Seeing Courage In The Open Water

Seeing Courage In The Open Water

True courage is often seen in various forms in the world of open water swimming. People of all ages, abilities and backgrounds often demonstrate the true potential of the human spirit.

This past weekend in the Pacific Ocean visually-impaired Aaron Scheidies let us see courage through his efforts at the Distance Swim Challenge.

Moments before Aaron‘s heat was started, an unexpected set of four-foot waves began to pound the beach. Aaron did not hesitate and hit the water dolphining just like his fellow competitors. But in the wall of whitewater, Aaron got spun around and became completely disoriented. Just like the other athletes who could see where they were going, Aaron kept on swimming – but headed off swimming parallel to the shoreline – only to get pounded again by the oncoming surf. Yet, he did not stop and kept moving forward, trying to sense the best direction to head. Despite his visual impairment, he raised his head and used his senses to feel the power of the surges and hear the rush of the swirling waters.

The set continued while the lifeguards were ready to dive in, but so did Aaron. He got spun around once again but wisely never stopped moving. He finally got out past the breakers to his kayakers who were waiting outside the surf zone.

Pure determination. True courage. Great inspiration.

Photos by Howard Jordan.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones