I started this SWOG (swimming blog) to chart my conquering of my greatest fear (open water swimming). I still get bloody terrified on occasion but it no longer paralyses me, or brings on panic attacks.
I’m starting it again because I’m starting to do some long distance swims and one of the most useful things I come across in preparing for these races are other swimmers’ accounts and thought others might find mine similarly useful.
So a little about me:
- Started swimming at 18 months. I have a certificate for swimming 1.2m under water. It was kind of a big deal.
- Sometime around 2007 I started struggling to put my face in the water when swimming in open water.
- 2008 I had my first full blown panic attack swimming the swim leg of a sprint triathlon in Sydney Harbour. I couldn’t breathe. I swam the whole 400m without putting my face in the water. I used to have swimming lessons at Greenwich baths, not 2km as the crow flies. Fear is completely, totally and utterly irrational and illogical. And must be tackled head on.
- So I joined the amazing Can Too. I tackled those fears again and again and again. I learned to love ocean swimming. I became addicted.
- With Can Too I completed the 2010 2.7km Palm to Whale swim and set my sights on a 5km ocean swim and becoming a Bondi Surf Lifesaver. Eventually I got there.
- I’m really, really slow but very steady.
- I’ve done 5 Can Too swim programs,1 run program raised $10,000 and most importantly, returned the favour and helped others get through the break and learn to breathe out underwater.
- I tried swimming from Bondi Beach to Watson’s Bay (about 11km on a good day) through the heads of Sydney Harbour and was thwarted by the currents.