A Man From Texas Is Going To Swim 5,500 Miles From Tokyo To San Francisco — What’d You Do Today?

Back in 1998 Ben Lecomte became the first person ever to free swim the 3,716 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, and he did so by swimming from Massachusetts to France both as a tribute to his father and to raise money for cancer research. Swimming is what Ben excels at, it’s what he feels most comfortable doing. So when a reporter from NPR asked Ben Lecomte why (beginning this September) he was going to swim 5,500 miles from Tokyo to San Francisco his answer wasn’t the least bit surprising, he simply stated “If I knew how to sculpt or paint, I think that would be the way I would like to express myself, but I am an awful painter and I don’t know how to sculpt. So I stick to swimming.” But this story’s not that simple, is it? There’s more to the upcoming 5,500 mile swim ACROSS THE ENTIRE PACIFIC OCEAN than a man making some jokes about being an awful painter then getting into the water and swimming 8 hours a day for six months straight. I hope you bros find some inspiration in the story and interview excerpts below, because I sure as hell did.

Here’s the hype video for Ben Lecomte’s upcoming swim, a swim that’s casually being referred to as ‘The Longest Swim’, when in fact it will be THE LONGEST SWIM ANY HUMAN BEING HAS EVER ENDURED:

Ben’s going to swim 7 days a week, for an expected 180 days, swimming 8 hours per day, and he’ll be burning an estimated 8,000 calories per day.

Below is a streamable version of Ben Lecomte’s interview with NPR (as well as video) about his upcoming 5,500 mile swim across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California, and I highly suggest scrolling down and hitting the play button on that interview while reading up on the highlights below, and the details of the grueling trans-Pacific swim that Ben has in his very near future.

From NPR:

Interview Highlights

Challenges Lecomte faces
It’s physical, it’s mental, but you have to have the right mindset. I never jump into the water thinking about the entire ocean, I just cut it into small pieces. When I am in the middle of the ocean, I think about being in a pool and the pool moves with me. What you want to do is have a schedule for your mind. The first hour I’m going to relive a moment that I had with my family, and the second moment I’m going to try to visualize a new place that I have never been to and so on.

On sharks and the environment
I had one shark follow me for five days [when I swam across the Atlantic Ocean.] We have different ways to keep sharks at bay, but what is very important is the opportunity to tell a story. We have only about 10 percent of the big fish that are left in the ocean right now, and that happened within the last hundred years, so we have been overfishing the ocean.

For me, the swim itself, it’s just a way to get the attention on something that affects all of us: sustainability and the environment.

Why he likes being in the water
If I knew how to sculpt or paint, I think that would be the way I would like to express myself, but I am an awful painter and I don’t know how to sculpt. So I stick to swimming.

As with nearly anything in the modern era, there is an IndieGoGo campaign to go along with Ben Lecomte’s upcoming trans-Pacific 5,500-mile swim. Ben’s seeking to raise $50,000 for his swim (he’s only at $7,415 with 8 days left).

As I mentioned earlier, Ben’s free swim across the Atlantic Ocean was the first time that’d been done in the history of the world, and he did so to raise money for cancer research in honor of his father. This time around Ben Lecomte’s swimming 5,500 miles from Japan to California in order to raise awareness for Water Defense, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness for clean water and sustainability.

To follow Ben Lecomte’s swim, beginning this September, you can follow him on Twitter and/or check out his website for a feed of constantly updating news.