Fight Until the Battle is Won: Erica Esterly’s 28-Mile Swim
It is said that for Cadets at West Point, competing on the fields of friendly strife provides first-hand experience at preparing to win on the battlefield. Through athletics, Cadets are given a chance to learn about tenacity, resilience, discipline, mental and physical toughness, and the desire to excel.
When the ’field’ is a 28-mile swim around the island of Manhattan and the ’competition’ pits yourself against the ever-changing currents and conditions of open water for over an eight-hour span, those attributes and ideas are put to the test.
For Erica Esterly, a yearling on the Army West Point swimming and diving team, the character traits that have been instilled in her through her time at the Academy helped her win on the battlefield that was the 20 Bridges Swim, which she completed in September. The former Arizona Open Water Distance Swimmer of the Year was one of just two people to complete the mission that day, as four other competitors dropped out.
This particular swim has been years in the making for Esterly, who has been racing in open water competitions since she was 13 years old. Born in Philadelphia, she would return to the area annually to visit family and it was there that she first competed in the Mid-Atlantic Championship. The competition, five kilometers long, sparked a fire in her that has only grown over time. Read more.