Why Are The Rewards Greater Than The Risks?

Why Are The Rewards Greater Than The Risks?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

For years, experienced open water swimmers have told, recommended, warned and advised other swimmers and triathletes to never swim alone.

The inherent risks of swimming alone are well-known and well-documented.

The downsides are significant and include allergic reactions to jellyfish and other marine life, shark encounters, overpowering tidal forces, unexpected fog, inexperienced boaters, high surf and otherwise turbulent conditions that can immediately turn an enjoyable swim to a high-risk activity.

However, prudent advisory warnings are frequently ignored by swimmers from Laguna Beach to La Jolla, from Christchurch to the Copper Coast.

Why is the attraction of the ocean, lakes and bays around the world so great that common sense is thrown out the window – or at least temporarily put aside? Why are the rewards of swimming greater than the known risks? It is clear the upside outweighs the downsides when solo swimmers take the open bodies of water.

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming will publish a follow-up article about why swimmers are moved to swim alone despite the risks. If readers would like to provide their input, please forward comments to headcoach@openwatersource.com. Any and all experiences and reasons are greatly appreciated.

Photo shows George Park swimming off the coast of Rhode Island to Block Island together with an unexpected denizen of the deep.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association