Open water swimming can provide great experiences

When I introduce myself to someone new, I could as easily say “I’m a swimmer” as “I’m Susan.” The water is almost always on my mind. Swimming calms me when I’m anxious, balances me when I feel out of touch with myself, and gives me the strength to cope when I lose loved ones. The water is my sanctuary, the one place I always feel safe. 

For more than 50 years, the pool was my training ground. When my husband and I started living part-time in San Carlos, Mexico, on the Sea of Cortez, I discovered open water swimming. After two years of almost daily sea swimming, I find it difficult to return to black lines and flip turns. The pool can’t compete with the wild unpredictability of the open sea.

The smell and taste and supportive sensation of the salty sea rushing over my skin delivers that multisensory outdoor experience I thrive on. But it is the flash of a dark, wet dorsal fin in the early morning sunlight that raises my heart rate one more notch, that transforms a Sea of Cortez swim from enjoyable to unforgettable.

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