I Was Stalked By A Drone!

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Is it still considered “Stalking” if you ask for it?


I asked for it.


More of a suggestion, really.

An idea, perhaps.

The Stalker?

Well…..he liked my idea.

So, is that Stalking?

But…I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s start here:

The Purpose of this blog is “Helping People Achieve A Great Retirement”.

I believe that having a “Great” retirement requires a focus on many areas outside finances.  Sometimes I write “Hard”, sometimes I write “Soft”.  It’s all part of my plan to “Help People Achieve A Great Retirement”, and I firmly believe both are relevant to the mission at hand.

After last week’s depressing (and Hard) story “I’ll Never Be Able To Retire”, I felt it was time to lighten things up.

So today, I’m having some fun with a softer post.

First, I Lied About The Headline.  Or Did I?

If you’ve made it this far in the post, the “Stalker Teaser” headline must have grabbed you.  So…..it worked.

I wasn’t really “Stalked”, so I mighta sorted kinda “flared things up a bit” with that headline.

Writer’s Privilege.

Kinda catchy,  tho, right?

But I Was Stalked By A Drone

However, if one believes the act conducted via the drone classifies as “Stalking”, even if it was a requested act, then one could technically say I Was Stalked By A Drone.  Since I don’t, legally, know the answer to the “Stalking” definition dilemma (and hereby advise my attorney friends that I DO NOT WANT a legal opinion on the matter at hand), I can innocently claim that I was stalked by a drone, and I wouldn’t technically be lying.  Right?

See how my mind works?

I was Staked By A Drone, and will show you the actual video as proof! Click To Tweet

Let’s consider the evidence in favor of “Stalked”

  • The Drone Was Watching.  Always.
  • I knew not where The Drone was, on most occasions.
  • The Drone & It’s Operator Knew Where I Was. Always.
  • A Fishing Boat reported a strange flying object following us (3rd Party Witness!)
  • There is a video of the alleged stalking incident.

So Show Us The Video!

It’s coming, I promise.  But first, I have to set the stage……

The sunrise on March 24th was one I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

7:00 am – March 24th, I walked down to the beach on Lake Oconee.  The shore at the Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation is a beautiful spot, as you can see from the picture above.  I shot that picture minutes before The Stalking occurred.

It was a beautiful, cool morning.

I was excited.

It was the last day of a 3-day Corporate Summit, a meeting with the “Top 100” from my company.  It had been an intense 3 days, with folks from all over the world.

One of them became a new friend.

A great guy named Steve, from England.

He, too, was stalked,

And, it was my fault.

The Beach

As agreed, the three of us converged on the beach for our 7:00 am Stalking Rendezvous.  Steve, the aforementioned British chap, who had recklessly agreed to meet me this morning for a Cold Water Swim.  And Tum, the AV specialist at my company, who had recently purchased a Rockin’ (man, I really want one!) DJI Mavic Pro Drone and was eager to play with his new toy (and yes, for the record, he was The Stalker who is accused of malicious acts earlier in this post).

The Victims and The Stalker

The Stalking Begins

I had convinced Steve to join me in a Cold Water, sunrise swim. The adventurous Brit agreed.  Tum had also eagerly agreed to use the blatant lack of human judgment as an opportunity for some experimental drone video and editing.

So…It Begins.

The Drone Lifts Off.

Steve And I Enter The Water

  • Water Temp:    57 F / 14 C
  • Air Temp:  60 F / 15 C
The Water was 57F/14C as I tried to escape The Stalking Of The Drone. Click To Tweet

And so it is, without further adieu, that I share with you The Video Of The Stalking!

A Drone Video…..To Prove It

For those of you who doubt my claim, I HAVE PROOF!  Here is the stalking incident, in full and beautiful color (wow, what a gorgeous morning!  Tum did a truly awesome job with this video!).

Enjoy The Show!  (It’s only 2 minutes, so please take the time to see, from the perspective of a drone, a beautiful Georgia lake, along a couple of crazy cold water swimmers!)

BTW, I’m the nut without a shirt on….

Ok, so now you know the truth.  The splashy headline, the grand intro.  All just a sneaky guise to tempt you into reading this post on a most important “Great Retirement” topic:  Physical Fitness.  I hope you enjoyed my approach with today’s post, as I tried to inject some “fun” into this important topic.  Take care of yourself, and increase your odds of enjoying a Great Retirement!


After reading the book “Younger Next Year” (read my review here), I’ve become convinced that Physical Fitness is one of the keys to A Great Retirement.  I’ve made it a priority in my life, as has my wife. We’re hoping to be hiking mountains together well into our 70’s, and are doing everything we can to increase the odds of that happening.

As you prepare for and live through retirement, find a way to prioritize physical fitness in your life.  It doesn’t have to be as radical as cold water swimming.  A simple 45-minute walk per day is more than sufficient.  I walk our dogs 45 minutes every day that I’m at our cabin, and only occasionally weave in the “more aggressive” activities like swimming, running and mountain bike riding.

Find what works for you, and make it a priority.

Your retirement and your life will be better for it.

Besides, you never know when you might need to Escape From A Stalking Drone.

