Open water swimming is a lesson in endurance, resiliency, and gratefulness

Betsy Medalla, the masters swim coach and the country’s foremost advocate of the sport, talks about training specifically for the great outdoors—and how being grateful can calm fears and nerves.

Betsy Medalla has a curious way of describing her path into open water swimming.

“I was thrown into it, actually,” she says.

While most people would balk at the idea of being “thrown into” a sport that has the words “open water” attached to it, Medalla flourished.

The former captain of the University of the Philippines Varsity Swim Team started doing triathlons in her late thirties after years of disregarding her fitness. This was what introduced her to the “wonderful world” of open water swimming, which she claims was never top of mind. “I took to it soon enough thanks to the challenges it presents, the feel of the sun on your back, the thrill of swimming in the outdoors, and now I can't wait until the next swim.” 


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