Dan O’Conor is an artist and clothing designer from Chicago who’s shown the world a simple method for relieving the stress of living through a pandemic. Each day since June 13th, he’s headed to Lake Michigan and jumped into the water, regardless of the weather. It’s a simple action, but it seems to work wonders.
In a profile from Block Club Chicago, we learn that O’Conor first decided to go jump in a lake while hungover and more stressed than usual about the year. He “rode his bike to the lake, locked it up, and walked along the wall facing Lake Michigan near Montrose Harbor,” the article says. “On a whim, he dove in.”
Five months later, O’Conor’s just finished his 165th consecutive lake jump, freezing his ass off in order to get a bit of peace while the world—including the clothing business he runs—gets rockier with every day. He describes the jumps as “almost meditative” and says the routine wasn’t planned. “It’s just something fun I’ve been doing,” O’Conor says. “With everything canceled, that was another reason I think I started diving. Just to go out and do something. To get out of the house.”
He’s been tweeting most of the jumps, tracking each dive along with the air and water temperature at the time. Some of the days look pretty idyllic—like the ones showing the late summer lake tossing in the sun—but others, like the slow-mo video from today, seem like a pretty brutal way to get the blood pumping, even with some background Motörhead working as encouragement.
O’Conor says he’ll have to shut down his experiment in aquatic meditation before too much longer. “I’m not going all the way to the full year,” he says. He plans to continue “for at least the rest of November” but “knows he won’t be diving once the lake is freezing.”
Even after he’s stopped, though, his guidance will live on. The O’Conor Method seems applicable for just about any situation. Work got you down? Jump in a lake. Family stressing you out? Jump in a lake. The crushing fear that life is nothing but a series of painful moments, strung along an endless line forward that ends in the unthinkable void of psychic oblivion? Just jump in a lake.
Read the entire profile for more.
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