Working Out In The Open Water - All Good So Far

Working Out In The Open Water – All Good So Far

On opposite sides of America, two adventureous women are clearly working out extremely hard for their upcoming challenges in August.

Like their pool counterpart, Dara Torres, they are also making people rethink the athletic prowess and potential for older people.

Anne Cleveland, a motivational speaker and realtor, is attempting to be the first person to achieve a ‘double-double – or a double-crossing of the English Channel and a double-crossing of the Catalina Channel at the age of 54.

After two single-crossings in both the English Channel (12:32 done at 46) and Catalina Channel (10:15 at 45), Anne achieved her first double-crossing (two-way) in the English Channel in 2004 (at 48) in an incredible 28-hour 36 -minute endurance battle with the elements and tides.

My hardest workouts [this season] were my 12-mile swims from La Jolla to Del Mar and back, done on top of a week of heavy training. At first, that swim seemed almost impossible and I dreaded it for days beforehand each time. It is pretty gnarly there when we lose the protection of the land, especially when we train in the mid-day chop. This helps me get ready for any conditions. I say, ‘Train for the worst and then just get in and do it.’ By the time I did my last workouts, it had become fun and easy. I was lucky to have some good company along on two of them: Emily Evans and Scott Lautman. The hardest part of the training was keeping the mileage up day in and day out. I have never trained like this ever for anything and it was a real challenge, both physically and mentally to keep it going. Fortunately, I escaped injury along the way and am enjoying the beginning of my taper. Dave Parcells, one of my two-way mentors, told me a taper is all about speed work, rest and not getting injured. All good so far.”

While Anne practices in the cool waters off La Jolla, California where she resides, 60-year-old Diana Nyad is similarly turning back the hands of time during her practicees off of her native Florida.

Yesterday, CNN covered her incredible 24-hour practice swim for her upcoming 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida.

Her team simply dropped her off halfway between her intended swim and she swam to shore.

What especially amazed us about Diana – after 24 hours in very warm, humid conditions swimming non-stop – she looked remarkably refreshed after a physical and mental effort that would have completely wiped out other endurance athletes – of any age. The 60-year-old dynamo appeared to exit the salt water of the Caribbean even without hint of Third Spacing, the body’s natural physiological reaction which is often makes the bodies of most swimmers appear soft and pudgy, even for those spending less than one hour in the open water – especially warm salt water.

The swim went great,” tweeted Diana. “To break monotony, I was singing Bob Dylan’s “Times They Are A-Changing” in the water. Next month is the BIG swim. Now [for] some rest and on to the real challenge in a few weeks.”

Both women start their tough workouts smiling – and get out smiling. Their radiance is remarkable. Simply remarkable.

Photo of Anne Cleveland by the Royal Photographer of Monaco.

Additional photos of Diana here.

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