Lindy Regan at race finish

Diving Into Wellness
Story 52

One nurse followed her dreams into the open water, and found joy and wellness along the way.

By Tiffany Gibson, Associate Well-Being Manager, Adventist Health in Mendocino County
Lindy Regan at race finish

Not many people would consider jumping off a perfectly good boat into the water of the San Francisco Bay but, that is exactly what Lindy Regan, RN, has been training for since 2019. On September 25, Lindy joined 579 swimmers for the Annual Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim. Finishing third in her age group (45-49), she recounts that the greatest challenges were the swells and the big, burly guys who seemed to be throwing their arms and legs in all directions.

“I trained in Big River, so I didn’t have experience with the swells,” Lindy shares. “I was also surprised about how much warmer the bay is than the river.” 

Lindy has grown accustomed to the cold water, even calling it therapeutic. She loves the freedom of open water swimming: no chlorine, no flip turning, and getting out in nature. “As we are swimming, seals follow us and their heads pop up from time to time,” Lindy says. “I also love seeing the herons on the riverbank.” 

It’s not always easy to make time for her practice swims within the responsibilities of work, but Lindy says it has been key to her well-being over the last two years. “Having a training mindset was such a great motivator for me to stay active and get outdoors,” she says. “It was something I was doing just for me, and I have never slept better.” 

"I have made great friends and feel that I have a purpose to keep healthy and strong.”
Lindy Regan

“I am so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and connected to an activity that I now love so much,” Lindy adds. “I have made great friends and feel that I have a purpose to keep healthy and strong.” Lindy gives special thanks to one of those friends – her manager, Anita West – who supported her in the race with signs, decorations and encouragement.

Lindy didn’t have any formal swim training leading into the Alcatraz race but has always had a desire to swim. “Anytime I drive across a body of water I want to get out and swim across it,” she says, adding that she looks forward to swimming from Alcatraz again next year and hopes that her family can be on a boat, as well, cheering her on and celebrating with her at the finish.

A nurse for three years now, Lindy has been with Adventist Health Mendocino Coast for six years working in registration, with the ambulance and now in the emergency department. She wants everyone to know that it’s never too late to find your passion.“I didn’t have confidence in my 30s to do something like this,” Lindy says. “I’m living a great later half!”