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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > January 2018 > Write in… Have your say

Write in… Have your say

YOUR LETTERS | @outdoor_swimmer


Connecting to the swimming community

I live in Canada on one of the Great Lakes, an hour north-east of Toronto, 15 minutes from the north shores of Lake Ontario. I grew up in the small town of Wellington on the lake and spent many hours swimming and playing at the beach. I was always a confident swimmer growing up. I never swam competitively or in pools, but in my 30s I extended my passion of running to triathlon. I soon realised the need to take swimming seriously. Although I have never swam with the local Masters club, I am ever determined to do it on my own. Last summer, after turning 44, I participated in two open water 10ks. I was hooked! How far can I really swim, I thought? I spent this past summer swimming in the lake, solo, or in a nearby river when the waves in lake were too big. Over five months I conquered my fear of the unknown and relished being the only one in this huge lake. There are groups who meet to swim in the lake but not in my area.

At one of the races in July, the King Wolf Swim in Kingston, Ontario, they gave each participant a copy of Outdoor Swimmer. I read it and reread it over and over. I looked for it in many stores only to realise that it isn’t sold on Canadian shelves. Reading Outdoor Swimmer made me feel connected to a wider group of people like myself and opened my eyes to the world of open water swimming in all weather conditions. That there is such a thing as ice and cold water swimming! So, when the lake temperature dropped at the end of October to 5-8 degrees C and I couldn’t really swim, I continued to go in for dips. I time myself and keep a log of water and weather conditions. Currently the water is still 5 degrees but the air is -14 degrees and snowy. Not so inviting lately but on a sunny day I will go in for a dip.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Whether your New Year goal is an epic challenge or your first open water swim, our 2018 Race Guide is the pick of the year’s must-do events. Elsewhere in the magazine, we have inspiring stories of more personal challenges: learning to ocean swim, 50 castle swims and a new English Channel record. Plus, advice from Olympians, record breakers and swim coaches on how to max your motivation without going nuts.