DNOWS Header

Image Map

Monday, November 21, 2016

Perception Is Reality In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

With virtual reality expanding into our lives in myriad ways with equipment from mobile phones to Oculus Rift, our lives are being transformed to experience deeper and more powerful sensations through our minds, eyes, ears and tactic feel.

Music and storytelling are also being infused into the high-tech virtual reality to an even more profound extent with all kinds of contemporary hardware equipment and software applications. The explosive growth of VR is leading to new experiential situations while being sedentary in our homes or offices.

With virtual reality, our personal space can now be located anywhere doing anything at any time in human or interstellar history.

To a certain extent, this is what open water swimmers have been experiencing since they first stepped off shores and into the open water.

Open water swimmers have used their own senses to paint the canvas where and in which they ultimately want to swim. Instead of dreaming about a swim between or around islands, instead of hoping to swim in Kona along the coast of the Big Island in the Ironman triathlon, instead of imagining a swim across a frozen lake, an active imagination by a swimmer can enable himself or herself to envision a swim anywhere at any time.

Essentially, swimmers have been long practicing their own form of primitive virtual reality that enables them to experience a swim before they actually take a single arm stroke.

Swimmers can 'see' and 'feel' a swim across the English Channel while swimming in a lake far, far away from the shores of Dover. Swimmers can experience the joy of winning a race or an Olympic medal by virtualization either on dryland or in training. Swimmers can 'hear' the clicks and 'see' the dolphins swimming alongside and beneath them simply through their imagination.

Outside of the sounds of their arms entering the water, outside of the winds that churn up the water surface, open water swimmers experience much simply through their self-enclosed thoughts racing through the heads, sometimes in a systematic manner, but many times is an entirely random sequence.

And that perception in one's mind can become reality in the open water.

When a swimmer begins to feel cold in the open water, do they work to compartmentalize those sensations in their minds and put the negativity aside in order to continue on? Or do they keep the sensation of cold on an endless reel, looping over and over i their minds as the cold literally feels like it settles in their bones and forcing them to get out?

If a swimmer begins to get tired in the open water, do they fast-forward to the end of the swim and visualize themselves triumphantly finishing the swim? Or do they dwell on the present and process the feelings of fatigue in a torturous slow motion reel?

Or years after a successful swim is completed, what do the swimmers remember best? What do they describe to their friends and families when their swim is in the distant past? Do they recall their final few strokes and standing relieved on shore or do they vividly remember the depths of feelings when they wanted to quit? Do they dwell on the feelings of pain or discomfort or fatigue - or are those feelings placed in a mental box that are discarded or ignored?

Swimmers can be their own director of their perceptions; their minds are their own canvas to imagine dreams and recall experiences long past or just in the moment.

What goes through the minds of open water swimmers before, during and after a swim is their own virtual reality where perception becomes reality.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

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.

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.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program