Dave Loeffler’s Unprecedented Swim For Ocean Therapy

Dave Loeffler’s Unprecedented Swim For Ocean Therapy

Hello All,

Mike Galloway and I just talked about weather forecasts and rescheduling our swim. Seems like the small windows of lighter winds are closing down and the winds are increasing through the end of September. There are a number of moving targets we are juggling to make this swim happen. First the weather, 2nd is rescheduling access with the Navy, and 3rd finding observers with open dates available. Instead of rushing into something that is not going to give us a good chance of success, we feel it’s best to take a deep breath and be patient.

Mike and I have agreed on a tentative date of October 6th and 7th, with a contingency extension of the 8th (Columbus day).

Dave Loeffler’s Unprecedented Swim For Ocean Therapy
Posted: 08 Sep 2018 05:19 AM PDT


Courtesy of Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, South Bay, California.

Jimmy Miller was a surfer, teacher, lifeguard, traveler, writer and a surfing ambassador and leader from Los Angeles, California.

In one of his columns for the Beach Reporter, he wrote, “There was great shorepound, as there always used to be, at Fourth Street in Manhattan. I rode my new Boogie Board. It was an evening that may have set the course for the rest of my life. As I waited outside the bodysurfers for a wave that broke a little further out, a glassy left loomed in.

I turned, kicked and started down the face. As soon as I was at the bottom the wave barreled. I was totally inside for the first time in my life, and without even trying, I saw water all around me.

In front of me was a blue hole, with light entering in a perfectly round opening. Time slowed down, and I heard a light Whoooo as the wave’s energy pushed wind out from behind me. Two, maybe three seconds later, I was out of the tube with my mouth agape. It took me a moment to realize what had happened because, at 7 years old, no one had told me that a tube ride was the ultimate feat in riding a wave.”

A 1991 graduate of the University of California Berkeley, he organized the Cal Surf Club. Then in 1998, he founded his own surf company, Pure Surfing Experience where taught surfing, produced local contests, and organized CampSurf, summer day camps in the city of Manhattan Beach as well as week-long camps all over the world.

He also served as a L.A. County lifeguard for 15 years, most of those years in Manhattan Beach where he worked for the Junior Lifeguard Program.

After his passing at the age of 35, his family and friends wanted to honor his legacy and the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation was formed.

The Foundation is dedicated to creating and providing activities and programs to help people with mental and emotional illness benefit from the therapeutic and healing powers of the ocean. Specifically, its focus on Ocean Therapy is to help people learn to love, heal and feel joy from the power of the ocean and the power of loving friends.

Ocean Therapy is an adaptive surfing program to assist individuals – from at-risk youth to wounded warriors – coping with mental and physical illness in accessing the ocean environment. Surfing has long since been a sport associated with freedom and independence and has the ability to support individuals with special needs in increasing their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Dave Loeffler is helping support the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation.

Loeffler, a former Navy SEAL who enlisted in 1985, is a disabled veteran who spent years in military zones throughout the world. On September 17th, he will attempt to swim 21 miles from LCI Point on San Clemente Island to China Point on Catalina Island in an unprecedented channel swim.

Sanctioned by the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, Loeffler’s charity swim is to raise awareness of the sacrifices, challenges and triumphs of America’s disabled veterans.

Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of San Clemente Island as a military base, this swim has not been attempted before. He estimates the swim may take him 11 hours, but it could be as many as 15 with the low temperatures and dense population of Great White Sharks. “This is exactly why this swim provides a hearty challenge and drama to increase awareness of our cause to promote awareness for disabled veterans and help raise funds for those that are serving our veterans. I am a disabled vet and want to share my passion of feeling closest to nature and to God, when immersed in the world’s open waters.”

Loeffler chose the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation as the beneficiary of the fundraising because of its pioneering Ocean Therapy program that combines adaptive surf lessons and group therapy for those suffering from mental and physical effects of traumatic experiences. The Foundation conducts Ocean Therapy sessions with the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West at Camp Pendleton, California and with veterans from all branches of the military in conjunction with the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital.

Called The Big Swim, Loeffler will depart King Harbor in Redondo Beach, California at 10 am on September 17th and head directly to San Clemente Island. Loeffler will start at 10 pm and will swim directly to Catalina Island with an anticipated arrival around 10 am on September 18th.

There will be a live feed during the swim. His progress can be tracked here.

For more information on The Big Swim, visit here. To donate, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association
From World Open Water Swimming Association’s Daily News of Open Water Swimming

Lance Corporal Frank Schnitzenbaumer

Lance Corporal Frank Schnitzenbaumer

Lance Corporal
Frank Schnitzenbaumer

Whether you are a fellow volunteer or a Master Sergeant, Lance Corporal Frank Schnitzenbaumer greets everyone with a warm smile and a solid handshake. Frank has gone above and beyond for JMMF and has assisted hundreds of Marines in learning how to surf and has organized donations for much-needed equipment at Camp Pendleton. Frank has been a great mentor, a supportive friend and an exemplary member of the JMMF family for over 11-years. We are grateful for you Frank and are stoked to recognize you in this month’s Volunteer Spotlight. Thank you!

