Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
“When I think about the news we receive daily, endlessly, on our phones, read online, listen on the radio, and see on TV, it is often emotional, sensational and pessimistic, at least in the United States,” observes Steven Munatones.
“Tweets, retweets, videos on YouTube and Vimeo, blog posts with commentary, and articles with opinions often point out what is wrong, bad or will lead to social upheaval, political issues or financial problems.”
But open water swimmers can leave this constant stream of breaking news that can drive visceral pessimism and immediately generate negative feelings by going to the open water – or the pool.
Unless swimmers put on a waterproof MP3 player and listen to podcasts or audio commentaries touching upon these topics in the water, swimmers can leave behind the pressing issues and problems of the dryland.
“The water limits our touch to society. Swimming is a unique means to streamline – or free up – our thought processes. Swimmers can experience a blank slate in their minds and go deep within themselves. Going beyond the shoreline necessarily reduces our visual and audio inputs – and can sharpen what we think about,” says Munatones. “We do this form of water-based exercise and athletics in an era where humans of every age and ability are doing the unprecedented, setting records, and achieving things that would have not only been unheard of, but are also undreamed of in the 20th century.”
So in contrast to the daily, hourly, constant barrage of negative news on dryland, the contemporary open water swimming world is moving at a faster and faster to an ever more ubiquitous state of optimism and positivity. Swimmers are doing things in water that is colder, in distances that are further, in locations that are far more extreme, and at a pace that is faster than ever before. For people of all ages.
So at the same time that the dryland world and modern society seem to be falling apart – or is being torn apart – no matter your economic standing, financial means or political bearing, the open water swimming world is in the midst of a golden age, an era where the impossible is increasingly becoming possible. The oldest, the youngest, the fastest, the slowest, the coldest, the highest, the longest, and the most prolific titles are being rewritten, it seems, on a daily basis by open water swimmers all over the world.
In contrast to the limitations and the issues that cause stress, strain, depression, and frustration on dryland, open water swimmers are dreaming more – with more audacious, more ambitious goals than ever before. Men and women have ever increasingly higher expectations for themselves – and their fellow swimmers.
The Daily News of Open Water Swimming and the World Open Water Swimming Association meet, interview and observe swimmers, coaches and event organizers on a daily basis. These individuals amaze and inspire as they dramatically lift the bars of expectations of the physiological and psychological limits of human achievement in the open water.
These positively minded individuals are these constant reminders that humans are becoming better swimmers. In particular, these swimmers are overwhelmingly positive about their future upside and human potential to achieve. Not only do these swimmers have big dreams, but they also collectively add to this interconnected ecosystem of support; they encourage, cheer and support one another as teammates, crew members and seconds.
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