This morning I completed the Bold and Beautiful swim for the first time. The Bold and Beautiful is an informal group meeting at 7am every day (all 365 days of the year!) to swim from Manly to Shelly Beach and back 750m each way. I’ve never done an ocean swim before, which is surprising since I’ve done pool swimming for a large part of my life. This year I thought I’d give it a try. Next Sunday I’m participating in the Cole Classic which is a 2km ocean swim race at Dee Why beach. I don’t expect to have any problems with it but knowing ocean swimming will be different, I wanted to have a practice first so that was my reason for participating in the Bold and Beautiful swim today.
Ocean swimming was very different (as I expected it would be) and overall I’m not a fan. I’m sure that’s largely because of my background as a pool swimmer and because I’ve grown up in the west away from any beaches. I found my technique very much suited to a pool and so many of the aspects I’ve worked on in training such a bilateral breathing, quick starts and turns and efficient technique, were of course not at all relevant or beneficial in the ocean. It was very difficult to see where I was going in the ocean. I tried to work out the best way and breathe to the front on occasion but I just wasn’t used to it. The water was also very cold! However, that’s not to say it was a negative experience. It was fun to try it and it certainly wasn’t a struggle. It was a good practice for next week to give me an indication of what it feels like to be in the ocean. It was a much shorter distance than the Cole Classic will be (given there was a break after 750m) but I’m not concerned about that. While I don’t intend to do ocean swimming regularly, I would be up for attending the Bold and Beautiful swim again. I’m not sure when because there are no free mornings in my current routine and I live far away from Manly, but eventually there will be a free day.
It’s fantastic events like the Bold and Beautiful exist. In many ways, the all inclusive nature and the atmosphere reminded me of Parkrun. Obviously the ability to swim 750m in an ocean is a requirement but the event catered for range of abilities and participation was encouraged.
As today is the Australia Day national holiday (no work today and the reason why I had a Thursday morning free), there was a bigger turn out than usual for the Bold and Beautiful swim. The blog (located here) claims there were 750 swimmers in attendance this morning. The group sang the national anthem before the swim. Here’s a picture from the Bold and Beautiful site.
Have you ever done an ocean swim?