Moore's Law In Open Water Swimming

Moore’s Law In Open Water Swimming

Intel co-founder Gordon Moore described Moore’s Law that predicts the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles every two years.

While Moore’s Law does not specify exactly how a computer chip gets smaller, cheaper and faster, the well-noted rule of thumb predicts that they have steadily done so and will continue to do so.

So what generalities or trends are analogous to Moore’s Law in the open water world?

Here is one possibility:

Cox’s Law: Open water swimmers continuously push the boundaries of how difficult their swims will be.

Lynne Cox rewrote the rules in the open water world when she set out to swim in the Antarctic Ocean, across the Bering Strait and high up on Lake Titicaca. As she ventured into more formidable waterways, she simply disregarded the past. She framed her artistry to an extreme that had never been attempted below. For example, “cold” in the open water world was previously considered to be the water in the channel between England and France. But Cox pushed the reality thermometer much, much, much lower.

While a few cold-water enthusiasts in Eastern Europe and a handful of other locations around the world had dipped in frigid lakes and seaside venues for its health benefits and their individual enjoyment, cold water was generally considered to be in the 12-16°C (54-60°F) range of the English Channel.

But Cox took her competitive swimming background, mixed in a healthy dose of logistical planning along with a cerebral approach to describing her exploits, and she globally promoted the niche of extreme swimming. Her exploits also had international and lasting implications.

Once Cox pushed the envelope of how extreme conditions a human could swim in, swimmers were freed from the shackles of exactly what they thought they could and could not accomplish. The mental limitations of open water swimming were dramatically lifted by the California adventurer. After reading about her swims in the extreme, athletes sought to push themselves where no previous generations thought possible. Not only did subsequent generations of swimmers like Lewis Pugh and Ram Barkai emerge, but also individual swimmers started to think and prove they could also accomplish increasingly more difficult swims.

While swimmers like Cox push themselves to the extreme, swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds have also proved and will continue to prove that they are always willing to do Moore.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones