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We recently sat down with brother Ben Holland to hear about his upcoming English Channel swim and his experience as a DTD Kenyon brother. Do you want to send in an update to be featured in an upcoming eLetter to your DTD Kenyon brothers? Email your updates and pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Here’s what Ben had to say:


Q: What inspired you to want to swim the English Channel?
A: Honestly, it’s just something I wanted to do.  I swam for 3 years at Kenyon, took a decade off, and slowly got into open water marathon swimming in my mid-30’s.  As the premier open water swim in the world, the English Channel was always looming. Finally, after some good results in cold water swims last year, I was lucky enough to get a spot with one of the boat pilots permitted to accompany channel swimmers this summer.


Q: What are you doing in preparation for the swim?
A: To even be permitted to swim the English Channel, each swimmer must continuously swim in water under 60 degrees for 6 hours.  I went to a training camp in Mallorca, Spain with a number of other EC aspirants in March to complete the qualifying swim. As it turned out, the water was 54 degrees for the qualification and the air temperature was 45 degrees. Good times.

As acclimating to the cold is a big part of swimming the Channel (for the triathletes in the crowd, wetsuits are prohibited), ice baths are a regular part of training along with occasional trips to the Northeast throughout the Spring and Summer.  Following the Mallorca experience, I also gained 20 pounds so I can better sustain cold water for anywhere between 10 and 16 hours. Living in Charlotte, carrying that extra weight through 90-degree water all summer is a challenge, but I do my best to carb load.

All that aside, there’s the whole training thing, which is always a challenge given my professional travel.


Q: What else are you up to nowadays? Any updates you'd like to share with your brothers?
A: Personally, I’m married with two daughters.  Professionally, I’m a shareholder/lawyer with Ogletree Deakins, practicing employment law. 


Q: Why did you join DTD?
A: Being born on a canebrake, I was really left with no choice.


Q: What is your best memory from your DTD days?
A: In no particular order: Professor Klesner’s invitation to senior comps. Waking up in a parking lot in New Orleans. A-1. Banter at Pierce. Bonomo’s van to Florida. Chairman. Exit signs. The Cruiser’s tanning bed.


Q: How has your membership in DTD benefited you in your professional life?
A: My time as a Delt laid a solid foundation for my marketing prowess.


Q: What are the top 3 things you gained from your DTD membership?
A: It really starts and ends with lifelong friendships.


Q: If you could give an active brother one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: You’ll never have the freedom you will right after graduation again in your life.  Don’t waste it by immediately going to law school, medical school, business school, or taking some nonsense, low-level job.  You have all sorts of time for that. Go to Barcelona and join the Catalan resistance. Or bartend in Jamaica. Whatever you want, just do something stupid (short of living in your parents’ basement).  You’ll thank me.

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