Love is in the air…and in the open water.

When two people are passionately in love, either because they are in the initial throngs of courtship or because they have spent decades together in the bands of matrimony, there are telltale signs of their emotional bonds and sincere feelings for one another.

When these two people are open water swimmers, there are even deeper and more practical examples of their mutual love.

1. Both are willing to dive into the open water to make a save for their partner without hesitation or consideration for their own safety.
2. Both would willingly swim in front of a shark to protect their partner.
3. Both would willingly take the sting of a jellyfish in place of any discomfort felt by their partner.
4. They would unconditionally share their mobile phone, Facebook messages, and emails with their partner.
5. They would unhesitatingly shift or endure a change in their lifestyle for their partner’s need to train early in the morning or late at night.
6. They would wake up early to make coffee or breakfast for their partner…and then fall back asleep.
7. They would discuss tide tables, marine life, and weather conditions with their partner ad nauseam.
8. They know exactly the right mixture of hydration that their partner likes.
9. They know best how to console their partner in times of an uncompleted swim.
10. They take as much pride – or more – in the success of their partner’s swim as the swimmer him/herself.
11. They know best how to keep stoking the commitment of their partner, even when the swimmer is fatigued, injured, or discouraged.
12. They stand onshore with their partner’s favorite food and drink, always with a smile, towel, and the right words of encouragement.

There is also another level of mutual, even deeper understanding between two individuals when the partners are husband and wife and they both swim and/or coach. Over the decades, these open water duos included Valerie and Roger Parsons, Audrey and Ray Scott, Chris and Penny Palfrey, Damian Blaum and Esther Nuñez (shown above), Nikolai Evseev and Angela Maurer, Laura and Michael Miller, Charlie and Sally Anne Minty-Gravett, Diego Tricarico and Pilar Geijo, Michelle Evans-Chase and Bruckner Chase, Patty and Dr. Jim Miller, Nadine and Christian Reichert, Edith van Dijk and Hans van Goor, and Poliana Okimoto and Ricardo Cintra.

These individuals are completely in tune with their partner’s mindset and lifestyle. They often share the same travel plans, training schedule, competitive nature, nutritional philosophy, and sleeping habits. In the open water, they observe, share, and endure so much physically, mentally and emotionally. They develop profoundly strong bonds and similar goals, often sharing the same thoughts and mindset before, during, and after a dip in the open water.

Love is in the air…and in the open water.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association