(AP) — A Chicago bus driver seeking stress relief during the coronavirus pandemic
jumped into Lake Michigan
for the 365th time on Saturday.
Dan O'Conor, a resident of the city's North Side, said he began jumping into the lake at Montrose Harbor to relieve stress last year.
“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 out all that noise and kind of be totally present with me in the lake, and find some moments of Zen,” the father of three explained.
He continued jumping into the lake throughout the fall before the difficult part: hacking
a hole in the ice on the frozen lake large enough for him to jump through during the winter, which he said resulted in about 20 scrapes and cuts on his body
when he returned home after one such jump.
The response he received for his project encouraged him.
started asking me what this was benefiting and how they could support — and when I say people, I mean strangers online, you know," he said. "When I started posting the videos on Twitter
... I got more wind in my sails there because people started commenting like, 'This makes my day, it's nice to see this.'"
Saturday was significant because it marked the end of a year of doing it.
"I just wanted to celebrate that drive to dive 365 days a year," O'Conor explained.