Chicago man jumps in lake every day to relieve stress

A Chicago man has found an unusual way to relieve the stress of the COVID pandemic. He jumps in Lake Michigan, every single day.

Dan O’Connor, 53, rides his bike from Lincoln Square to Montrose Harbor to reenact a daily ritual that he says is keeping him sane. Thursday was the 160th day in row.

“Since June 13th,” he said.

O’Connor strips off his clothes, positions his cellphone camera and steps to the edge of the water, facing Chicago’s dazzling skyline. Then, O’Connor takes the plunge that washes away his worries.

“Oh it feels refreshing. Feels great. Everything’s good,” he said.

Truth be told, O’Connor admits his first jump in the lake was to relieve a hangover. But it felt so refreshing that he ha been back day after day, documenting his dives on Twitter.

In choppy waves and flat seas, with swan dives and belly flops, O’Connor says it has been the stress reliever he has needed to survive 2020’s unrelenting pandemic, economy and politics.

“And to be able to grab a little Zen in this day and age, especially during the COVID times, it’s something to look forward to,” he said.

So how long will O’Connor continue to jump in the lake every day?

“My wife’s birthday is on Thanksgiving. I’d like to go till then at least, maybe December. It really depends on the weather,” he said.