“The Big Swim” — Paul Schock & Tim Draper Swim the Irrigation Pond


October 13, 2021 —

Only a few days after some of the most beautiful fall weather thus far, Mother Nature in Nebraska decided to speak up.

The winds picked up to 20+ MPH, the air temps dropped into the 50s, and two brave friends hiked out to the irrigation pond to celebrate a shared achievement.

But let’s go back to the beginning so you have the full idea…

As many of you know, when The Prairie Club was founded, Paul sought assistance from a number of investors for this project.

Perhaps none were more critical than Tim Draper, a well-known Silicon Valley investor and Paul’s former roommate from his days at Stanford University.

Tim’s funding and undying belief in Paul’s vision helped not only launch, but helped sustain the club during some difficult early years as the club gained its footing. Tim saw the club through, during good times and bad.

A few years ago, Paul made an off-hand promise to our team.

His promise was that if the club continued on it’s path toward success, someday he’d swim across the irrigation pond.

It was said in jest, but would continually be brought up.

“When you going to swim the irrigation pond, Paul?” people would ask, jokingly.

Knowing that Tim would be bringing his group out for season’s end here in October, Paul got to work to fulfill the promise.  He would eventually rope Tim into this promise to swim the irrigation pond in the middle of October.

If anyone knows anything about Tim Draper, they would know that he is not afraid to be bold. In fact, he has an entire philosophy about bucket lists that he speaks about publicly often.

So together they agreed, they would celebrate the club’s success together.

You’ll have to forgive the intense Nebraska winds, as it is nearly impossible to understand Paul’s short speech to the small crowd in attendance — family and staff — during the first minute. (We transcribed it for you at the bottom of this article.)

He spoke about the difficult journey, thanked Tim for his faith in the club, and then turned to make the huge splash.

It was a day that our team will not soon forget!

Watch it all unfold here:

Here are some more photos of the day:

It started when Roger and the team tried to use the lift as a diving board. Then, the lift got stuck. Whoops!

Tim with a few of his spectators — ha! (you can tell, it’s not warm)

Paul and Tim debating water temps.

The second guessing begins…

They did it!

The celebration!

Like they’re 20-years old again…


[TRANSCRIPT OF PAUL’S SHORT MESSAGE: I don’t know if this will come through or not. But I met Tim Draper when I was in college and together, we did amazingly crazy  things.  From swimming in the Pacific Ocean during the winter, to doing an impromptu comedy skit in Ghirardelli Square, yeah.. yeah…people tipped us!  …. What else did we do… we tried out for a play. 🎵 *singing* PLEASE DON’T GO, MY FRIEND. 🎵  Anyway, we’ve done crazy things.  When I started this project, I thought, ‘The only person I know as crazy as me is Tim Draper.’ If it wasn’t for him, this project would not be possible. Here we go baby!]