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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Aquatic Awareness - Open Water Swimmers Have It

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Just as swimmers do not swim aimlessly in the open water, many experienced swimmers do not swim mindlessly in the open water.

There is a thought process to their swimming. They become aware, alive, alert and attentive.

They venture out past the shoreline and their minds turn on in a profoundly different way than their dryland athletic colleagues.

Depth of the water is not an issue, but the movement of the water is. They understand and can feel the dynamic nature of their aquatic surroundings. When the ocean swells increase, they adjust their stroke to take advantage of the water flow. When the surface turbulence increases, they adjust their breathing pattern to not swallow water.

Their tactile feel is precise; they not only know the difference between water temperatures of 15°C and 17°C, but they also know the difference between a tidal pull and a current flow.

They see a fin and know the difference between a shark and a dolphin. They hear a sound and they know the difference between a whale and a Jetski.

They know how to bodysurf and how to railroad. They can time their swimming pace to match the swimming speed of people of various abilities and they can swim point-to-point as well as know how to swim off-tangent to take advantage of swells and waves.

They breathe to the left and breathe to the right with equal proficiency. They sight while incorporating their head lift seamlessly into their natural swim stroke. They can draft off a swimmer in a pack or in the dark.

They love bioluminescence and rocky coastlines. They love the tranquility of an early morning lake swim and the beauty of a sunset while swimming offshore. They love the smell of a beach barbeque and know the distinct smell of lanolin.

They know precisely where they chafe and many can swim without chafing at all. If their goggles fog, they squint their eyes just so and allow just the precise amount of water to seep in and clear up the goggle foginess.

They smile before they get in the water and remaining smiling after they get out, planning their next swim with a sense of anticipation that is palpable.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

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Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
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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.

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.

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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.


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