What Young People Can Learn From Open Water Swimmers

What Young People Can Learn From Open Water Swimmers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There are role models throughout society and especially in sports. From business leaders to athletic heroes, people from all walks of life can serve as inspirational icons who motivate others to lift themselves higher.

We read about them in books and they are celebrated in film, but they also exist in our daily lives as unsung heroes from school teachers to coaches, from nurses to firemen, from the disabled to the Good Samaritans. They are everywhere.

In the open water swimming world, we also see these inspirational individuals all the time, striving to make a better world for themselves and others in myriad ways.

From Dr. Peter Attia to Dr. Jim Miller, from Sally Anne Minty-Gravett to Alison Streeter, from Tomas Haces to Shelley Taylor-Smith, these individuals have so much to teach. But what are the lessons we can learn from them and the multitudes of others who we can encounter in the open water swimming world? Here are five concepts:

1. Time Management. These individuals lead busy lives with daily schedules filled with commitments and complications. Yet they navigate the complexity of modern life with a zest and zeal for progress and professionalism.
2. Focus. With all the noise that comes from contemporary life and the temptations to slough off and relax, they keep an eye on their short- and long-term goals with a sustained intensity based on a disciplined lifestyle.
3. Commitment. Once a goal is determined, they remain true to its achievement. Obstacles will come, but they bounce back like the tidal flow that will eventually switch directions.
4. Flexibility. While planning is part of their game, they also realize that the unexpected can be expected. They go with the flow and do not become too flustered with frustrations or disappointed with dilemmas.
5. Good cheer. They remain relentlessly positive, not only for themselves, but also in relationship to others. Smiles, kind words, and positive body language are parts of their equation.

So whether or not the heroes and heroines of the open water swimming community are celebrated or not, they have several personal characteristics and lifestyle traits that can help shed the light to our own particular seeds of success.

Photo of Melissa Gorman of Australia.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones