Pleasurable Pain In The Open Water

Courtesy of The Torture Swim hosted by Jeff Glor and produced by Alan Goldberg at Sandycove Island, Ireland.

Muhammad Ali once explained how many sit-ups he does to prepare for his boxing matches, “I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.”

Ali’s training mindset is a dryland equivalent to the efforts of the participants in Cork Distance Week, organized by Ned Denison.

Denison is one of the inspirational nominees for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award:

1. Benoît Lecomte (France/USA)
2. Cameron Bellamy (South Africa)
3. Diego López Dominguez (Canary Islands)
4. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
5. Igor Lukin (Russia)
6. Ion Lazarenco Tiron (Republic of Moldava)
7. John Batchelder (USA)
8. José Luis Larrosa Chorro (Spain)
9. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary)
10. Lewis Pugh (Great Britain/South Africa)
11. Maarten van der Weijden (Netherlands)
12. Ned Denison (Ireland/USA)
13. Rohan More (India)
14. Vladimir Mravec (Slovakia/Australia)
15. Yaroslav Pronin (Belarus)

In addition to his own experiences with hypothermia, discomfort and pushing himself during Ice Miles and 47 marathon swims from the English Channel to False Bay in South Africa, his Cork Distance Week celebrated 10 years of pushing people to reach their full potential.

The training camp in Ireland culminates in the renowned Body Brain Confusion Swim that is held on the 8th day where a team of coaches – affectionately known as torturers – go out of their way to remove any physical and mental comfort that the swimmers may be experiencing. The total amount of training time remains unknown, the swim course is never straight, the feeds remain infrequent as every possible irritation is tossed in the swimmer’s way to prepare them to handle the unexpected during their marathon swims.

To vote for the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year via a global online poll, visit the WOWSA Awards here. You must register first to vote online.

Previous World Open Water Swimming Men of the Year include:

* 2008: Randy Nutt, U.S.A.
* 2009: Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria
* 2010: Marcos Díaz, Dominican Republic
* 2011: Jamie Patrick, U.S.A.
* 2012: Stephen Redmond, Ireland
* 2013: Pádraig Mallon, Ireland
* 2014: Henri Kaarma, Estonia
* 2015: Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González, Mexico
* 2016: Nejib Belhedi, Tunisia
* 2017: Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González, Mexico

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