The Big Swim

The Big Swim

August 23, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE BIG SWIM

Former Navy Seal Attempts 21-mile Marathon Swim – San Clemente Island
To Catalina Island to Raise Funds for Disabled Veterans and the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation

On September 17, 2018, Dave Loeffler, a former Navy SEAL will set out to accomplish a never-been-done-before, unassisted, 21 mile marathon swim from San Clemente Island to Catalina Island to raise awareness of the sacrifices, challenges and triumphs of America’s disabled veterans. According to Loeffler, due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of San Clemente Island as a military base, this swim has not been attempted before. The physical challenges of swimming 12-15 hours or more in the open ocean, the environmental factors such as the water temperature averaging in the low 60’s F, and the fact that this area is also known for a dense population of Great White sharks serves as a great backdrop to bring awareness to the physical and mental challenges of disabled vets. “This,” says Loeffler, “is exactly why this swim provides a hearty challenge and drama to increase awareness of our cause to promote awareness for disabled veterans and help raise funds for those that are serving our veterans.”

Loeffler chose the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation as the beneficiary of the fundraising because of their pioneering Ocean Therapy program that combines adaptive surf lessons and group therapy for those suffering from mental and physical effects of traumatic experiences. JMMF conducts regular Ocean Therapy sessions with the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West at Camp Pendleton, CA and with veterans from all branches of the military in conjunction with the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital. The most common disabilities that challenge our military servicemen are PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Ocean Therapy’s goal is to improve self-efficacy, self-confidence and the joy the ocean brings to all, helping them heal both physically and mentally.

The BIG SWIM will be sanctioned, observed and documented by the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (SBCSA) and adhere to the basic rules of solo marathon swimming. The swimmer can never touch the escort boat, kayak or another person and will remain in the water for the duration and only wear a non-thermal, single layer swim suit, a swim cap and swim goggles – no wetsuit. The crew will consist of ultra athletes, medical professionals, official observers from the SBSCA, photographers and Dave’s support team that will feed him liquids and solids throughout the swim.

When asked why Loeffler is doing this swim, he said ,“I am a disabled vet and want to share my passion of feeling closest to nature and to God, when immersed in the worlds open waters.”

The BIG SWIM will depart King Harbor in Redondo Beach, CA at 10 am on September 17, 2018 and head directly to San Clemente Island. Loeffler will start at 10 pm and swim directly to Catalina Island with an anticipated arrival around 10 am, Tuesday, September 18. There will be a live feed during the swim and you can track his progress by visiting: https://track.rs/loeffler

To contribute, please visit: https://www.pledgeling.com/marathon-swimmer-will-attempt-san-clemente-island-to-catalina-island

About Dave Loeffler:

Dave Loeffler is a former SEAL Team member who graduated BUD/S class 139 and served at SEAL Team 4. He is a service-connected, disabled vet and an employee of the VA hospital in Prescott, AZ. After his service, Dave became an open ocean marathon swimmer with experience in the Channel Islands and Lake Michigan. Dave is married and lives and works in Prescott, AZ.

About the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation:
The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation (JMMF) is a non-profit, established in 2005 that provides free of charge Ocean and Surf Therapy to the United States Marine Corps, Wounded Warrior Battalion-West, West Los Angeles Veterans and at-risk youth groups throughout Los Angeles and Southern California. JMMF honors the life of Jimmy Miller, a Los Angeles County Lifeguard, accomplished and honored waterman, author, and teacher who started Pure Surfing Experience/Camp Surf more than twenty years ago as the official “Surf School” of Manhattan Beach, CA. To date, JMMF has helped thousands of at-risk children, Wounded Warriors, and Veterans experience the ocean and surfing, while increasing their confidence and self-efficacy through guided group therapy, conducted by licensed therapists, lifeguards and trained volunteers. For more information: www.jimmymillerfoundation.org or info@jimmymillerfoundation.org

Contact:
Jodi Flicker: 310-780-2724
Nancy Miller 310-266-0400

Charlotte Sabina

Charlotte Sabina

Even with an intense studies schedule and thriving music career, Charlotte finds the time to join us at more than 30 Ocean Therapy sessions a year. Her smile and surf stoke is visible. She is a dedicated surf instructor and loves to share her knowledge about about the ocean with our JMMF athletes at Camp Pendleton and Manhattan Beach. And occasionally, Charlotte will bring her guitar and play for us! We are grateful for the sunshine she brings to JMMF each week .

Kidnapped by Somali pirates, Michael Scott Moore

Kidnapped by Somali pirates, Michael Scott Moore

Kidnapped by Somali pirates, journalist Michael Scott Moore spent two and half years in captivity. At times he was held on land, other times at sea. Once, when he was on a 160-foot tuna boat, he tried to escape by jumping over the side at night.

“It was, like, a 20 foot leap off the deck of the ship, and I was just exultant at first,” Moore says.

Moore had hoped the pirates would leave him behind in the water. “The engine wasn’t in terrific shape, so I didn’t think there was a way to turn around the ship,” he says.

