Chicago Man Jumps In Lake Michigan 365 Consecutive Days
When I first learned about a guy named Dan O'Conor, "The Great Lake Jumper," I took a moment and thought about what unique things I may have done every day for the last 365 days.
Surprisingly enough, other than things like kiss my wife, pet my dogs, attempt to sell my kids to a traveling circus, and other every day stuff, I don't have many notable items with which to make an interesting list.
When it comes to being unique, how can you compete with guys like the dude in the Netflix movie "365 Days," where, if I have this information right: "A woman falls victim to a dominant mafia boss, who imprisons her and gives her one year to fall in love with him." I mean, I'm already married and my wife frowns heavily on the idea of me joining the mafia, let alone imprisoning another woman while hoping Cupid's arrow finds her. So that's out.
I'm no Dan O'Conor, obviously.
You may have seen some still shots or video of Dan doing his thing on Chicago's lakefront over the last year, but in case you haven't, all the shots and video show Dan, no matter what kind of weather, diving into Lake Michigan. Saturday marked his 365th jump.
One of my favorite aspects to the Dan O'Conor story is how it all began with Dan being hungover and stressed out about the pandemic, lockdowns, the George Floyd story, and social unrest. Dan figured he needed to clear his head while physically and mentally recharging his internal batteries, and decided a jump into Lake Michigan last June 13th would be the best way to go about it. So he did.
Then, he just kept going. According to BlockClubChicago.org, Dan planned to call a halt to the daily jumps on December 1st of 2020, but didn't because he was having a blast doing it. As more and more people became aware of what he was doing, Dan decided to use his new-found fame to raise money:
The daily dives O’Conor’s documented on his Twitter for months were partially an effort to get out of the house and do something fun since everything was canceled for most of the year, he said.
As more people asked O’Conor for a reason behind his dives, he had the idea to use the attention he was getting to help out local indie venues like The Hideout. He promoted the Chicago Independent Venue League and asked people to donate to its emergency relief fund.