The Ambiance Of Aquatics

The Ambiance Of Aquatics

Besides beach volleyball, is there any other sport in the world where people strip off their clothes and share so many experiences and create such a friendly atmosphere as there is in swimming?

It seems inconsistent as inhibitions go. On one level, swimming proves that the fewer clothes worn, the greater the degree of mutual respect and camaraderie. There is nothing to hide: the rolls, bumps, and imperfections of the human body are largely exposed for other swimmers and spectators to see. But the swimmers characteristically walk around pool decks and shores in swimming briefs, bikinis, and tight suit. Pot bellies, unshaven legs, cellulite, and scars are on display.

But, among the swimming community, no one looks, no one cares, and no one judges.

Instead swimmers comment on each other’s new swimsuit patterns and types of goggles. They make judgments on one’s swimming technique and pace, not on their figure or weight. They consider the older the swimmer is, the more impressive he or she becomes. Baldness and grayness are much less important than fitness and friendliness. Limps and slowness are overlooked as showing up and finishing are reasons for praise.

Do these phenomena happen in the office or at work, at school or around the neighborhood? Unlikely and not often. Somehow, someway, the lack of clothes and the openness of the swimming community to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds have created a borderless global community that generates a unique ambiance of mutual respect and genuine friendliness.

That sincere care for one another is seen among swimmers worldwide. Swimmers from Utah and Ukraine, California and Cayman, Tokyo and Trinidad come together in their tiny, tight swimsuits and understand each other’s lifestyle without making judgments of one’s body type or composition.

It is a healthy, humanistic way to look upon one’s fellow man.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming