Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

You know you’re different. There’s something inside of you. Pushing you against the tide – and away from convention.

You’re destined for greatness. And the rules you follow are your own. Your place in the world isn’t in the rank-and-file, nine-to-five routine.

You belong where your physical skills and passion for achievement amount to something extraordinary. And you’ll do anything to get there.


This sounds like a definition of many ice swimmers, cold water swimmers, ocean swimmers, marathon swimmers, extreme swimmers, stage swimmers, and channel swimmers who we know.

But these words is not that aimed at the aquatic adventurers who are increasingly populating the terra firma of this planet. Instead, this definition is aimed at individuals who desire to become Navy SEALs.

But the definition reminds us of the dozens of hardened athletes who attend Ned Denison‘s Cork Distance Camp in Sandycove Island, Ireland.

The Navy SEALs definition continues…and one could imagine these words describe the most hardened open water swimmers.

They are unique.

Uncompromising in their determination to achieve – sacrificing themselves to the toughest training in the world.

Pushing themselves to the outer reaches of human capability. And pulling through with the most intense, electrifying career in existence. It’s a life that only the strongest, most capable few are qualified to live
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Upper photo shows Ned Denison leading hardened swimmers at the Cork Distance Camp in Sandycove Island. Lower photo shows a Navy SEALs’ surf conditioning session.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association