The renewed interest in ‘wild swimming’ where people plunge into an array of rivers, streams, lakes and coves for the sheer joy of it, along with the huge popularity of triathlon, has led to an ever increasing interest in open water swimming generally. First included in 2008, the 10k open water swim in Hyde Park was watched by thousands of spectators during the London 2012 Olympics. These swims of 10k and above are officially classed by FINA, the official world governing body for swimming, as ‘marathon swimming’. There are now a large number of these swims being organised all over the world, with numbers of competitors ranging from a few dozen up to several hundred.
The purpose of this site is partly to document some of the swims that I have completed myself but mainly to provide a forum for discussion and comment about long distance swimming in general. Please feel free to post comments or articles and ask any questions that you may have.
My particular interest is in sea swims that have either not been done before or else have perhaps only been completed a handful of times. There is a great pioneering thrill in planning and researching a new swim, finding a boat to accompany you, involving helpers and then, if all goes according to plan, finally achieving your aim.
I’m also interested in meditation and have been practising it on a daily basis since becoming a student of the Indian teacher Sri Chinmoy over twenty years ago. The peace and tranquillity of swimming in beautiful surroundings is very similar to the experience of meditation and without it I certainly would not have been able to tap into the necessary strength and will power to complete the longer swims detailed here. So for me it’s as near as I can get to a kind of scientific proof of the efficacy of meditation and I hope it might inspire people who haven’t tried it before to sign up for a course and give it a try.