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Sunday, June 2, 2013
Hallucinations In The Open Water Swimming World
Swimmers can zone out for long or short periods where their mind thinks of nothing concrete, one specific thing over and over again, or lots of different thoughts crisscrossing the brain all at once.
Open water swimming can be relaxing and an effective means to get away from the pressures and stresses of the land.
It is alluring and inviting to achieve this level of separation from the responsibilities faced on terra firma. Renowned for its powers of re-invigoration and rejuvenation, swimming has an allure and a healthfulness about it that is undeniable.
While the repetitive act of pulling and kicking does require a level of focused thought, it is like riding a bicycle or driving a vehicle after learned and mastered. That is, the intensity of focus to actually be able to swim is not that high.
But there are times among certain athletes when the intensity of experience and chemical firings in the brain go into overdrive. Usually these athletes place themselves in extraordinarily extreme conditions where either the natural elements or sheer amount of time in the water push them over the brink, mentally. It is at these times that open water swimmers can begin to hallucinate in the water.
Hallucinations by swimmers in the open water occur, albeit rather infrequently. To the swimmer, these hallucinations are as vivid as real life, substantial enough to cause specific (negative) reactions, and occasionally involve marine life (e.g., sharks), imaginary creatures (e.g., monsters), or a transformation of oneself (e.g., into a tiny being), one's crew (e.g., into pirates), or other involvement by people in one's life (e.g., friends or family members).
Hallucinations can be potentially dangerous as channel swimmers can choose to swim away from their escort boat due to innate fear (of their crew) or misperceptions of intent (by their crew). Hallucinations can also lead to unintentional actions by the swimmer (e.g., punching of a crew member or yelling violently at a friend or spouse onboard the boat). The hallucinations can be visual (e.g., large creatures emerging from the depths), auditory (e.g., hearing of voices or orders to do something), tactile (e.g., a feeling of shrinking or enlarging), or a wide host of other sensory reaction to the environment or one's own self because of hypothermia, hyperthermia, fatigue, pain, or hunger.
More often than not, the hallucinations tend to be malicious, fearful, or scary. These bouts of perception can cause the swimmer to occasionally make self-determined decisions that are not in their best interests (e.g., not drinking or eating because they think their crew is feeding them poison or swimming away from their boat or support crew). At these times, the escort crew must make quick decisions whether to immediately pull the swimmer from the water or add another safety element to the equation (e.g., place a pace swimmer or additional kayaker near the swimmer) if so judged by the coach and crew. For once the swimmer starts to hallucinate, the inherent risk of the swim increases significantly and the probability of an unanticipated emergency occurring goes up substantially. If the swimmer and crew are far away from shore or qualified medical assistance, this is most definitely a situation to be avoided.
Photo shows an alert support crew, a pace swimmer, and kayakers supporting a channel swimmer in the Catalina Channel escorted by John Pittman on the Outrider.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.
The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.
The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.
Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.
The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."
Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."
The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme
Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]
Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland
Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance
Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute
The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:
* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:
* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
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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.
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