maybe you should start swimming or exercising in general Gendy. Your 250 pound figure and face straight out of planet of the apes is probably why your such an awful person.
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Stomach tied in knots, muscles cramping, Vovk swims his heart out for eight hours, midnight to daylight. But it's no use. He barely makes it seven and a half miles. In mild weather, he might have covered twice that much in the same time. But in the storm of the season, it's one stroke forward, 10 strokes back the whole way. Exhausted, hypothermic, he curls up into a ball. He isn't aware of giving up exactly, of making a decision to stop paddling, to stop throwing arm over arm, shoulder over shredded shoulder. As he begins to sink, he feels hands pulling him out of the water.
Consciousness is a funny thing; asked about it later, Vovk will remember the ridiculous smell of bacon wafting over from the escort boat yards away — someone was cooking onboard. He will remember staring up at the crest of black waves in between lightning flashes. He will remember begging to be told how to keep going despite the nausea and pain. He won't remember precisely what happened after a person from the boat jumped in and yanked him from the sea.
"There was crying," he recalls uncomfortably. "I was crying."
Now it's four days after the swim. No history was made. But personally, this was the first thing Vovk couldn't finish. Personally, Vovk has worked his way through upset, shame and disappointment in record time. Now he's pissed.
Quietly, without media fanfare, without crowds of well-wishers standing on shore, before the benefits of his intensive cardiovascular and strength training diminish, he charters a guide boat. "We were just waiting for your call," his teammates say when he tells them his plan.
The weather on Vovk's "revenge swim" couldn't be lovelier. Faster and faster he goes. Although Hartmire, Schumacher and Dahowski have completed their respective crossings on the first go-round, they swim the final two miles with him. They finish as a foursome, and it's emotional, and Vovk becomes the 199th person to swim across the Catalina Channel in 80-plus years.
"There's a reason that number is so low," Vovk says. "Swimming that channel? It's freakin' hard."
He would like to never do it again.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city