OWC Mindshare 3: Managing Anxiety and Panic While Open Water Swimming

It’s normal to be anxious before and during an open water swim.  But if this isn’t managed effectively, it could lead to panic, exhaustion, paralysis, or even drowning in a worst case scenario.  The key thing that most people do not understand is that anxiety and panic are two separate phenomena, and that there are specific strategies and tactics for managing both.  

In this pivotal session, we will review this topic area in depth.  Areas to be discussed include the science and physiological mechanisms of anxiety and panic, how they are “anchored” to our emotional system, how they can escalate out of control in the open water, and what you can do to successfully manage them.  Here are the details:

OWC Mindshare 3: Managing Anxiety and Panic While Open Water Swimming

– Date: Saturday, June 28, 2014

– Time: 7:00am

– Location: Vicinity of Ladder 1

– What to bring: Just yourself as this is a land-based seminar (i.e. no swimming involved!).  You can also bring something to eat or drink – I will likely be doing so!

– Cost: Feel free to donate to OWC at any time after the clinic if you feel that it was in any way valuable to you!

[For more details on the OWC Mindshare series – CLICK HERE]

OWC Mindshare 2: Cold Water Swimming 101

Training in an indoor pool may help you with techniques and endurance, but all bets are off when it comes to managing colder water temperatures during an open water swim!  However, if you understand the science behind this and you practice certain techniques, you can actually excel in this environment.

In this much requested session, we will review this topic area in depth.  Areas to be discussed include human thermoregulation, cold water physiology, immersion shock,  pre-swim preparation, gear selection, and in-swim techniques.  Here are the details:

OWC Mindshare 2: Cold Water Swimming 101

– Date: Saturday, June 21, 2014

– Time: 7:00am

– Location: Vicinity of Ladder 1

– What to bring: Just yourself as this is a land-based seminar (i.e. no swimming involved!).  You can also bring something to eat or drink – I will likely be doing so!

– Cost: Feel free to donate to OWC at any time after the clinic if you feel that it was in any way valuable to you!

[For more details on the OWC Mindshare series – CLICK HERE]

OWC Mindshare 1: The inner game of outdoor swimming

Believe it or not, you are actually “wired” to thrive in the elements.  But you will only be successful if you understand how you interact with a highly dynamic external environment at a physical, emotional, and logical level.

In this kick-off session to the OWC Mindshare series, we will review this topic area in depth.  By the end, you should have a much better frame of reference to guide you with your open water swimming – as well as elsewhere in your life.  Here are the details:

OWC Mindshare 1: The inner game of outdoor swimming

– Date: Saturday, June 14, 2014

– Time: 7:00am

– Location: Vicinity of Ladder 1

– What to bring: Just yourself as this is a land-based seminar (i.e. no swimming involved!).  You can also bring something to eat or drink – I will likely be doing so!

– Cost: Feel free to donate to OWC at any time after the clinic if you feel that it was in any way valuable to you!

[For more details on the OWC Mindshare series – CLICK HERE]

 

OWC Mindshare: A new model for open water swim education!

Are you tired of feeling like a shipwreck survivor whenever you finish an open water swim?

Well, that’s exactly what you will get when you train to merely “survive” the swim!

How about OWNING the swim instead?

In other words, what if you could actually THRIVE in the open water environment and have it be an ENJOYABLE CHALLENGE instead of a “necessary evil” that you just need to “get through?”

———-

I’ve been in your situation.

I know what it’s like to be facing an upcoming open water swim and to not feel adequately prepared to deal with the uncertainty of the experience.

And I also know how frustrating it is to be told by inexperienced coaches that the solution to your dilemma is to “just do it” and “get more laps in” out in the lake.

Bottom line – this approach doesn’t solve your problem!

You need SPECIFICS – strategies and tactics that will enable you to excel in the open water and to actually ENJOY the experience.

And most important, you want this from a TRUSTED ADVISOR who can provide valuable guidance based on real experience in Lake Michigan (imagine that!).

Fortunately, there is now a new and exciting alternative to the status quo!

———-

Open Water Chicago is thrilled to announce “OWC Mindshare” – a new series of specialized clinics designed to give you key insights and tools you need to successfully navigate open water swimming.

Starting in June, I will be scheduling and conducting 30-45 minute interactive educational sessions which will take place at 7:00am (after our swim meetups and within the vicinity of L1).

