Driving along the lake shore, with it’s familiar, iconic towers on one side, the park, the bean, the fountain, and the museum campuses fronting the lake, it’s hard to mistake the Midwestern sense of order and proportion. No outlandish palms, lush gardens, or riotous color here. Still, the Midwestern can-do spirit refreshes. Maybe it’s the brisk weather: 37 degrees at breakfast time, with a stiff wind.
As we rounded the corner that merges Chicago and Evanston, we were aghast to see two young women standing waist-deep in the surf. Circling back, we pulled up in time to catch them drying off and layering on athletic wear, leggings, sneakers, and microfiber hoodies. Were they in training, we asked. Yes, for marathons! They explained that after a long run, they plunge into the lake, because the cold water drives the lactic acid from their muscles, decreasing muscle cramps and fatigue.
They were charming, dedicated, and Midwest tough. See for yourself: