Let’s face it, life between the Super Bowl and baseball season can be rough. Sure, there’s the NBA and college basketball, but eventually you get tired of the same five NBA teams on television over and over, and most college basketball is kinda low-quality. Shooting 34% from the floor again: it’s March Madtastic! Most people respond to the winter doldrums by turning to home improvement, studying for fantasy baseball, or drinking alone. But Jennifer Higge is not like most people.
(Higge’s swimwear brought to you by Green Goblin Enterprises, Inc.)
Higge became the first woman to swim across the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, landing at a former leper’s colony off the coast of Trinidad after departing from the coast of Africa on January 12. She missed the playoffs! Exactly why Higge did this is unclear; it wasn’t raise awareness for any charity, and at 56 years old(!!!) she’s probably not trying to jump-start a career as a sports celebrity. As near as we can tell, she did this because… well, she wanted to.
The trek was mildly perilous for the Colorado native; she was battling 30-foot waves when she left the Cape Verde Islands off the African coast, and while she didn’t encounter any man-eating sharks (sharks hate the taste of human flesh anyway; most attacks are when the shark mistakes a human for a different, tastier animal. TMYK!), she did make plenty of new ocean friends along the way:
The dog swirled in her thoughts, as did family and friends, as Figge stroked through the chilly Atlantic waters escorted by a sailboat. She saw a pod of pilot whales, several turtles, dozens of dolphins, plenty of Portuguese man-of-war — but no sharks.
“I was never scared,” Figge said. “Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can always swim in a pool.”
That dog, by the way, is her Alaskan Malamute, Hank. Speaking from personal experience, Malamutes are kinda dicks, as dogs go, but we digress. It’s worth noting that she didn’t spend the entire time in the water; as mentioned above, she was escorted by a sailboat where she slept and avoided inclement weather (and cheated for a few hundred miles!* Shhhh!).
If you’re wondering how far Higge swam, well, they haven’t calculated it; in her mind, the trip’s not over yet. The original plan was for the swim to go from Africa to the U.S. Virgin Islands, but bad weather forced Higge south to Trinidad. So even though she has already crossed the Atlantic, she’s planning on departing Trinidad for the Islands on Monday. That’s getting the job done… even if it pisses off her dog.