I was born a swimmer and drawn to water from the second I could walk. Apparently there were many close drownings as a child in our backyard pool in Brazil and therefore my parents had to teach me at a very early age to swim. I have always lived by the ocean (east coast and west of America) and grew up swimming and surfing in Southern California during my teenage years. Swimming is my Yoga and helps keep me grounded!
For many years, I was involved in the world of triathlons with swimming being my best discipline. I always wished the swim was longer, especially in the ironman distance races! Due to some injuries preventing me from running, I pivoted to swimming more and joined the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco in 2017 which was absolutely the best decision I ever made. There is a reason they call it the “best Club on Earth!” As I walked the historic halls of the club, I started to learn about Marathon Swimming and amazing members of the club who are impressive marathon swimmers. I was intrigued + excited to find a new avenue to feed my endurance desires. I started talking and learning more and by January 2018 I had locked in on a coach (Pacific Open Water Swim Co) and a plan to get me to my first 12 mile swim, the True Width of Lake Tahoe on August 3rd, 2018. As the season progressed and I received expert guidance from Pacific Open Water Swim Co, my confidence grew and I added the Lake Tahoe Vikingsholm (10.5 miles) in July 2018. Coming off two successful Tahoe swims, I wanted one more and I wanted to be back in my home, the ocean! I signed up for The Anacapa Channel (12 miles) which is part of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands on September 16th 2018.
As I began to ramp-up my marathon swim training, I also changed roles with my company, Method Products PBC who make naturally derived cleaning products. Method is a B Corp + focused on being a “force for good” and providing sustainable cleaning products. In my new role, I was taken on the road quite a bit more. While traveling, I realized I used way too much plastic and have been on a mission to reduce my plastic usage which has expanded well beyond just my travels. I guess my company has had an impact on me and rubbed off on my in a very good way.
As I prepared for my first big ocean swim, I took what I learned working for Method and wanted to leverage my marathon swimming to be a force for good. Over the course of the past year, the ocean plastic problem has become a focal point for me since I am such an avid open water swimmer. The reports of the plastic pollution in our oceans, the existence of micro-plastics and the impact to the wild life that I share the waters with have been devastating to read.
Coming home to swim my first ocean channel crossing made me want to leverage my marathon swimming for a greater good. I partnered with 5 Gyres, raising over $6500 + drove awareness around Ocean Plastic problem via my Anacapa Swim. As a result, I have become a 5 Gyres Ambassador. I have learned so much from their organization and I still have so much to learn. As time progressed, my journey has continued from what I incorporated while traveling to use less plastic, to elements in our kitchen, bathroom and throughout our home. It is exciting to make little steps to reduce my plastic usage and inspire others to join me by leveraging easy steps to reduce their plastic usage. Through my blog, I hope to share what I have learned along this journey and how I continue to learn. There has been some points of frustration and disappointment along the way. Plastic is everywhere and so difficult to avoid. That said, I want to make sure people know that as they begin on this journey, this is normal! And I am focused on progress, not perfection and whenever possible, to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I promise not to beat myself up and you should as well. 🙂