We will soon hit mid-January. The gyms are still packed with resolutioners! Grim-faced joggers pound away at treadmills, only to see their resolve peter out by March. Meanwhile, there’s Gary Atlas of Brighton Beach, who has been running on the beach and then swimming in the ocean every single day since September 2007. Every single day, for real — even in the winter, through blizzards and such. In 30-something degree water, and then he just hangs out in his Speedo on the boardwalk. Just…watch the video.
The story is tinged with sadness; Atlas started the routine as a way to cope with his mother’s prolonged death from emphysema. But the sight of this dude in nothing but a Speedo, relaxing on the frigid boardwalk as if it’s mid-July as passersby shuffle along in winter coats, is nothing if not kind of awe-inspiring. And charming. And — when he gargles the sea water! A gold star for Gary Atlas.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 8, 2011