Conquering Challenges By Swimming With The Fishes
Aug 15, 2022Posted by james

Though we have heard a lot about sharks off our shores this summer, those sea monsters don’t seem to concern Lori King. Originally from Pennsylvania, she is a public health researcher who lives with her husband and children in Rockville Centre. Just a few months ago, on June 5, she may have learned that 14 hours and 38 minutes of battling man o’ war, jellyfish and other obstacles in Hawaii’s shark-infested Kaiwi Channel just may be easier than life on land.

Lori’s grueling freestyle swim started on the Hawaiian island of Molokai and ended at Oahu. When she arrived, she had completed one of open-water swimming’s most difficult challenges. Lori became just the 86th person to complete the adventure. Hundreds more have failed to finish the route.

Lori took to the water when she was five years old. She swam competitively in high school and continued at La Salle University in Philadelphia. She took a break from the training and competition for about 10 years and then decided to jump back in and conquer open-water swimming.

Following several years of preparation, Lori was ready for the Hawaii challenge only to be stopped by the pandemic shutdowns. When the challenge opened again this year, Lori immediately took to the water for the opportunity to complete the 26-mile route.

Besides the previously mentioned obstacles, Lori had to fight the current, forcing her to actually swim 30 miles to Oahu. Then, there were the channel swimming rules. She could not wear any suit or apply any substance that retained body heat or increased buoyancy. No one was permitted to aid her during the swim. The challenge would have been nullified if Lori clung to a boat at any time or received any assistance. A boat was with her for safety precautions and she was allowed, according to the rules, a powder and water substance for hydration and energy every 30 minutes that was provided via a feed line from the boat.

During the swim, jellyfish stung Lori and she was strafed by a man o’ war. No sharks were sighted. She would have been pulled immediately from the water and her swim cancelled if any circled the area.

Now that the Hawaii challenge box has been checked, Lori is considering swims in Gibraltar and Greece. One friend believes Lori can conquer these challenges, too, because she has fortitude and she is fast and fearless.

One Of The New Girls In The NHL
Aug 01, 2022Posted by james

A woman on the ice to coach hockey players was a rare sight 25 years ago. At that time, one or two would be seen at rinks on Long Island, teaching speed skating and other skills to boys from eight to 13 years of age. Whenever the young players saw the ladies on the ice, their eyes would roll. The reaction had nothing to do with getting schooled in hockey by a girl. The boys just wanted to play and they knew that these coaches were going to work them until they barely could make it off the ice for the comforts of the locker room.

Well, girls and women on the ice are much more common now at all levels of hockey, including in the NHL. Soon after the New York Rangers season ended, the team hired Jessica Campbell as a coach for the recently held development camp. While only 29 years old, Jessica carried with her strong credentials to work with future NHL players. She was the first woman to coach in a men’s tournament when she served as an assistant for Team Germany at the World Championship. Previously, she had been captain for Team Canada in international competition and played four years at Cornell University. Jessica has earned MVP and many other awards.

Since her playing days ended, a personal goal for Jessica has been to coach the game she loves. To her, it’s not about the women’s game or the men’s game. It’s about player development at all ages and all levels. Jessica’s long-range game plan did include working with pro athletes and she has learned that her transition to the men’s pro game offers unique challenges. Jessica feels that she has the voice and perspective to meet these challenges and that the older boys will embrace her contributions as they develop and advance in their careers.

Jessica prepared for this opportunity with the Rangers by focusing on learning, growing and remaining on top of her game first as a player and then as a coach. Her style, influenced by Doug Derraugh, who served as her coach at Cornell, relies on one simple yet critical principle that is valuable in all sports and in all other areas of life at all levels—strong communication.