Attorney Takes Swimming’s Triple Crown

Courtney Moates Paulk ’92 was a few hours into her marathon swim across Southern California’s Catalina Channel when she noticed a large shadow tracking her. A curious sea lion observed the endurance swimmer for a bit, then nibbled on one of her toes before Paulk sent him packing with a gentle but firm kick. She had about six more hours to go in her solo journey across the 20-mile channel − the final leg in her quest to earn the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming − and even the most gregarious sea creature wasn’t going to stop her. “I’m in their world. You just have to be all right with that,” said Paulk, a Richmond attorney, of run-ins with wildlife during open-water swims. “I think you have to prepare your head for it for months. ‘OK, I’m going to jump in the Pacific Ocean at midnight where there are sharks and whales and sea lions and jellyfish and cold water. . . . In a lot of ways, I equate it to taking out the trash: You just have to do it.” Paulk finished the … [Read more...]