First Take: The Big Dipper Print
THE BIG DIPPER
Tyler Paterson, '95
Tyler Patterson, '95. 2006 Morgan Talbot Photography.
It took Tyler Patterson, ’95, a few days to stop feeling “out of it,” and a few nights to start dreaming about something other than swimming. On Aug. 27 he’d completed a 55-mile lap around the perimeter of Lake Washington, and his mind needed time to recover. So did his armpits. “They were pretty roughed up,” he says. “My wetsuit was fantastic, but I don’t think the engineers, when they build those things, envision people swimming in them for 37 hours.” For all the exhaustion that would eventually set in, Patterson says, he felt exhilarated when he emerged from the water. He’d accomplished both of his goals—to do something dramatically “life affirming” in anticipation of his 40th birthday, and to raise money for the UW’s Experimental Education Unit (donations came in at nearly $7,000). As he clambered ashore to cheers, applause and hugs, a friend jokingly asked if he’d consider a victory lap. “I imagine if he had looked at my wife, she would’ve rolled her eyes and said, ‘Don’t tempt him,’” Patterson says. “Because I felt pretty good at that point. I might’ve just gone into Lake Union or something.”