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Friday, October 18, 2013
Try Try Again, Swimming With Joanna Cain
But her first attempt across the English Channel did not go to plan. Disappointed, but undaunted, Cain remains even more motivated to achieve her goals and explains her experiences and motivations.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: You own two companies and do so much. How do you balance work and training?
Joanna Cain: It's not easy owning two companies and training so much. [But] I'm single with no children which means that my time is my own. I can swim for 6 hours on a Sunday morning, go grab lunch, and then go to bed for the rest of the day without disrupting others' schedules. So that time that my peers are spending at kids' soccer games, etc. is the time that I'm in the water with no other obligations.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: You are a nurse, however, you swam until your heart rate dropped to 35 beats per minute and swam until you were unconscious and pulled from the water. How did that happen?
Joanna Cain: I was hypothermic and had lost consciousness very briefly once before I lost consciousness for good. When I lost consciousness the first time and then came to, I swam to the boat and told my father, a retired physician, that I was fading fast. It was dark around 1 am, very cold, and the current was literally pushing me backwards into the Channel. I progressed 50 yards in that last hour I was in the water. The conditions were terrible.
When I swam to the boat, I made the decision that I needed to get out of the water; otherwise, I was going to die if I stayed in that water much longer. I could feel my body shutting down. I so desperately wanted to make it to France, but I knew that my body only had 15-30 minutes left before I was in serious trouble. My father and I discussed the consequences of me getting in the boat. I then started to swim to the back of the boat to climb aboard and that's when I lost consciousness. One of the crew jumped in and swam me to the boat because I was passed out and sinking. Everyone on deck then pulled me aboard. I faded in and out of consciousness for 20 minutes heading back to Dover before I fully came to. I didn't understand that I had not completed the swim. I thought that I had made it to France. It wasn't until much later that same day - after my brain thawed - that it started to sink in.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: You were pulled unconscious from the English Channel, yet you want to do it again. How much guts does that take? Why?
Joanna Cain: I can't leave it undone. There is no way I can live the rest of my life knowing I was 1.5 miles from France and leave it there. I can't even be remotely satisfied with that even though my swim day was a terrible one in terms of conditions. I trained for 3 years - except when I was recovering from surgeries, underwent 2 wrist surgeries in those 3 years, gained 30 pounds, and pushed my body harder than it has been pushed since my 20s. During the most intense training period, from January to August 2013, I was exhausted all of the time. But the English Channel was extremely important to me and was worth putting the rest of my life on the back burner. I was also extremely fortunate to have a tremendous support group both in and out of the water that kept me going. And when I'm ready to start training hard again, I'm hoping they'll still be there for Round Two. And I'll keep doing this crazy thing until I stand on the beach in France.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can you explain what happened during the attempt?
Joanna Cain: My swim started at noon which was a disaster. It is psychologically daunting to swim from sunlight into dark, especially in cold water. It is much better to start a marathon swim in the middle of the night and to swim into daylight. A storm was brewing in the Channel, and my boat captain started me at noon in hopes of out-running the storm as opposed to waiting a few days until the storm blew through. I had 25 mph head winds and rain beating on me once it turned dark. The tide also changed and that along with the tanker swells pushed me back toward England. I swam and swam and swam and made little progress after midnight. The good news is that I was clueless to this fact. My total [distance swum] was approximately 30 miles...I just never made it to France.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What happened afterwards, both short-term and long-term?
Joanna Cain: After the swim, the people in Dover and London were so gracious. They told me that I swam that Channel in some of the toughest conditions they'd heard of and that making it to France was over-rated anyway. Open water swimmers around the country emailed and Facebooked me saying that they were so proud because in their minds the conditions were "unswimmable" and I had hung in there for 14 hours.
I received lots of affirmation in London including several marriage proposals. One man said, 'If you can hang in that Channel for 14 hours in conditions like that, I guess you can handle putting up with me for 30 years.'
I did have some minor PTSD after the swim...nightmares of drowning and being run over by tankers. Once back in Austin [Texas], I couldn't wait to swim in my training pool. I was so excited to have walls and a contained space without jellyfish, high winds, and huge boats.
The swim didn't go as I had hoped, but I just wasn't meant to be successful on that particular day. I was definitely reminded that no matter how much we prepare for and truly desire a certain experience or result, there are larger forces out there that can thwart our best intentions.
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.