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Sunday, November 1, 2015

What Are You Passionate About In The Open Water?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Tim Ferriss has millions of followers and fans as an American author, entrepreneur, angel investor, and public speaker.

In his latest blog (Experiments in Lifestyle Design), Ferriss shared some relevant words of wisdom for open water swimmers.

He writes, "To become successful, you have to say yes to a lot of experiments. To learn what you’re best at, or what you’re most passionate about, you have to throw a lot against the wall."

We have seen this time and time again among open water swimmers, especially those with long careers. We have seen swimmers like Christof Wandratsch and Rostislav Vítek transform themselves from distance pool swimmers to competitive marathon racers to world-class channel swimmers to champion ice swimmers. We have seen athletes like Ned Denison shift from eggbeatering in 30m pools to open water swims to marathon swims to prison island swims. We have seen marathon swimmers like Nuala Moore take an interest in marathon swims and shift to a deep passion for ice swimming.

Some swimmers prefer the tranquility of local lakes while others prefer the uncertainty of the ocean. Some can deal with irritating surface chop in a lake while others love the dynamic nature of large ocean swells and surf. Some do not like to look down towards the depths, while others love swimming among whales, dolphins and turtles.

Some swimmers like Simon Griffiths start off with neoprene and then shed it to focus on utilization of his own bioprene. Some like Ingemar Patiño Macarine start off in the triathlon world and then discover the open water world. Some swimmers swear off any equipment other than goggles and a swimsuit while others enjoy the open water with fins and a snorkel.

Some love being competitive and wearing a medal around their neck while others participate just to finish and enjoy the camaraderie of the sport.

Some live inland and never have the chance to swim in an ocean or sea. Some live on the coast and rarely visit a lake or river. Some like to knock off specific races and well-known channels on their preferred bucket list while others have no plans other than doing wild swims and spontaneous weekend jaunts to unknown locations. Some race and collect t-shirts and finisher medals; others just swim with friends for health and wellness.

Some like Lynn Kubasek always swim in groups in coasts near their homes, while others like Evgenij Pop Acev travel the world in a solitary journey.

Some like Lewis Pugh turn a passion into a career and a brand; others like Rohans More and Kimberley Chambers augment successful professional careers in office settings with adventures in the open water.

It takes all types and the open water swimming world has something for everyone: from warm to cold, calm to rough, salt water to fresh, short to long, competitive and not, solo swims to relays, river to ocean, stage to straight, races to wild swims. Try them all and find your niche.

As Ferriss recommends, "Say yes to a lot of experiments and learn what you’re best at."

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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