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Friday, July 12, 2013

Why People Lie In The Open Water

The thing we greatly appreciate and respect about open water swimmers is their integrity. There is no wiggle room in the sport; there are no shortcuts. Swimmers face Mother Nature head-on. They traverse from one shore to the shore; they swim around the buoys; they cannot avoid oncoming currents or punishing waves.

Open water swimming is a simple sport that demands honesty and truthfulness. There is no gray areas. It is black and white. Did you finish the swim...or not? Did you attempt the swim...or not? It is plain and simple.

So when we hear of swimmers who fudge the truth or tout swims that they actually have never done, we wonder why? Why is it that swimmers announce to their friends and the media that they have done a swim, but they have not? Why do swimmers knowingly cut short a turn buoy and purposefully swim less than their competitors? Why do swimmers cheat or lie in various ways?

Fortunately, these swimmers are the rare exceptions that prove the truth about open water swimmers. The swimmers who proclaim they have crossed the English Channel or did a swim in a lake or swam a certain time or a certain distance, but who have not, are in the clear minority. They number only a small handful out of the estimated 8-10 million people around the world who participate in the sport of open water swimming.

These are not pirate swimmers who do not want to pay an entry fee but participate in open water swimming competitions. These are not rouge swimmers who purposefully avoid paying association fees to attempt a marathon or channel swim. These are not inexperienced swimmers with low navigational IQ who get lost on a race course and unknowingly miss a turn buoy.

No, these are swimmer who say they did a swim, but never actually finished the swim or, in some cases, even started the swim. A swimming con if you will.

A swimming con is an individual who claims to have completed an open water swim, a channel crossing, or a marathon swim, but never did in actuality. A swimming con either never finished the purported swim or never even started in the first place. Swimming cons also tend to exaggerate about their swims by lowering their official time, falsely stating a higher finish position, fabricating the total distance swum, purposefully cut short swimming around turn buoys, or misrepresenting the water temperature or conditions.

Why do these swimming cons have this need to participate in a sport where nearly everyone else are individuals with high integrity? Why do they swim and talk in a manner that is inconsistent with the values, principles, expectations, and outcomes of the rest of the community? In the words of Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men, why can't they handle the truth?

Possibly, they lie for some sort of personal gain, to look good to themselves or among others, or to gain financially in their careers or socially within certain circles. These swimming cons engage themselves in these falsehoods to manage how others perceive them as they occasionally even cannot separate the truth from fiction in their own minds. Or alternatively, if they feel that their self-esteem is an issue, they lie to cover something up or gain an actual or perceived advantage for themselves or over others.

Society holds certain positions to higher standards (e.g., policemen vs. politicians, physicians vs. publicity agents, lab technicians vs. lawyers). We expect more truth out of certain professions and instinctively trust some people more than others.

Fortunately, the trust and fundamental integrity of the global open water swimming community has been staunchly established over the decades. There is an unspoken and fundamental understanding that open water swimmers not only face the truth, but they always tell the truth. They hold each other's words sacred and support each other even when a swim is not always completed as planned.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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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