Why You Fear Open Water Swimming
“Good things happen when we start before we’re ready.” Steven Pressfield
Not many do you know that I was a schoolteacher before I was ever a race director. I went through four years of college, and received a master’s degree…but nothing prepared me for teaching like the act itself. Don’t get me wrong, studying how to create lesson plans and learning about the psychology of children were great tools in helping me become a teacher, but nothing prepared me like the act of standing in front of those kids…doing the work.
The reason I explain this to you is because no matter how many books you read, no matter how many videos you watch, or even if you have the greatest coach on earth none of that is going to help you overcome your fears unless you actually get out and get the work done.
Specifically, I’m talking about open water swimming.
Nothing in this world is going to help you overcome your fears faster…not a $1000 wetsuit, not a skin suit, not the latest Garmin that measures you BAC…NOTHING. Nothing will get you to become a better open water swimmer other than getting in the water and placing one hand over the other repeatedly, over and over again. Did I mention none of that sh*t works…unless you do? Usually, fear is a result of the unknown….and if you fear this part of a race, it’s simply because you are not practicing it enough.
You want to become a great pool swimmer, then get in the pool. Maybe you’re a great pool swimmer but a lousy open water swimmer because you miss your best friend “Mr. Blue Line At The Bottom,” then start practicing open water swimming and get used to popping your head up every couple of strokes. It’s just that simple.
Remember nothing is truly difficult or scary to do, rather for just a series of very simple steps that must be taken then repeated. There, I just gave you the secret…for free. Scared? Good, that means you’re doing something meaningful in life. Learn to walk toward that feeling on a daily basis and watch the world open in front of your eyes. Tri it, you’ll be surprised at what you find within you. Now, go and get the work done and be unafraid.
Here are a few links that will help you with open water swimming this summer:
- Triathlon and Open Water Swimming- 5 Tips: Swimsmooth.com
- How To Survive Your First Open Water Swim: NoMeatAthlete.com
- Open Water Swimming Tips from the Pros: Triathlete.com
- Open Water Swimming Tips for Triathletes-Overcoming Your Fears: Trinewbies.com
- Training For Open Water Swimming in the Pool: Swimming.org