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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Duality Of Open Water Swimmers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

On the weekends, open water swimmers do the unprecedented and the unusual: they swim against currents, face sharks, swim up and down massive ocean swells.

Yet on weekdays, they return to their cubicles, offices and desks like white-collar employees around the world. They are outwardly mild-mannered workers, medical personnel, safety officers and entrepreneurs interacting normally with their fellow co-workers. Nothing seems out of the ordinary on dryland. But internally, these swimmers have a burning desire and hardened spirit to face adventures and experience Mother Nature like 99.9% of humanity has never done or seen.

How do they do this? How do they handle the duality of their lifestyle? They function equally well as if they have two diametric parts of their personalities.

The adventurous, risk-taking, courageous part of their minds seek to do the seemingly impossible as they venture offshore in skimpy attire and goggles under unpredictable conditions. But the practical, dryland part of their personalities dictate that they must put on clothes, shed their goggles, make calls, write emails and earn a living in climate-controlled offices within the complete safety of their work cubicles.

In the water, they can be stung, bitten and swallowed up by waves. They can go hypothermic; they can go under. They willingly face the inherent risk of the open water, armed with only swim gear, their physical abilities and mental toughness. On land in contrast, they use escalators, elevators, and air-conditioned vehicles while utilizing all the mechanical conveniences of society.

Instead of Clark Kent coming out of a telephone booth like Superman, these open water swimmers remind us of Supermen and Wonder Women coming in from shore, putting on polo shirts, skirts and pants to go to work like the rest of humanity.

Photo shows Kim Chambers battling towering waves outside the Golden Gate Bridge.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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.

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The tide is rising for open water swimming.


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