Deep Blue Salt Water Swims

20 Days of Detox and I am starting to wonder what life was like before.  Those who know me are aware that I have a deep love for the ocean.  I start most mornings either running beside it, swimming in it, surfing in it, teaching near it or meditating above it.  I feel very fortunate to have the beach as my backyard and still get excited when I spot the many forms of wildlife that make it a home including dolphins, whales and even the odd penguin and seal.

I have lived near or close to the ocean since I left school and there is very little likelihood that this will ever change.

In saying that, few people would know that I have for a long time had a deep seated fear of ocean swimming.  Swimming within 500 meters from the shore no sweat, or as long as there is a board between me and the ocean I am fine.  However, when it comes to a pair of goggles and me in my swimmers out in the deep blue, that’s when the fear sets in, that is until recently.  If something scares me I tend to take it as a sign that there is either a real reason not to go ahead or more commonly there is a challenge up for the taking.  With Ocean swimming it has taken time and the help of a few amazing friends who are extremely confident in the water to push me beyond the belief that “ocean swimming was just not for me”.

8am, on this particular Saturday morning I completed my first ever swim across Bondi, point to point. It was the calmest I have been in years.  The water was clear and there were fish everywhere.  With 30 odd local friends around me I felt in good company and yet completely free and in my own realm.  Some call this being in the zone and I would definitely attrubute the ability to be present to the cleaner more balanced life that I have been leading since starting detox.

A lesson in not talking whilst swimming was quickly learnt  on return to shore with some pretty crazy cramps due to an excess of salt.  So a short note of warning.  If you are ocean swimming it is ideal to keep your mouth shut and focus on breathing out as opposed to inhaling large amounts of salt water.  A quick fixwith a dose of magnesium already a good friend of mine.

Ocean swimming requires presence. If your mind wanders you can easily find yourself on a quick path to the wider ocean and off to sea.  It is the ability to be aware of where you are and where you are heading and at the same time be lost in the moment that is important.

For me it was an irrational fear of the wider ocean rather than a lack of skill.  I have been swimming since I was very little and hold my bronze medallion as life saver at North Bondi.  Being a local beach goer I have a good understanding of the various rips and even then I made sure I still swam with friends.  If you are in any way inspired to take up ocean swimming, be sure that you are a competent swimmer and understand the various rips in the area.  Check out the links below.

Science of the Surf

Ocean Fit

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