The 6% Solution In The Open Water

The 6% Solution In The Open Water

Social scientists tell us that only 6% of the population is really doing what they love in their lives.

But in meeting with open water swimmers around the world at events, on beaches, along bays, in rivers and escort boats, their joy and exhilaration for life indicate to us that many open water swimmers, coaches and officials are in that lucky 6%.

Why is that? What makes these open water swimmers so content with their lives and so satisfied with their careers, and in harmony with their friends and family?

They smile, they laugh, they reach out to others offering to help and share their experiences, knowledge and time.

Yet hard work, commitment and sacrifice also obviously play into their success. They realize that work, school and life do not always go to plan and figuring out solutions and overcoming obstacles are part of life’s course. Swimming can most definitely help establish a lifetime of health, fitness and vitality. A growing number of individuals understand profoundly that the human brain is emotionally energized by the open water.

In effect, open water swimming gives you a double-dose, a double punch of physical health and mental well-being.

Wallace J. Nichols is delving into this BLUEMiND phenomena, a look at the ocean through the field of neuroscience. His research takes him to meet fishermen and to coastal villages where he encounters people with a common appreciation for the ocean’s beauty, abundance and mysteries. “We have the power of happiness on our side,” comments Dr. Nichols that is easily understood by the open water swimming community.

The empirical evidence to prove this point is overwhelming across borders, cultures, ages, generations, genders and bodies of water. Check out the decibel level of an open water swimming event at the start of a race and the completion of a race. The amount of conversation, laughter and emotion, among both friends and those who have never met each other before, is vastly greater and louder after a race than before. Swimmers talk about their common experiences and the level of camaraderie and mutual respect are tremendously enhanced.

Check out the level of emotion and ties that bind a group of individual before a solo swim or marathon relay before the start and after the finish. For swimmers and their support crews, solos and relays are life-altering events that produce strong feelings and positive emotions throughout their lives.

Open water swimming changes us personally, positively and profoundly.

Photo shows Skip Storch after getting out of the Hudson River.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones