It’s a pretty safe bet to say that the idea of swimming in the Hudson River is repulsive to most of us but not to Matthew Konigsberg, a ‘6-year-old Rutgers University law student, who will do just that July 16, when he competes in the New York City Triathlon.
A triathlon is a race that features three sports swimming, cycling, and running and the participants in New York City’s contest will start their day with a 1500-meter (or, roughly 66-lap) dip in Sir Henry’s pool. And while Kongisberg is worried about his competition, his parents, even though they are proud that he is raising money for Israel by competing, they are a little worried about his choice in aqua.
"To this day, my mother is still bothering me: ‘Have you gotten your shots? You should ask a doctor if there is a special shot to take for jumping in the Hudson River,’" said Konigsberg, originally of New City, NY.
"Both of my parents are a little worried, because they know I learned to swim from scratch," he continued, adding that before training for the triathlon he could only swim a few laps in a pool before getting exhausted. "I told them to calm down, but you know how Jewish mothers are."
Konigsberg is only voicing his own doubts and self-deprecation through his parents’ concerns. Konigsberg, who became interested in triathlons after seeing one televised on ESPN, is thankful that the competition (www.nyctri.com) puts swimming first, since, "if it wasn’t the first leg, I don’t know if it I would have enough energy for it to be safe for me to do it."
Much of his motivation, in fact, comes from wanting to raise money for Israeli charities. In conjunction with the organization "Running for Israel" (www.runningforisrael.com), Konigsberg is trying to colect donations to help feed the poor, pay terror victims’ medical bills, and promote honesty in the global media’s coverage of Israel. Those who wish to donate can go to www.runningforisrael.com, click on "Donations," and choose Konigsberg from the drop-down menu of runners, and then choose any donation amount. And, those who want to read more about Konigsberg’s thoughts and musings can log on to triathlonforisrael.blogspot.com.
As for his parents, Konigsberg isn’t sure they’ll be pleased by what they see.
"I told my mother that should see me get out of the water with my wet-stuit on, but she wasn’t too keen on that, so my parents will wait for me at the very end of the race," he said.
"But I don’t think that’s such a great idea, since I’ll be totally ruined by then."