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Swim-4-Sweat touches hearts

Former Nitro James Paisley will swim 10 nautical miles from Lanai to Maui in an effort to raise funds for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia, which promotes research of the rare genetic disorder his 8-year old son

August 25, 2009|By Gabriel Rizk

“[The Paisleys] were at a really good point with their son and feeling like they understood the disorder and they were treating it appropriately,” says NFED Director of Public Relations Jodi Reinhardt of the time two years ago when James Paisley first approached her about coming up with a fundraiser concept. “We did some brainstorming and the first thing I said was that it’s best to start out with something you really enjoy doing, that way it won’t be a chore, it will be something you will enjoy.”

Although he’s a registered Masters swimmer, Paisley didn’t fully put the two together until he saw a group of kids at an NFED annual conference having fun in the pool.

“I knew I was a swimmer and I walked out on the pool deck and everyone affected with ED is on the pool deck going bananas,” he said. “I’m thinking, ‘These kids love to swim.’”

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Naturally, swimming and water sports are a favored activity for those who don’t sweat, including Ty.

“It’s fun,” he says, “and I don’t get hot when I do it.”

With everything seeming to tie together perfectly, the idea for “Swim for Sweat” was born.

“It’s a good connection,” James says. “As a parent, you kind of lead your kids toward things you know and it’s just a giant coincidence that he doesn’t sweat and he enjoys the water.

“I think it would be different if I were a distance runner in the desert, it’s not like I could push him in that direction. It’s kind of like a natural fit.”

Paisley was just weeks away from his first attempt at the “Swim-4-Sweat” in 2008 when he broke some ribs in a water-skiing accident, forcing him to pull out.

“I had been working hard and that was a major setback,” Paisley said. “Had I been doing it for me, I would have just said, ‘The timing’s not right, forget it,’ [but] there hasn’t been a day over the last year of training that I haven’t been swimming lap to lap just thinking about what I’m doing it for.”

In addition to doing up to eight miles of laps in the pool on some days, Paisley trains in the ocean near his home in San Clemente near a small jut of shore beyond Dana Point.

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