To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. Over 14,451 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, ice swims, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors. Sponsored by WOWSA.org.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Sandra Denius' Dream Come True In The Open Water
It is a heartwarming story. One that begins in her childhood.
Denius grew up in the Alleghany Highlands in the state of Virginia known for its breathtaking mountain scenery and charming towns.
"Most swimming [when I was a child] was done in the open water so open water swimming always made sense to me. I was always comfortable in lakes and rivers even though I was on more than one occasion chased by a swimming snake and had my toes nibbled on by fish in the lake.
Marine life never stunted her love for the water. "My dad, an avid swimmer, encouraged me and my siblings to swim. We always thought it was fun to see how many we could do. When we were in the lake, it was a challenge to see if we could swim from A to B. Sometimes my dad would let me jump out of the boat pretty far out in the lake and swim to shore."
However much Denius swam in her childhood, she had never heard about open water swimming until she moved to college at Virginia Commonwealth University. "I was pretty naïve about a lot of things. While life guarding at the YMCA, I was fascinated and inspired by Missie Hersey who used to swim nonstop during my entire shift as she trained for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. I thought she was amazing. Missie, along with John Ferrell, encouraged me to train for and enter my first swim, the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in 1993. I enjoyed it so much that I finished the 7.5-mile Potomac River Swim in 1994. In 1995 I was the first woman at the Death Valley 5K at Clemson, South Carolina. I wouldn’t have done any of the swims if it weren’t for John who always made things fun with his great enthusiasm and good spirit."
But Virginia Commonwealth University disbanded its swim team just before Denius arrived on campus so she ended up swimming by herself with an occasional masters swim team workout. "I made a few great friends at college, but spent a lot of time swimming, running and biking by myself." Her training gave her a lot of time to think and explore.
And when she first saw Lake Moomaw, her dream came to her.
"Lake Moomaw is one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. I’ve always enjoyed swimming there so after I became aware that there were people who swam these types of races I thought it would be a perfect venue. In 1997 I wrote a letter - which I still have - proposing a 1- and 3-mile swim at Lake Moomaw. I never got a response. I felt like no one understood my passion for swimming. So I just moved on to other things keeping a file with my ideas for the Lake Moomaw race."
She never gave up on her dream.
"I thought I could revisit the idea of the Lake Moomaw at some point [in my life]. I have moved numerous times and would get rid of things with each move, but I could never bear to throw out the file with my proposal and ideas for the Lake Moomaw swim. I kept hoping someday..."
But her dreams remain quiet until a career opportunity led to her passion pouring out in a job interview. "I didn't tell anyone of this dream until until recently when I told a room full of people during an interview for the position of Blueway Special Projects Coordinator, Alleghany Highlands." The interviewers posed a question about how best to develop and promote the lakes, rivers and streams of the area and how to work in tandem with other tourism-related projects. "I talked about my ideas for various outdoor events. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to convince people that an open water swim event at Lake Moomaw is a terrific idea...I got the job."
Denius is enjoying a lot of momentum in the area with plenty of support from her friends and neighbors. It is truly a dream come true. "I feel so excited and happy. Five years ago, I moved back to the area with my three children, who also love to swim. There are a lot of great things are happening. But none of this would be possible without the Alleghany Foundation and The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and tourism which are committed to making positive changes for our community and local businesses.
The Alleghany Highlands Blueway Project is a significant marketing initiative that will accentuate our lakes, rivers, and streams, lending credibility to the Alleghany Highlands as the premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The swim will present one of our most beautiful assets of the area and people will discover the hidden gem that is the Alleghany Highlands."
Dave Holland, a local U.S. Masters Swimming representative, visited Lake Moomaw and agreed that the lake is an ideal location for the Lake Moomaw Swim, a 1-mile event that will take place on August 3rd, 2013 amid the beautiful mountain landscape.
Denius' dream, 15 years in the making, will be followed throughout 2013. Stay tuned.
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 MagazineThe 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 SwimmingAn 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.