30/12/2018 by Carl Reynolds
A year of swimming less, walking more, rowing a lot and becoming a gym bunny. There are clearly endless variations on the swimming in open water “made me healthy/gave me an opportunity to develop my art/provided a small business opportunity”; so good luck to those who pursue these endeavours, but restrain yourselves in claiming originality. And there are a plethora of websites on where to swim, how to swim, who to swim with and why to swim. If you don’t enjoy swimming, ignore all of them. If you enjoy swimming, you’ll find a myriad of ways to deepen your obsession with swimming. Enjoy the surfing, being inspired, and finding new places to swim.
I recall someone once saying (and it’s probably a myth) that during the second world war the Japanese would have 90% of their prisoners of war in a lightly guarded camp, and 10% in a more heavily guarded section. The leaders, rebels and so on were separated out. So while I hang out with swimmers who mostly set up their own swims and challenges; there is a massive field for those organising the can’t-be-bothered to DIY/unorganised and disorganised. The Outdoor Swimming Society has been a major inspiration to thousands to get out of their indoor pool and find open water; and they have been massively successful in getting thousands to pay hundreds to swim in organised river swims. This year sees the 10th Anniversary of the Dart 10K – I hope it goes well and funds the OSS and its adventures for a while longer.
Meanwhile, finding myself surrounded by sea, with the Dart and Dartmoor less than 30 minutes drive away, I am in the privileged position of being able to swim from sand beach, pebbles beaches, off quays, in popular places, in secluded spaces, in freezing rivers, in pots and dubs, with and without company.
I’ve essentially stopped writing this blog. You can search for places via the categories and tags. Otherwise there is nothing new for me to say about swimming. In essence – find somewhere to swim, find some people to swim with (or don’t), and then find some other places to swim and some other swimmers. The rest is marketing, don’t live vicariously, DIY.