Earlier this month, 58-year old open-water swimmer Antonio Arguelles became the 7th person, and the oldest ever, to complete the Oceans Seven challenge – a series of seven open-water channel-crossings that includes the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, the Cook Strait between the north and south islands of New Zealand, the Molokai Channel between Oahu and Molokai in Hawaii, the English Channel between England and France, the Catalina Channel between Catalina Island and Rancho Pales Verdes, the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan, and the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa. And he fit these crossings in around his writing career, his career in public service, and his entrepreneurial activities.

In 1999, he went back to swimming, and for his 40th birthday he swam the English Channel for the first time.

He has also swum around Manhattan Island twice. All while serving in multiple Mexican government ministries and running a private school system he founded.

Ever since he made the commitment to complete the Oceans Seven two years ago, he has spent weekends training. He hired a strength coach and a mental fitness coach, studied muscle activation technique, and bulked up in the gym and at the kitchen table, adding both muscle and fat until he reached 210 pounds.

He does not swim in a wetsuit.

Antonio Arguelles, age 58 (photo from his website, antoniorarguelles.com)

I wish I hadn’t read about this guy, really.  It makes it much harder to whine about doing a 30-minute workout before I go to the office.  (Check out Open Water Pedia for more information about Oceans Seven.)

*The hashtag #thisis50plus is a twist and an homage to one I’ve seen on the tweets and Instagram posts of some older athletes I admire. I’ll make posts like these an ongoing series.


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