“You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion.” – G. K. Chesterton
I pretty much always have facial hair of some sort going on… a goatee type thing or the occasional fu man chu is in action at all times. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen my chin and I often wonder what it looks like hidden way in there. Undoubtedly it’s nowhere near as tan as the rest of my face… beyond that who knows… let’s just assume I have some sort of manly cleft in it.
This summer I’ve been working on what I’ve dubbed the Adventure Beard and determined it’s a must have for any open water swimmer (of the male persuasion… ladies, feel free to skip figuring out how to grow beards) on an expedition involving cold salt water… I’m still not 100% sure where this beard is taking me but I’m convinced it will lead me in the right direction.
I’m not the only one of my friends who is or has recently sported an adventure beard. My buddy Dave VM recently completed a 12 mile crossing of the Santa Barbara Channel, his adventure beard was in full effect for the swim. Cliff who just swam with me here in Avila Beach pretty recently had a pretty healthy adventure beard in play for his Catalina Crossing as well. I’d like to think their salty beards played a role in each successful venture. As a side note it looks like Cliff is still rocking his adventure beard which leads me to believe he has some new aquatic excursion brewing in his head :)
Some people have encouraged me to at least cut the beard back if not shave all together and to that I say no… not until I’m done adventuring. It just seems like the right thing to do. Think about people who do big things at sea, they all have beards… it’s pretty much the law. Pirates, boat captains, King Neptune (Poseidon if you’re feeling more Greek-y), fishermen, Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway – all had awesome beards. If I ever hope to do something truly epic at sea the beard is pretty much a prerequisite to oceanic greatness. Also I think it has some kind of magical effect upon my cold water tolerance. More Beard = Colder Water.
So although I may see my chin again someday, today is not that day. Waters from all over the country have flown through this ridiculous beard and it’s thirsty for more. Me and my adventure beard will see you in the ocean!