Your Turn:  What do you do to keep yourself in shape?  And for fun, have you ever been stalked by a drone?

Yep, I swam all the way to the other side, and back. Two times, in 3 days!


  1. Hey Fritz. Beautiful footage. It’s amazing what one can accomplish with a drone these days. Question: were you ever concerned about the speedboats? Great point about physical health BTW. Retirement + poor health = misery. Retirement + excellent health = joy. To increase my chances of the latter, I walk 2 miles every day and on M-F I do 50 pullups and 100 split squats. Not bad for a 55-year-old. Thanks for the rollicking good post, my friend. It’s not often you come across a good stalking story.

    1. Hey Mr. G! I knew someone would ask about the speedboats! I’m ALWAYS aware of boats when I’m on the lake, and knew those guys were coming well before they arrived. They were a lot further away than it looks like from a drone. I’d guess ~100 yards away or more. I don’t worry about it, just make sure I’m watching and always have a contingency plan. Hey, that sounds like retirement planning!

      Good for you for walking 2 miles/day, not to mention the 50/100 – you’ve got me beat there! Thanks for the “First” comment, you do know your wife’s going to mad at you, right (she always wants to be first!!)…..

  2. That’s so cool! Amazing footage. I love what people are able to capture with drone cameras. I was in South Africa a few months ago and we saw someone launch a drone from the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town. They must have gotten some ridiculous footage of the city from a few thousand feet up.

    I go through phases where I am good about exercising and then fall off again. Lately I have been easing back into it by walking for a half hour in the morning and then another half hour at lunch. I find that I don’t usually have the energy to exercise at 5 in the morning and I don’t often have the motivation after work, but I can always walk and listen to a podcast.

    1. Matt, drones are amazing. The one in “my” video can travel up to 5 miles away from the operator. Truly amazing technology. Thinking of one for retirement, time will tell.

      Good for you for walking when it works for you. Walking is all you need, and an hour a day is a great goal! Plus, you’re feeding your brain with podcasts at the same time!! Great approach to keeping yourself fit!

  3. We have a friend who is stalked by blimps, as in Goodyear. Wherever she goes outdoors, a blimp follows her. It’s a great excuse for her to stay home and eat a bag of cheetos since she’s not a nature girl.

    When you showed me the video previously it was sans the opening segment of the stalker, correct? Nice touch. The entire video feels like a NatGeo film.

    I’m doing my 2-mile walk with Mr. G daily plus YouTube videos switching off upper body, lower body and abs. Before retirement I was doing restorative physical therapy exercises every day for my shoulder. I’m happy to say the pain went away since I no longer sit at a computer all day.

    1. What??!! Now that sounds like a story (or, a lame excuse to be a slug!). Good memory on the original vs. current version, you’re correct in the addition of “The Launch” video clip. No where near NatGeo, but fun since it was “personal”!

      Good for you for using your retirement as an opportunity to improve your fitness! I can’t wait to be able to say “I no longer sit at a computer all day”! You’ve earned it, now enjoy it!

  4. Ha that’s awesome, Fritz! What a great video, those drones are pretty amazing. But now that you are in the drone’s sites you better watch your back!

    Sounds like an absolutely gorgeous location, love the natural beauty.

    1. Why am I not surprised that a “Swan” would love a lake? You’re right, it is a gorgeous location, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to swim there (and get stalked!). Fun memory, felt it was worthy of a post!

  5. Neat video, and I’m constantly impressed by your fortitude in the cold water. We’re headed to the beach this month, and I’m already nervous that my daughter’s going to push me into going swimming in water colder than I like.

    I’m less good about exercise than I should be, and I know it. I need to figure out how to structure it into my life better, either by having an accountability buddy (my 6 year old has volunteered, but isn’t consistent), taking a class, or some other means that relies on more than just “I feel like doing it,” because “I feel like doing it” isn’t working often enough.

    1. It’s definitely something you need to find a way to “structure” into your life! Keep trying different tricks, something will click! BTW, I’m voting for your daughter to push you…..time to toughen up!

  6. That video was awesome Fritz. Thank you so much for sharing. As a very young retiree (49) I’m 50 now I understand the importance of physical activity. Since retiring I have been walking/running 4 1/2 miles a day take 2 strength and core classes a week and bike 30 40 miles a few times a week. I’m training for PALM (Pedal Across Lower Michigan). I consider my new JOB to take care of myself so I am able to truly enjoy my early retirement. I SO appreciate your blog. Thanks for sharing your physical fitness triumphs! They really inspire me!!!

    1. 4 1/2 miles per day is incredible, good for you! I’m glad to hear my fitness articles “really inspire” you! The PALM sounds awesome! I grew up in Southern Michigan (South of Jackson), sounds like an awesome ride! Good luck!

  7. Awesome!! From the post title I thought it might be The Dolphin stalking you to see what progress you are making in training for the June 7th competition! I really love those drone images/video. It’s amazing how clear everything is!! I guess for $1000 it better be clear! 😉

    1. It is cool, right!? I wish I had access to a drone for the June 7 competition vs. The Dolphin, the Chicago skyline would make an awesome backdrop for a drone video of cold water swimming in Lake Michigan!!

  8. I totally had the same thoughts as some of the readers: “What out for the boats!”, “Looks like a National Geographic video” & “You’re crazy for swimming in that cold water”. But all that aside, what a cool film and and even “cooler” way to keep in shape. Team Waffles (attempts to) stay in shape by running and working out in our converted home gym garage, with the occasional scuba dive thrown into the mix. Have you ever thought that something could be stalking you from under the water?

    1. Oh great, work on the “shark” fear. Good thing I’m in fresh water, only thing I have to fear are snakes….(bad enough!)…. Awesome that you keep a focus on staying in shape, and I’m jealous of the scuba!!

  9. Beautiful location! I can’t help but wonder what those fishermen were thinking? haha – probably thought you were nuts!

    I walk 4 miles per day during the work week (going back and forth between the bus stop and my office) and that’s the extent of my physical fitness. I keep falling back on the “I don’t have time” excuse, but that’s pretty weak because that that really means is that I’m just prioritizing other things above my physical health.

    1. We actually talked to those fisherman for a few minutes. A hoot. You’ve gotta imagine their Georgia drawl, then: “Ain’t that water kinda cold? What are ya, nuts or somthin? And hey, what’s that thing flying around above ya fer?”…..

      Walking 4 miles per day for work is all you’ve gotta do, Ty. Better than most!

  10. Run, run, and now some biking. The running was taking a toll on my Achilles so I reduced the running and ramped up biking. I also hit the weights. I’m doing some sort of workout usually 6 days/wk. I am working towards either a 50K (30-miles) run or 100-mile bike ride. It all depends on how I fair as I try to ramp up the running again. I ran 3 miles yesterday and have a 5k fund raiser on Saturday.

    On a recent vacation my dad was not able to do many of the activities because he can not walk much anymore which is because he stopped walking a number of years ago and let other things go before that. His brother, my uncle, did Angels Landing with us in Zion at 70. That is my goal. I want to be hiking with the family at 70 and beyond.

    cd :O)

    1. A 50K Run? That’s INSANE! I think the 100 mile bike ride sounds much more practical! Great to have goals, and I know in my life they certainly help keep me motivated to train. I couldn’t agree more that our “70-year old selves” will appreciate us doing what we’re doing now. I’m planning to be right there with you, hiking into my 70’s!

  11. I’ve been taking cold showers this week to see if it has an effect on my productivity. Getting over the initial shock, I’ve seen a noticeable benefit in alertness and productivity for the first few hours after my shower.

    For keeping in shape, I play softball, basketball, and do some biking/working out.

    Thanks for sharing this fun story Fritz 🙂

    1. I’ve been doing the “last 1 minute is cold” routine with my morning showers. Definitely gives you a boost! Good for you for trying it, I’ll have to try to stretch mine into longer exposures!

  12. A topic so near and dear to me! The physical fitness, not the stalking…or…

    The video was awesome. Tum did a really nice job. Very impressive to see you in action. But those boats, yikes!

    I’ve upped my fitness game recently as I’ve begun training for the Spartan Race in February, but I typically strive for 10k steps a day, squats and pull-ups daily, and other strength training exercises throughout the week.

    1. Hey Amy, good for you for targeting a Spartan!! I’ve never done one, will be interested to hear how it goes for you! Great to have challenges like that to spice up our fitness routines from time to time! Good luck with your training!

  13. Enjoyed the video! The dramatic music added a great touch to it as well. Pretty awesome you were up for the challenge of that cold water. I’m in Texas, and we’re still only dipping our big toes into our pool! (And my husband and I are originally from Canada so that shows what weanies we’ve become.)

  14. Wow! This was beautiful footage! Not only am I impressed by you swimming in those frigid temps, but I’m impressed at the footage from the drone. I admit, Fritz, I got a little concerned when I saw those speedboats!

  15. Great video! amazing scenery.

    that looks like a lake where I could have a holiday!

    This weekend I did a dragonrun…We survived!

  16. What a lovely place. Well done on swimming in that temperature. You must have a string heart! That initial ‘breath stopper’ as you go in is always hard.

    I totally agree about keeping fit and taking basic exercise. I try to use the stairs instead of the lift when I can, even if I have to go slowly. Husband and I do a 4 mile walk most days and 6 including a fairly steep hike if the weather is good. I am far fitter that when I retired, but still want to improve on it.

    1. And I hope that 6 miler is up King Arthur’s Seat! What a beautiful spot, good for you for getting out that often! You’ve got a great place to do it!

  17. That drone footage is amazing! Do you just trust those guys in speed boats not to run you over? Seems like they were going pretty fast, what if they don’t see you in time?

  18. I still think ya’ll are crazy for cold water swimming, but man, that lake is gorgeous!! Rick and I are heading very close to 50 (me in a couple of months) and we too have made physical fitness a part of our FI plan. Too many around us didn’t and are suffering the consequences and it freaks us out…. 🙁 This is why I said “no” to a second helping of leftover cheesy potatoes for lunch. Frugal AND fit. 🙂

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