Jane Barber loves everything about the Swim – the electric energy she feels when she arrives at the Boatslip deck in the morning to register and immerse herself in the camaraderie and anticipation of the 1.4-mile swim ahead. It’s not a race but inclusive of all. The open water crossing takes her from a sense of helplessness to a Zen-like feeling in the middle of the harbor, alone, to the hopefulness of the event and the cheering crowds at the finish.
As an avid open water swimmer in California and Colorado, Jane found a home here. “These are my people,” she thought as she swam across Provincetown Harbor in her first Swim for Life in 2009. **
Her “friend” at the time, and now her wife, Linda Rohler, brought her to town for a visit and to a Poppy Champlin show. Sitting shyly in the back, the performer asked them how long they’d been together. Jane replied, “We’re just friends”.
Well not for long. They married in 2010 and have settled onto Nickerson Street where they have lovingly remodeled artist May Hackett’s home, with the artist’s iconic typewriter prominently displayed. They first met in Cleveland, Ohio where Linda taught one of Jane’s three sons.
In the winter the couple retreats to Cleveland and Breckenridge, Colorado where Jane is an adaptive ski instructor. Since moving to the Cape she has continued her interest in adaptive sports at the McGraw Center for Adaptive Sports, a Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital program at Nickerson State Park in Brewster, which she helped establish. Through yoga, biking, kayaking and swimming, she works with people recovering from strokes, paralysis, surgery, arthritis and aging.
Jane has invited a close friend this year to swim with her at the 30th Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, set for September 9, to share her personal journey. If you’d like to join them as a swimmer, kayaker, boater, volunteer or to cheer them on, contact the Swim for Life at www.swim4life.org. Take the Plunge!