually did make up for it. Gordon and Josh were last. Gords took off like a bat out of hell and ended up winning the event. After all was done, I stripped down and just got in. I ran until I knew it was deep enough, took a dive in, then turned around and ran out.
Me getting out
It wasn't as bad as I expected. As I was getting out, I knew I could have stayed in longer. I promised myself and my wife I would not take ANY stupid risks today and I intended to keep that promise. Chemo has taken pretty much all of my cold tolerance out of me. I get cold VERY easy now and am constantly trying to keep warm. Kinda sad how fast it has turned. I was thrilled beyond words with how great of a turnout today was. Such an amazing job by Gordon organizing this and everyone had such a great time. I wasn't able to participate fully but being a part of today and cheering on my 8 swim friends was a perfect way to start my year. Thanks everyone!
Here are the Media coverages of our event.
 Newspaper coverage -
Next is Fox13 News Fox13 News -