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I have been open water swimming for many years. My usual venues are lakes, sometimes rivers, occasionally the sea and whenever and wherever I capsize my boat.

For me open water swimming isn’t about getting from A to B; it’s about enjoying it. It’s about the exhilaration of the tingling chill of sparkling water, the tickling of pebbles underfoot, the pleasure of beautiful scenery around a mountain tarn, of being, and feeling, part of nature. There is no need to “suffer to succeed”. “Success” is enjoying doing it. It can all be done safely close to shore, quitting before suffering hypothermia or exhaustion, however much or little you have done. Just done for the sheer pleasure of it. Ten minutes in a lake on a warm, moonlit or starlit summer’s night is ecstasy. No wetsuit needed.

So many of your contributors seem proud of the fact that they have subjected themselves to such great pain or such great danger that I wonder about their mental health. It is their choice but are they masochists who need psychiatric help? I taught life-saving for the RLSS and could never condone the idiotic actions of some. Please don’t encourage others to copy.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the first issue of Outdoor Swimmer! We are dedicated to providing inspiration and information for people who swim outdoors – and for people who want to swim outdoors but haven’t yet quite plucked up enough courage to escape the confines of the pool. If you were a reader of H2Open, the former name of Outdoor Swimmer, we hope you will be pleased with the changes we have made. But don’t worry, we haven’t changed radically! We still have all the same great features we had before, but the changes we have made are those that were suggested by you in our reader survey. We will focus more on the social aspects of outdoor swimming and increase our coverage of wild swimming, as well as expanding our training section to include distance-specific plans to help you reach your swimming goals. We are also thrilled to have joined forces with the Outdoor Swimming Society to bring you reviews of all the best kit for outdoor swimmers. This issue we look at goggles, next month we will be reviewing wetsuits. Let us know what you think of the changes, and what you would like to see more (or less) of in Outdoor Swimmer. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor
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