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2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
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Monday, November 5, 2012
The Ocean Provides An Endless Abyss Of Opportunities
"Jeannine may have had a panic attack her first time, but she did it again the next week and continues to swim faithfully," said her swim buddy.
"I was on a swim team as a child, but I hated it. I preferred my dance classes," said the 51-year-old. "In my early 20's, I would go to Santa Monica and splash in the white wash waves, but that was my only ocean experience. For the next 30 years, I would not go into the ocean. I would take my children to the beach and I would sit on the shore."
But Lee somehow got her up from the shore and into the water. "Laura did a lot of coaxing and calming before and during our first swim. I was so scared. My very first ocean swim was in March 2012. If anyone told me that at age 50 that I would be swimming in the ocean, I would have told them they were insane." Insanity and nervousness are no longer issues with their regular ocean swims. "I don't get nervous anymore. During my first two swims, I was nervous about sharks, but that has faded. We swim at Little Corona (beach) under great conditions." But the inseparable ocean-swimming pair have a system. "During our first 3 or 4 swims, Jeannine insisted that we swim side-by-side. She was on the shore/sand side and I on the deeper ocean side. That way, I’d get bit first by any unwelcome sea creatures approaching from the deeper waters. I was her human shield. She has since gotten over that, commented Lee.
In fact, after the Lompoc Great White Shark fatality, followed by 2 Great White Sharks caught in Manhattan Beach last week, I figured Jeannine would cancel our swims or that I would have to dole out another anti-shark pep talk. She never canceled our swim, and I never brought it up, hoping she hadn’t heard about it. Last week, as we drove to the ocean and were putting on our caps, Jeannine asked casually, "Did you hear about the Lompoc Shark attack?' Jeannine seems to have no fear now days. Once you start ocean swimming and have that personal, spiritual ocean experience, it’s hard to stop."
The pair research the water conditions with Lee taking the lead. Chomyn follows her out past the surf and they begin their regular 1.2-mile swim adjacent to the shore line, occasionally encountering sting rays and Garabaldi fish.
With any specific open water swim goals, the pair swim for the physical and emotional benefits the exercise provides, enabling a new lease on life. "I still can't believe that I am now 51 years old, and I swim in the ocean on a weekly basis," recalls Chomyn. "It is so crazy. With my current work schedule, I am only able to swim Saturday mornings, but if time permitted, I would be in the ocean every single day.
And I never plan to stop. I look forward to our weekly swims with such enthusiasm. The thought of stopping would be incomprehensible to me. With enough training and practice, I could possibly even work up to competing. Who knows? The ocean is an endless abyss of opportunities."
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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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...
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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.
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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.