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Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Paul Lundgren's Transformation Off The Grid Into The Wild
Like traversing across a jungle or up a mountain like explorers of yesteryear, Lundgren will encounter nature in ways that are not yet completely understood or even charted. There are plenty of fishermen who know these waters in the Sea of Cortez, but few people understand how the dynamics of this body of water can interact with a swimmer moving at 2-3 miles per hour.
To help him, Lundgren has recruited and assembled a number of like-minded adventurers to assist him on his 80-mile sea crossing:
*Scott Rokis is responsible for filming and photography
*Jamie Patrick is the expedition leader and member of the crew
*Sunny Blende is responsible for nutrition
*Randy Hixon is an escort kayaker
*Brian Bunch is a support swimmer and member of the crew
*Mark Montgomery provides emergency support and member of the crew
*Joe Locke is a support swimmer and member of the crew
*Phil Cutti is the Recorder from the Farallon Islands Swimming Federation
*Edna Llorens is the Recorder
*Todd Lieman is a member of the crew and sponsor of A Day Well Lived
*Chris Chorak is a member of the crew and the spouse
*Dennis Sullivan provides medical support
"The Sea should be considered a wildlife reserve. It is one of the most biologically prolific bodies of water on earth," explains Lundgren. "It was named 'the world’s aquarium' by Jacques Cousteau, but its natural resources are at risk due to overfishing, pollution and a lack of regulations. Fortunately, Eco Alianza recognizes the wonderful resource the Sea of Cortez provides the region from a perspective of culture, beauty and economics. Eco Alianza is committed to serving the region as a voice that tells the Sea’s story and inspires people to protect the Sea and its surroundings."
He did not finish his first attempt and deeply reflected on what it would take to be successful the second time. Lundgren reviewed everything, from nutrition to his chosen course. The journey has been quite eye-opening. "The original intent of the extraordinary challenge was to embark on a journey that would require intense internal reflection and a complete lifestyle and psychological change. The swim is an extraordinary goal. With that comes extraordinary attention. Funding the swim became a sound bite deliverable and the hook was a world record. Focusing on a world record shifted the focus of the swim from a spiritual journey to a self-promotion with an ego-starved undercurrent. But this swim has nothing to do with world records and everything to do with the shadows I see when I look into the reflection on the water’s surface. The swim is a matter of the soul."
Lundgren even profoundly looked into branding of his attempt. "The swim is not a solo event, so I changed the name from Solo Cortez to Swim Cortez. It’s not possible to swim solo across the Sea of Cortez. Swimming 80 miles requires a team and a community of support. Connecting with people is essential to the success of the swim and to the development of change in my character going forward in life."
Connecting with his crew was a major part of his learning experience - and a critical element to his future success. "By nature, the Sea is a dangerous environment for human life. The currents are unpredictable and, for the most part, misunderstood. The Sea is surrounded by a dry desert climate which is why the Sea has one of the highest levels of water salinity in the world. The Sea is a healthy environment for the large jellyfish population that proliferate its waters. Inhabited by sharks, whales, Humboldt squid, and thousands of other species, the Sea of Cortez is a biological paradise for wildlife that can and do feed on man-size prey."
The initial swim allowed Lundgren and his crew to begin understanding the nature of challenges. It energized them to find ways to see how an 80-mile traverse across the Sea could be done. "We spent time finding and implementing the right tools to see how the crossing can get done. Safe Sea is being used for jellyfish stings; Shark Shields are used for sharks; we are reading charts from the U.S. Navy’s satellite. Our training and experiencing the Sea is all part of the equation to find a way to swim across the Sea."
As Penny Palfrey and Diana Nyad have well-understood in their swims in the Caribbean, some of the pain comes from the water itself. "In an undulating Sea swimming endless hours in a horizontal position and with high-salinity water splashing into my mouth with every breath, gestural intestinal stress can cause a debilitating situation. Without food and fluids, the swim cannot be done and sickness will inhibit proper consumption to nothing."
But everyone understands that what goes on in his mind is ultimately the most important. "I face isolation in an abyss, the shadows reflecting the darkness of my mind, fear of failure, death, and body-deforming attacks from creatures real and imagined all accumulate into a breaking point when the ability to maintain sanity is gone. The defragmentation of reality and internal peace are replaced with terror and panic of eternal proportions."
With success, however, Lundgren knows there will be a change. "What is found on the other side of the crack in mental and biological homeostasis is transcendence and spiritual awakening."
Photo of Paul Lundgren by Scott Rokis.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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.