Here is an excerpt from USA Today's For The Win! column (as retweeted by @LiveStrong) on my good friend and CrossFit NYC member Kirk MacLeod, whom I helped train for The Big Swim last year.  I'm briefly quoted in the article about our training together.  Please donate what you can for this year's Big Swim taking place this Sunday, August 17th. All proceeds are donated to benefit Brigadoon Village, a camp for chronically ill children and their families, a cause very close to Kirk's heart.

If he were anyone else, Kirk MacLeod would have been pulled from the water.

Last August, the 41-year-old father of three was more than halfway through The Big Swim, a 14km open water fundraiser across the Northumberland Strait from Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick to Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island in Canada.

He was clearly struggling.

Slogging along through the choppy 69-degree northern Atlantic Ocean water, MacLeod had started off the race at a decent clip but soon found himself significantly behind most of the other 33 participants. As changing currents and a trailing thunderstorm united with MacLeod’s fatiguing body in slowing his pace, his spotter Jan-Sebastian LaPierre offered him a way out.

“I stopped him and told him, ‘Kirk, there’s no shame here for you to hold onto the kayak and take a break or I can tow,’” LaPierre told For The Win. “He looked up at me and appreciated the sentiment but he said ‘Absolutely [expletive] not.’”