Most people, when they’re celebrating a birthday, will settle for cake and ice cream.
Ingrid Nicholson decided she would swim Osoyoos Lake.
All of it.
The 75-year-old Osoyoos woman was in the water twice today to tackle the middle portion of a three-day swim from Willow Beach at the north end of Osoyoos Lake to the U.S. border at the south.
“I made it from Willow Beach to the Co-op yesterday and today I made it to White Sands,” she said this afternoon just before going back into the water for a swim to the Hwy. 3 bridge.
“I’m a little old to do it all at once.”
In total, over three days, Ingrid plans to swim about 11 km.
Keeping her safe are friends Jim Sale and Carrie Wyness, who watch over Ingrid from the safety of a boat.
“They’re very patient,” Ingrid says of her support team. “They’re with me on the boat and keep me going.”
The effort is to support the Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre, which provides crisis and counselling help to the community.
Building on the Canada 150 theme, Ingrid handed out 150 envelopes.
“I set myself a goal of (collecting) $1,500,” she said. “I’m over $3,000.”
Included is $500 the Osoyoos Elks (Lodge 436) donated to Ingrid’s effort.
As to why she chose to swim to celebrate her 75th birthday, Ingrid just shrugs.
“I like swimming. I like to have a goal,” she said. “I’m as lazy as anybody else is and when I have a goal I swim a little more.
“I did it when I was 70; I did it for the food back. That time I swam (across the lake) to White Sands and back.”
Ingrid says she swam in her native Germany as a student and later at a BC Senior Games. But she doesn’t consider herslef a competitive swimmer.
“I just like to swim,” she says.
Ingrid is still taking pledges for Desert Sun. If you’d like to support Ingrid’s effort, you can give Desert Sun a call at 250-498-2538 and make a pledge.