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Saturday, December 29, 2012

I Never Experienced That Much Pain In My Life

Smiling through the pain is what Cecilia Schutte does...and does very well. Her smile masks the pain brought upon by jellyfish stings and the discomfort of cold water doses in marathon amounts.

The 33-year-old social worker who recently completed an unprecedented triple circumnavigation of Robben Island in 12 hours 23 minutes and earlier won the Gordon Pugh Memorial Trophy for the Most Outstanding Swim of the Year from the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association.

But it was for her earlier 23 km swim in 8 hours 30 minutes where her smiles were nearly as constant as the blue bottles.

Her unprecedented marathon swim took her from Big Bay in Bloubergstrand, around Robben Island, and back through ocean swells and swarms of relentlessly stinging creatures.

"During the swim I faced grueling conditions. I did the swim despite scours of blue bottles that was not our usual amount. The blue bottles were there for most of the swim. There were so many I could not swim around them, so had to stop most of the time to pull them off me. I never experienced that much pain in my life. And then the water conditions got very rough, along with the water temperatures that fluctuated between 9ºC to 14 ºC (48ºF-57ºF)."

The dynamo with energy and smiles in abundance used the opportunity to raise funds for another brave soul, cancer survivor Natalie Cohen. "My mission in life is to inspire people to push the boundaries of their body's capacity, but I am equally passionate about contributing to those less fortunate in our community. The plight of this little girl is something that is very close to her heart. I lost my own father to cancer a few short years ago, and the courage he showed in fighting the disease is something that young Natalie also has."

Despite the excruciating pain brought about by the innumerable blue bottles, the Capetonian smiled even wider upon her finish. "I am absolutely thrilled about having completed this harrowing swim. I learned a few hard lessons along the way such as always taking along enough food. This time I ran out, but luckily my stamina and mind pulled me through. The water conditions were rough with heavy swells part of the way and blue bottles just about everywhere I have the sting marks all over my body including my face.

I have been a swimmer and water sports enthusiast as far back as I can remember, and firmly believe that swimming is the one sport that everyone can relate to, regardless of culture, age or nationality. The idea of an open water swimming marathon is exciting to many people. I hope that this inspires other young men and women to push their own boundaries, and to use their own talents to better the conditions of others

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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.

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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.


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