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Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Time Is Now, The Choice Is Yours

As 2012 comes to a close, many swimmers take stock of their achievements during the year.

Some swimmers, however, will focus a bit more on their failures (real or perceived), missed opportunities, unexpected situations and all kinds of "what if" scenarios.

In either case, most swimmers optimistically and ideally consider what is possible in the New Year. The slate is clean, the start is new, the possibilities are real. A swimmer's goal can range from participating in their first official open water swimming competition, swimming without a wetsuit, doing an ice swim, or attempting a marathon swim.

The first step is not the first arm stroke. The first step is thought.

As channel swimmers often describe their discipline, "Our sport is 80% mental." And, in our opinion, thoughts are the first, most enduring and most important parts of open water swimming. Thoughts are how we conceive a swim, how we perceive its progress, and how we enable ourselves to achieve our goals.

As Dr. Mariusz Wirga, creator and leader of the Beat the Odds program, explains, "The brain is a blind organ. It will obey any sincere thought that you may have and will respond with an appropriate emotional reaction to that sincere thought. The brain interprets your words literally, and then uses them to direct mental, emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses. The words we use both internally (our thoughts) and externally (our speech) have the power to change the way we experience our world in dramatic ways."

Read about the exploits of Lynne Cox, Lewis Pugh or Marcellus Wiley. Watch videos of Trent Grimsey, Ous Mellouli, Stephen Redmond or Eva Risztov. Listen to your friend who did a triathlon or a neighbor who completed a 10K charity walk for the first time. Their enthusiasm, commitment and sense of accomplishment is uplifting and motivational.

They describe their difficulties, hurdles and hardships with clarity and raw emotions. Their road to success is fraught with problematic physical, financial, logistical and climatic issues. They never achieve their goals through a straightforward, easy or quick route. But their counter-balance those descriptions and a minefield of obstacles with a deeply felt joy and self-satisfaction that is inspirational.

Their choice of words to their audiences is not only motivational to others, but also a strong internal affirmation of their own chosen goals. As Dr. Wirga explains, "Words of a [good] story may affect you profoundly, but no words are more powerful than those that you say to yourself. No orator can impress or persuade you as well as you can do it for yourself. You cannot escape the continuous flow of words through your mind, or the impact they have on you."

Convince yourself that 2013 will be an outstanding year for all kinds of open water swimming opportunities. The time is now. The choice is yours.

"You set your own limits," as Marcellus Wiley says. "It's your turn now."

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.

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

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