A satisfied selfie on Christmas Eve.

I accomplished my birthday goal by swimming 70 lengths of the 25-yard pool at the South Shore Health & Racquet Club in Saint Joseph, Michigan on the morning of Christmas Eve, 2020. Originally, I was going to swim the distance on my birthday, May 7, but, as you all know, that COVID thing got in the way. When the health club reopened recently to limited activity, including solo swimming, I got back in the surf and did some serious solo swimming. I told myself: “Self, you’re going to swim 70 lengths on Christmas Eve to celebrate another milestone in your life, 15 years of continuous sobriety.” So I did it this morning, even though it meant going to bed last night at 9:30. No binge watching for this old swimmer. No way. I had a goal to make, and make it I did, and, yes, I got mighty tuckered at the halfway point and was talking myself out of my foolish, vainglorious goal. But then I thought of my late father, James S. McKelvy, who died in 1985 at the age of 67. Dad taught me to swim as a wee laddie in Lake Michigan at Rainbow Beach in Chicago, and in the Atlantic Ocean at Ship Bottom, New Jersey. So I said to Dad: “Dad, swim with me.” And he did. You couldn’t see my tears because I was wearing goggles, but they were real, and they really helped defog my goggles. And, yes, I did an extra length so I could say I truly swam a mile on Christmas Eve, for my anniversary. A mile, as all you public school students know, is 1,760 yards. Merry Christmas, y’all!

About charleymckelvy

Charles McKelvy lives and writes in southwest Michigan with his wife and fellow writer, Natalie McKelvy. They established the Dunery Press in 1988 in order to publish their own fiction. They continue to do so to this day. Charles McKelvy is an Eagle Scout.
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  1. Now you have to aim for 100.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I matched that when I turned 30.

  3. Merry Christmas and congratulations on all of the milestones!

  4. TommyT says:

    Well done Charlie!! Very inspirational. You look great, clearly you’re taking good care of yourself. Keep up the good work and you can coach me when I’m 70!

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