One year and two days ago, Chicago bus driver Dan O'Connor needed to relieve his stress during the time of a pandemic, nation-wide protests, and an election year. So he jumped into Lake Michigan. And then he jumped in again the next day. And the next. Saturday marked his 365th straight day practicing a stress therapy that works for him.
"It was during the pandemic, it was during the protest, it was during an election year. … So it was somewhere where I could come down here and block all that noise out and kind of be totally present with me in the lake, and find some moments of Zen," said the father of three.
He continued jumping into the lake through the fall before the hard part: Hacking a hole in the ice on the frozen lake that was big enough for him to jump through during the winter. He said when he got home after one such jump, he found about 20 scrapes and cuts on his body.
Saturday was special because it was the culmination of doing it for a full year.
"I just wanted to celebrate just that drive to dive for 365," O'Conor said.
Above video shot February 3, the day of his 236th jump. He was accompanied by a harmonica, played by his friend Morry Sochat.