Ring… ring… ring…
Me: “OceanFit, Andre speaking.”
Client: “Hi Andre, I’m looking to get private ocean swimming lessons so I can eventually swim across the bay at Bondi by the end of summer. I’m thinking maybe half a dozen?”
Me: “You’ll only need one lesson, let’s meet up tomorrow and swim across.”
Me: “Yup, it’s easier than you think.”
That’s a classic conversation I have dozens of times each summer with people who’d love to be able to swim distance in open water.
Most of them are swimmers who’ve clocked up km’s in the pool.
It’s not their swimming ability that is stopping them from heading out across the bay, it’s simply their lack of belief that they could swim for that distance without the safety and comfort of the end of the pool.
It’s a bit like floating, treading water and holding your breath underwater. You’re likely to massively underestimate your ability with all of these things.
If I asked you how long you can float and tread water for, what would you say? A couple of minutes? It’s probably more like an hour or more. We prove this to disbelieving participants in our Learn To Ocean Swim clinic.
Holding your breath underwater? You’d say a few seconds, but when relaxed you’ll be good for more than 20 seconds, if not double, easy.
Another way of looking at it is ‘perceived’ vs ‘real’ risk. To put the risk into perspective, if you can swim 1km in a pool (even broken up into sets), then it should play out that you can physically swim 1km in the open water. If you can swim 1.5km in the pool, then there’ll be an even better chance you’ll cover the distance in open water. With the distance covered, it’s now back to belief, a positive mindset, and a little bit of education to boot.
Whether you’re hitting the open water for the first time, or you’re looking at stepping up to a longer distance or more challenging course, the chances are you’re totally ready for it.
All you need to do is follow our 10-point safety checklist, get in there and give it a crack.