Are You Ready For The Open Water?

Are You Ready For The Open Water?

All things are ready, if our minds be so,” wrote Shakespeare in Henry V.

The same can be said for open water swimming especially if one’s preparation is optimized.

But competitive swimmers, solo swimmers, newbies, and ice swimmers can face different issues. While athletes like Petar Stoychev, Greta Andersen, Paul Asmuth, and Shelley Taylor-Smith competed in pro and invitational races as well as did solo channel swims, many people prefer to focus on a particular open water swimming niche.

The various issues and questions faced by swimmers of various types include the following:

Competitive Swimmers
1. Are you ready for the physicality of pack swimming?
2. Are you ready to swim around turn buoys within a large pack?
3. Are you ready for a fast start?
4. Are you ready for surges and sprints at different points in a race?
5. Are you ready for a missed feeding?
6. Are you ready to swim despite receiving a yellow card?
7. Are you ready to swim between two swimmers who will not move from their positions?
8. Are you ready to take a different course than the lead pack?
9. Are you ready to lead?
10. Are you ready to breathe diesel fumes from boats?

Solo Swimmers
1. Are you ready to swim in the cold?
2. Are you ready to swim in the heat?
3. Are you ready to be stung by jellyfish?
4. Are you ready to see a shark?
5. Are you ready to become seasick?
6. Are you ready to swim on either side of your escort boat?
7. Are you ready to swim at night?
8. Are you ready to swim with a nagging sore muscles?
9. Are you ready to swim with lanolin?
10. Are you ready to swim hours longer than your expectations?

New Swimmers
1. Are you ready to face waves?
2. Are you ready to face surface chop?
3. Are you ready to swim in deep water without seeing or touching the bottom?
4. Are you ready to face marine life?
5. Are you ready to swim in murky waters?
6. Are you ready to swim in the fog?
7. Are you ready to swim against currents or the tides?
8. Are you ready to swim without a wetsuit?
9. Are you ready to help save a fellow swimmer?
10. Are you ready for your goggles to fog up?

Ice Swimmers:
1. Are you ready to properly acclimate?
2. Are you ready for the after drop?
3. Are you ready for hypothermia?
4. Are you ready for the initial shock?
5. Are you ready from a safety perspective?
6. Are you ready to swim with blurred or narrow vision?
7. Are you ready for the pain?
8. Are you ready to swim with the Claw?
9. Are you ready to get scared on occasion?
10. Are you ready for memory loss and lack of motor control?

When the answer to all of these questions is yes, you are ready for the open water.

Photo shows Jamie Patrick ready.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association