DNOWS Header

Image Map

Saturday, July 21, 2012

George Hunihan, Keeping Focused And Keeping It Simple

George Hunihan of Cross Channel Advisors in Milford, Connecticut tells of one of his work colleagues, "He won a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics on a relay with Mark Spitz. He told me that swimming the English Channel was more of a personal feat than getting on the [Olympic] podium. I have never been in the Olympics, but after swimming the English Channel at age 54, I can't imagine a more emotional moment than standing up at Winneset Beach."

Hunihan started swimming in Connecticut with a hard-core group of channel swimmers in 2004. "In a conversation with Liz Fry, she said I had the mental attitude to do it. Marcy MacDonald always says, "Dream, prepare, succeed." After swimming for a few years with the group, it was apparent that I had the physical strength to make it across. But as they told me many times, there are so many variables and you should only be ready to expect the unexpected."

This proved to be very true.

"I went over in 2007 and waited for over two weeks for cooperative water. But then I went home. I came back in 2008 and went on the last day before the spring tide. The Channel was difficult for the first four or five hours. As the sun came up, I saw a huge boat go by. I was just so jacked up thinking how few people get the opportunity to swim in the North Atlantic and see such a sight. I can honestly say that I was running for 16+ hours on pure adrenaline and fear.

I just did not want to get out after all of this preparation, time and expense. I just kept thinking positive thoughts and took it one stroke at a time. I belong to a spiritual group that has that philosophy; it helps me with my daily life. I applied it to my swim that day. I got caught in a tide at the end and spent the last four hours going a grand total of 2 miles. I had taken my watch off before I took off and never asked my wife Suzanne what time it was or what my progress was. I just blocked off that day from my mental calender and would stick with it until I touched land.

His simple, singular focus that resulted in a successful 16 hour 30 minute crossing on August 22nd 2008 was founded in a similar training philosophy. "We all have different techniques in training. Some have extensive feeding formulas and workout programs. Some of us just show up and just do the long swims. I found that the simpler my program, the easier it was for me.

I fed on tomato soup, hot chocolate and Maxim. We had miscalculated a bit with regard to how long it would take and after about 14 hours, they threw me a blue bottle which was tomato soup mixed with blue Gatorade. I have always hated this, but it was all we had. Every time I am in a store and I see a stack of blue Gatorade bottles on the rack, I break out with a wide grin. It was worth every penny."

It is all in the mind and the ability to block all negative vibes from your mind and stay totally focused on the ultimate goal of completing the deal. Fabulous experience.

Sounds like it.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program