I should probably start this by saying that I am originally from the UK, as to Aussies saying you can’t swim freestyle is like saying you never went to school – VERY UNUSUAL!
I started ocean swimming quite a few years ago back in 2007 with Can Too, but was going through a divorce at the time and just couldn’t deal with learning to swim with my head in the water on top of everything else, so that summer I did two ocean swims wearing a mask and snorkel…. I didn’t set the world on fire time wise, but I do remember enjoying it.
Last January (2016) I started swimming regularly again popping down to Balmoral beach three or four times a week and doing 30 minutes breaststroke in the ocean, but that only lasted about 3 months before I wimped out due to the cold air temperature! In November last year I decided that I wanted to learn to swim properly, by properly I mean freestyle head in the water – previously I’ve worn goggles only because I didn’t want splashes of water in my eyes!
Having now been swimming since the beginning of November four or five times a week, I just love it!
Ocean Swimming: What I love
- Once you start swimming you can’t just go to the side and get out when you have had enough, you have to get back to the beach this works when you swim a bit of a way from the beach, not in the shallows!
- I feel a sense of achievement – yesterday I did a 2km swim, I remember when I was out there swimming it really felt like I was in the middle of the ocean, I could see massive waves rolling into the beach and nothing behind me, it was just an amazing feeling of being in the middle of something so powerful, but somehow not scary
- It is meditation – a form called concentration mediation… I am still practising my technique so I have to concentrate on each stroke and each kick, I don’t switch off. This action of doing something where you have to think about it all the time with no room for other thoughts is a kind of mediation, which helps you become more present in the now.
- Gets rid of bingo wings – that’s the flappy bits underneath your upper arms. All the arm and leg movement helps tone you up
For me ocean swimming is a mind and body exercise that makes me feel amazing. Today the air temperature was colder, it was windy and I really didn’t want to go down for my swim, but I forced myself and you know what it was fabulous! This photo I took at Balmoral today, the ocean temp in Sydney at the moment is about 24 degrees – anyone else love an ocean swim?