Junior Guards Start

Junior Guards wait at the start of the Iron Guard run and swim.

Not a week goes by that I’m not inspired by our local watermen — like last week when many of our Long Beach Junior Guards earned their (no longer politically correct) Stud Ironman award based on their times for a 2-mile swim and 4-mile run down the beach on the Peninsula. These days it’s called the Ironguard achievement award.

Three friends — Rick Adams, Debby McCormick and Patricia V. Davis are working on projects that remind me of Jack Nicholson’s character Melvin Udall in the movie "As Good As It Gets" when he said, “You make me want to be a better man.” I hope their stories lead you to Iron Man aspirations.

Land Meets Sea

Dr. Rick Adam’s passion for those who are physically challenged is shown each year at Casa Colina's Land Meets Sea Sports Camp. The annual camp meets Aug. 13-15 at Marine Stadium and includes a variety of water sports. It offers challenged individuals the chance to participate in adaptive sports and recreational activities that build confidence, foster community, and contribute to fitness and healing.

Adams was first inspired to specialize in rehabilitation medicine when his nephew was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy and he watched his sister and her husband work to obtain the best opportunities for their son. Adams saw there was a lack of resources and participation in sports could led to increased self-esteem.

Later, after initially committing to emergency room medicine, he accepted an internship in the small specialty of physical rehabilitation where his patients who overcame major injuries motivated him.

It took Adams two full years to transition to retirement, because he wanted to meet every outpatient one last time before retiring. Some he had bonds with after working together 25 to 30 years.

Helping people understand what former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords calls her “new normal” is Adams’s gift and he reaffirms his passion for those physically challenged each year it by supporting this camp.

McCormick Divers

In July, McCormick Divers sent 14 divers to compete at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Diving Championships in Riverside. They competed along with 550 divers from around the country. The divers, aged 10-18, brought six medals home; one of them a bronze in the 14-year-old 3 meter event.

With all this success, the divers gain more confidence, and have been learning more quickly thanks to some new tools. The trampolines and dry-diving boards with safety harnesses continue to be an asset to their training. Recently, they started using a “bubble machine” — an air compressor at the bottom of the pool that agitates the water to make an air cushion on landing — taking the fear factor out of learning harder dives.

Debby McCormick, who coaches with Charly Collins said, “McCormick Divers has recently gained several former gymnasts and they have developed quickly. They are fun and talented athletes, who, along with a fantastic parent group, have enhanced our program.”

2019 marks the 51st year of McCormick Divers making them the longest standing club in the country.

Queen Mary

Author Patricia Davis has written a trilogy of books that take place on the current day Queen Mary. The stories revolve around a group of women who run a fictional restaurant on the ship called the Secret Spice Café.

What impresses me about Davis is the volume of research she does and the subject manner experts that she consults as she develops her stories.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 2, where the chefs and tour guides have collaborated with Davis to create a meal inspired by recipes in the book, a special tour when action in the stories take place, and a special reading by the author in the ship’s art deco Observation Bar.

Guests will receive a paperback copy of the final installment of the trilogy, an exclusive sneak peek for attendees only with a portion of the ticket price going to the new Long Beach Main Library. Details will be posted at QueenMary.com soon.

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