Instead, the captain cut the engine and let the boat drift towards him. As the big industrial ship closed in on him in the dark water, Moore made a snap decision: He opted to get back on board.
What It’s Like To Be Held Hostage By Somali Pirates For 2 1/2 Years
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What It’s Like To Be Held Hostage By Somali Pirates For 2 1/2 Years

“They found me eventually with the search lights and I raised my hand and they threw me a life preserver,” he says. “By that point everything was pretty desperate and pretty hopeless.”

The pirates had initially demanded a $20 million ransom, but as the years passed, Moore’s mother negotiated the figure down to $1.6 million. Eventually she raised enough money to free her son.

ATTENTION ALL CAMP PENDLETON VOLUNTEERS

The USMC is beginning a new procedure at the base, where if you don’t have a Volunteer Pass along with your Driver’s License, they won’t be letting you into Camp Pendleton. Security is getting tighter.

If you’ve volunteered in the past with JMMF your name has been added to the Volunteer Pass list.

The pass is good for 1-year, the letter that has been submitted to the Volunteer Center and it expires in 30-days. If you have any inclination to volunteer with us in the next 12-months, please take the time to secure a Volunteer Pass. You could join us at our July 10th or July 24th session and get your VP done at that time. Note the Volunteer Center is CLOSED on FRIDAYS.

In order to redeem your pass, you must go to the Visitor’s Center (Set of trailers on the south side of the gate) at Camp Pendleton Las Pulgas gate:

Take the Las Pulgas exit off of I-5 (a few exits North of Camp Pendleton South/Oceanside exit) and head away from the ocean (up the hill a little bit). Stop at the gate – let them know you’re getting a Volunteer Pass and they will direct you where to go. You’ll need a Gov’t Issued ID and possibly your car registration (have it handy just in case).

You will need Driver’s License, Registration, and Proof of Insurance. This should take approx. 30min…they were quick to assist us last year. They also have a copy of the attached letter.

**The Volunteer ID’s are to only be used on days that we have Camp Pendleton sessions or permission to come on base from the battalion. Please respect this. We do not want this privileged revoked.

We hope this makes your ability to volunteer with us much easier!

Arthur Jeppe

Arthur Jeppe

In honor of The Really Big Show this month, we are highlighting not only a volunteer but a true friend of Jimmy’s.  Arthur and Jimmy met in Berkeley while attending UC Berkeley. They became fast friends, lived together and traveled around the globe. Arthur’s girlfriend (now wife Lisa) was also roommates with Jimmy. Both Arthur and Lisa have a lot of admiration and love for their dear friend.

Thank you, Arthur, for showing up at Camp Pendleton and serving our Military Personnel in honor of Jimmy.
There is no happily ever after, just happily here and now…

There is no happily ever after, just happily here and now…

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller

Where are your thoughts right now? Are you able to concentrate on the words you are
reading or are you ‘future tripping’, worrying about carpool rides for the kids, or maybe
you are wondering if you will be okay or be unprepared and awkward in tomorrow’s staff
meeting? Are you projecting into the future your thoughts and feelings only to arrive at
that time and place never truly ‘be there’, desperately attempting to figure out what may
or may not happen and how I will feel when I get there? This is the very definition of
anxiety. Living in speculation and expectation can lead towards resentment, not only
towards self but towards others and your outer world in general. Or are you remorseful
and resentful, regretting past decisions you have made? Should have, could have, would
have, living in the past, torturing yourself and listening to the lies you tell yourself until it
becomes a narrative that constructs who you are.

These states of being can keep us in victim mode, reacting to things emotionally as they
arise, taking things always personally. These speculative states can only lead to suffering,
and to what end? As our brain desperately attempts to map out the future so that we are
not surprised we become risk averse, stuck in a fight, flight or freeze mode. We are
unable to access higher regions of the brain and self and process our thoughts and
feelings effectively. Living in the past creates doubt and second-guessing, each should,
could and would is a total lie, we cannot change things in our past only learn from them.
We can work on staying in the only thing that truly is; the moment you are in.

Staying present, centered and aware can be challenging, but here are a few exercises to ground
you and bring you into your true reality.

You can first start by naming things in the room, I know it sounds silly but go ahead and do it now… what you are feeling is physically being in the time and place that you are in. When we have gotten good at that, we can continue to cycle through our senses; what we are hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling, literally coming into them… The sounds of the your neighborhood coming to life, the coffee from this morning, the cushions supporting our body as we sit. All of your senses come to life; you can be present to what is in front of you and around you, able to flow on into the next indicated thing.

 

Anxiety is living in the future, depression is living in the past.

The key to being okay is living in the here and now.

Pierce Geisendorff

Pierce Geisendorff

Pierce is finishing his Sophomore year of high school with plans to attend Cal Poly to study Engineering. He always asks how he can support our Marines in the ocean or any of us on the beach. He attends most of our Camp Pendleton session throughout the year and is able to do his service work with JMMF at each. You’ll find Pierce shredding his foamy or shortboard before every OT session, but with plenty of energy to assist our Athletes for hours afterward. We are lucky to have him!
Thank you Pierce!

Photo Cred: Timothy Reed Murphy