The topics will vary, but below is a current list of several areas we will cover based on the feedback I’ve received from all of you:

– The inner game of outdoor swimming
– How to effectively prepare for cold water immersion
– Anxiety and panic in open water swimming: why they’re completely different and why they require separate strategies
– Reality-based sighting: how to really keep your bearings in a chaotic swim situation
– How to handle swimming and breathing in waves, chops, and currents
– Gear selection for open water swimming: what is the best setup for various situations?
– Drafting: how to conserve energy through other swimmers
– How to conquer an Alcatraz swim – or any other SF Bay swim

So what does this cost?

WHATEVER YOU THINK IT’S WORTH!

All you need to do is show up, listen, ask questions, and seek clarification on anything we go over during that session. You don’t need to bring any swim gear as these will be “land-based” sessions.

AND YOU DON’T NEED TO PAY ANYTHING BEFOREHAND OR EVEN ON SITE!

Here’s the key – if you think you have received any value from any of these clinics, then feel free to go to the OWC website at any time afterwards and donate WHATEVER YOU WANT by clicking on the blue “Support OWC!” button on the middle right side of the page.

If you do NOT think you derived any value from attending these, then please do NOT feel obligated to donate anything. Yes, I am serious!

So why this compensation model?

Because I only want you to pay for this if you honestly feel that I provided you with something of value to you and to your specific situation. And by you voting with your wallet, you help me “up my game” and provide you with better information, guidance, and coaching overall.

So that’s it! I will be announcing the first OWC Mindshare session very soon, so please keep checking the OWC home page as well as the OWC Facebook Page.

And thanks again for all your continued interest and support!

Best,

Steve

Newsflash: OWC Ownership Change and New Direction

After much deliberation and discussion with my family and friends, I have decided to sell off the ownership and marketing/branding rights of Open Water Chicago to a soon-to-be announced outside party.

While I cannot divulge too many details of the transaction due to a non-disclosure agreement, below are some of the new prospective changes that will take place once OWC is transitioned to the new owners.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful six years!

Best wishes,

Steve
______________________________________________________

OWC Membership Fees

Starting immediately, OWC will now assess membership fees to new and existing swimmers. “Lake Monsters” will have a choice of either paying a $250 annual fee for unlimited swim meetup access, or they can alternatively pay a $10 “drop-in” fee to attend individual meetups.

Swim Proficiency Requirements

Because of the new transition to a high-intensity training (HIT) model, all swimmers attending any OWC meetup will need to demonstrate the ability to swim at least two (2) miles in the open water. Anyone not being able to meet these basic requirements will not be able to participate in any of the OWC meetups.

Organized HIT Workouts

Each OWC meetup will involve a structured swim workout organized as follows:

– WARMUP: One (1) mile distance swim at a moderate pace
– SPRINT & RECOVERY SET: 1/4 mile hard sprint swim followed by 1/4 mile moderate recovery swim on the return leg
– INTERVALS (ramp up set): 4 x 100 meters at moderate pace
– INTERVALS (anaerobic set): 4 x 100 meters at hard pace
– INTERVALS (recovery set): 4 x 100 meters at easy pace
– TABATA SPRINTS: 20 second maximum effort swim followed by 10 second rest (repeated 8 times)
– WARMDOWN: One (1) mile distance swim at a moderate/easy pace

These will be instructor-supervised sessions, and OWC swimmers will have their individual times tracked and monitored throughout the 2014 swimming season.

Swim Gear & Safety Requirements

Due to potential safety issues, all swimmers will be required to wear wetsuits to enhance buoyancy while in the open water. In addition, no swimming will take place in water temperatures above 78F or below 55F.

OWC On-Site Rules

Swim start times will be strictly enforced. Anyone causing delays due to watching sunrises or socializing with other members will be expelled from the group and will permanently lose their Lake Monster number.

Marry me, Ann?

Let’s get hitched!

14Feb2013_1

Happy 2013!

Here’s a quick look back at 2012. We sure had fun, didn’t we?

Bonus Swim Report: 2012 Equinox Swim!

The autumnal equinox arrived at 9:49am. So I got in the lake a little bit before to squeeze in a swim during the last moments of summer 2012 – and to get in my first autumn swim of the year!

Swim Report – April 1, 2012 – Perfect Conditions!

I’m making this quick since I’m just about to leave for L1 right now. And I’d strongly recommend you get out there ASAP as well!

Dave sent me an urgent text message with some images of the swim site from a short while ago (see below). It turns out we had a rare temperature inversion take place at our favorite swim site this morning, and it’s given us some unseasonably warm air and lake temperatures.

I hope to see you all there!

Perfect April sunrise

Pool party out at L1!

The trampoline is back!

Aerial Views of Chicago Swim Spots

I was flying into O’Hare on Thursday morning, and the plane circled around the lakefront. So I took some quick aerial photos of some of our favorite swim sites:

Ladder 1

Montrose South Wall

Promontory Point