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Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Drive And Determination Of Nadia Ben Bahtane
But she has an inner drive that is rare.
Nadia dreams of becoming the first Moroccan amateur swimmer to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. In addition to her role as a mother, she has set her sights on crossing in 2014. Daniel Pagés, a swimming instructor and director of Swim the Costa Brava event, is training Nadia to achieve her goal.
Relentlessly upbeat and always positive, Nadia shares how the tradition of her country and the customs of her culture are compatible with open water swimming training and consistent with her dream to achieve her personal goals of crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.
Aida Molina for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is your position within the company you are currently working for?
Nadia Ben Bahtane: I am the Group Marketing and Communications Director for the Moroccan leader in the outsourcing Industry with about 3,300 employees in 8 locations around Morocco and France.
Aida Molina for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How does having an important job position and being a mother at the same time affect your daily routine?
Nadia Ben Bahtane: I will be very honest … the dual roles are not impossible, but it is often tough and sometimes frustrating when I have to drop my training sessions because of other constraints. But my priorities are very clear. My little girls always come first especially because they are still very young and they need me at home.
I try to be very well-organized. I know in advance what I have to do in terms of training during the week. I try to fit them into my global schedule. So depending on my girls’ schedule and work constraints, I train very early in the morning when I don’t have to take care of school.
Sometimes it’s at lunch time or after 8:30 pm when my girls are already sleeping. I train when I can. Usually long sessions are left for Saturday mornings. Sunday is completely free and fully dedicated to family. But sometimes, I have to skip a session because of a family gathering or because my girls need me or because of work emergency or a meeting that lasts longer … I try to recover the session somehow. If not, it is lost and that’s it. These are the moments when I have to remind myself that I am not a professional athlete training for the Olympics. Also I try to have objectives that are consistent with my current position as a mother and my professional status. Of course I´d love to do more. It will come someday.
The toughest part is finding time to recover from hard sessions. Once a session is over, I am again a mother and a Marketing Director … and I rarely can afford rest time. Sport is not just a hobby for me. It is the key to my global life balance. Since last year I have been trying to set little challenges. So if I want to keep swimming and running I just need to deal with all the rest.
I think I am fortunate to be addicted to sport. And I am aware that it’s a chance to be able to have great experiences combining travel and participation in sport events. Finally, I am very lucky to have inspiring people around me or stories I hear about great sport achievements. But the most important of all, I am blessed to have the support of “my special ones”.
Aida Molina for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is your personal opinion if all of this effort is often worth it in the long run?
Nadia Ben Bahtane: Definitely yes. The commitment brings a healthy balance to my life at both the physical and emotional levels. And it’s very self-rewarding when my goals are achieved. Training for a goal also helps to establish personal discipline and to build determination and willingness. And I am proud when my girls say I'm athletic and that they also want to do the same. I am deeply convinced that sport contributes positively to children's upbringing.
Aida Molina for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do the religious practices, such as Ramadan, affect your performance?
Nadia Ben Bahtane: Last year and this year I had a training program during Ramadan. It was a bit difficult due to fasting during summer. The days are longer and sometimes very hot. And training after fasting (that is, no food and water) for 16 or 17 hours and waiting for one hour before being able to drink and eat. This can seem impossible. But it is possible. We discover the resources we have hidden inside ourselves. Two years ago if you would have asked me to swim 5 km during Ramadan, my answer would have been NO WAY. But now I can tell it is fine. It’s definitely tougher than during normal days, but it is doable.
Of course, some extra precautions should be taken, such as being more attentive and to listen to your body. Definitely it’s not the moment to take any risks or try any unusually intense training sessions. If you feel weak, then skip the session or leave it for after breakfast. Some extra efforts are also to be made in terms of nutrition in order to correctly refuel the body.
Aida Molina for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Is it difficult for women in Morocco to overcome these sorts of challenges?
Nadia Ben Bahtane: Well, a great phenomenon is taking place in Morocco: more and more people are training for half marathons and marathons. Unfortunately, swimming and more specifically open water swimming is not a common sport. Very few people are aware of it or practice it. There are no organized open water swimming events in Morocco despite its beautiful coasts along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea so there are almost no opportunities to train in real conditions. I hope it will change with professionals who may have interest in [swimming in] Morocco.
Aida Molina for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When do you foresee you will take up the challenge of swimming across the Strait of Gibraltar Strait?
Nadia Ben Bahtane: I have been talking about this for years, but I was not ready yet. However, I know I am now. But I prefer to see how my training will work at the Costa Brava competition before setting a realistic date. I will let you know first for sure.
Editor's Note: We will look for Nadia's performance - and hope for the best - at www.swimthecostabrava.com website.
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
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
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...
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 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.
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.