Chairman’s Corner: Open Water Swimming

Welcome to the new and improved South Carolina Masters Website!  We are thrilled with the new layout and capabilities and hope that you enjoy it!

As we embarked on this transformation journey of our online presence and logo for the LMSC, it reminded me of the first time I stepped out of the comfort of a clear, chlorinated pool and into the murky depth of open water swimming.  It was the Lowcountry Splash here in Charleston. As a pool brat, I had no idea what to expect. Why were people putting on sunscreen? I needed to wear a cap with a microchip in it? So many questions. Answers that wouldn’t be revealed until I hopped off the dock into the salt water, swam 5 miles, and ended up at Patriot’s Point.  What a feeling of accomplishment! I climbed up out of the water, met up with my friends, and in true swimmer fashion, we headed to the nearest Cracker Barrel to stuff my face with pancakes and sweet tea.

In the middle of the swim, I remember thinking how different it was to not have any walls to hang on (what a bummer!) but my favorite part was swimming to an end point and sighting for it. Picking a landmark and just swimming and swimming and swimmmmming until I got to the chute.  From that point on, I was smitten with open water swimming. Oh sure, I still swam in the pool for practice, but there was something about open water swimming that took my love and respect for the sport of swimming to a new level. After that first Splash, I went on and swam a few more open water races and with each one, I got the same nervous exhilaration before jumping into the ocean, river, intracoastal, etc. and would do it again, over and over.

Enough about me though; this month we started to see the open water season kick into high gear.  We have a wonderful open water community here within our LMSC.  I am in awe of the swims these folks take on.  They constantly challenge themselves and the distances!  They don’t even blink an eye about swimming over 10 miles.  Whether they know it or not, they are inspiring and I can’t wait to see how many miles get logged and the locations they will travel to this open water season.

If you have ever thought about it doing an open water event and have yet to try one, let me tell you…you won’t regret it. Sign up and take the plunge!  Just make sure you don’t forget about us pool brats when you start setting your sights on the English Channel.

Until next month,

Mike

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