No matter what the thermometer says resident of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Gary Atlas, takes a refreshing dip in the sometimes warm and sometimes frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean every single day. Gary says that he always enjoyed the cold, even as a child when he would be sent home from school for coming without a coat.
Mr. Atlas began his unusual daily routine in 2007 when his mother was ill with emphysema and he was caring for her. The swim went along with a shirt-less six-mile run along the famous boardwalk of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. Gary instituted the routine as a relief from the stress and anxiety he was experiencing at that difficult time in his life.
Gary says that he hasn’t become ill even once since he began swimming each day, and hasn’t been to see a doctor in 35 years.