Swimming with fishes goes hand in hand with open water swimming, so why am I still so easily spooked by them?


I’m now going into my fourth 12 months of open
water swimming and I nonetheless love each a part of it, each half that’s, besides
the fish. This worry isn’t introduced on by a nasty encounter, for the reality is, I
haven’t really seen a fish close to me bigger than a tiddler, and I ought to know,
for each time I swim my eyes are on stalks searching for any signal of even a
ripple. I’ve surprisingly good eye sight for some one in all my center life
years, and it’s true that I can spot something shifting from far, distant, and though
10/10 instances it isn’t really a fish, a shark or a sea monster and seems to
be one thing far much less sinister, like a twig, a leaf, some flowers, the
backside of the lake, the buoy rope, a shadow, swim buddy’s leg and I’m most
embarrassed to confess, my very own arm…I nonetheless pull a dash out of the bag. Added to
that, if there have been any that I had missed Shark would have noticed it and would
be fleeing at neck breaking velocity away from it, and me.
Once you swim with somebody as usually as
Shark and I do, you get to know one another properly, and that is how I do know I’m
not alone in my paranoia. We’ve had many a dialog about this topic, and
as earlier experiences swimming in a lake together with her have demonstrated, she’s going to
assume nothing of wind sprinting away from mentioned imaginary aquatic risks as
a lot as I’ll. This 12 months nonetheless I feel I could have the sting. In an effort to acquire
some a lot wanted benefit between myself and her (the weakest swimmer at all times
get it first), over the winter, while within the pool, I’ve been working exceptionally
laborious at my sprinting. I inform Sharks it’s for the beginning of any races we now have
this season to offer me a combating probability at getting nearer to the entrance, however
its really not. It’s as a result of in a swim off towards a fish, regardless of the
dimension, it’s each swimmer for herself!
It’s normal process to take a look at any
new attainable swimming venues on-line beforehand. It’s to seek out out issues like:
distance away, services (altering and cake choice), value and naturally
what sort of aquatic livestock reside within the lake. You by no means know, they could
properly have an enormous pike breeding program occurring!  This info provides me the chance to
additional examine the fishes (or different) they could have, together with
whereabouts in a lake they like to be, so I can keep away from them in any respect prices, the
largest one ever caught, tooth dimension, meals preferences and if there have been
any assaults on people prior to now, of which I’m delighted to share the glad
information that every one searches to date have come again as a giant fats zero, I nonetheless examine
each time although!
All this mentioned, figuring out Shark’s fondness of
fishes is on a par with mine, I used to be stunned once I acquired a really surprising
message from her this week, which included a hyperlink to one of many venues we now have
swam at earlier than. The hyperlink was really an invite to go to the lake to feed
the fish. On one hand I’m actually curious to see the dimensions of the fishes that
are within the lake, however on the opposite I’m scared that it’s going to put me off going if
any become any bigger than a stickleback or a sprat, which is how massive I
inform myself all fishes are once I get into any lake.
When my youngsters had been small, and through my
pre-open water swimming days, going to a lake to feed the fish seemed like a
pretty factor to do. We’d have purchased a number of pots, as a result of I actually
couldn’t bear the truth that some fishes won’t have been adequately fed, and
it will have most likely been adopted by a stroll across the lake to tire out the
little darlings and an ice cream and desserts within the adjoining café, all very
gratifying, however right here’s the factor, now I really get in lakes and swim with
them, I’m in two minds whether or not fattening up fishes, for completely egocentric
causes, is an effective factor.
Now, I actually do know that it’s. It’s a
good thing – households spending time with one another, getting some recent air,
while studying about ecology and different sciency stuff and seeing all of the
totally different fishes shut up, while the fishes are being fed the appropriate nutrient
wealthy meals to maintain them wholesome and enhance their survival charges, particularly
after an extended and chilly winter.
I used to be speaking with Leon at SwimYourSwim
this week about my fears. Leon is an avid naturalist (NOT to be confused with
naturist!) and identified one thing that I hadn’t even thought of, and it’s a
actually priceless level. He mentioned that though fishes are predators, consuming
vegetation, microorganisms and different fishes (not folks or their toes), additionally they
recycle the vitamins they soak up, performing as a type of fertilizer serving to to
preserve the lake wholesome. The truth that fishes are within the lake, thriving and plentiful
signifies that the lake they swim in can be in fine condition (the water high quality is
monitored there) and due to this fact I will be assured that it I can have a protected and
satisfying swim there too.
I need to admit, I’m comforted by this information
and still have been giving the entire swimming with fishes some thought,
particularly the supplementary fish feeding factor, and will properly counsel for Leon
to consider some type of feeding program at Hatfield (form of round about
the identical time that I might be coming for a swim). Right here’s what I’m thinking- if
the fishes are busy being fed at one finish of the lake, that frees up the remainder of
it for a calming swim for me (Yay!) (And a win/win state of affairs I feel?).
Alternatively, I may really begin to
assume extra rationally, as there isn’t a proof that I’ve discovered, of anybody being
attacked by the fishes which might be in any of the lakes I swim in (and imagine me,
I’ve appeared extensively), and in actuality the one factor that has really
‘attacked’ me has been the pondweed that I swam into as soon as, and you could possibly
really say it was my very own fault. I’m additionally enormous compared to any of the
fishes, and me swimming will little doubt scare them off and away from me (I could
revisit this if I resolve to swim Escape from Alcatraz), and so I’ve determined
that I’ll spend this subsequent season engaged on these fears, and within the meantime,
I shall proceed with my dash training- for I’m fairly having fun with them, and
really, simply in case that fallen twig or pondweed does resolve to offer chase,
I shall be prepared!

Lastly, final 12 months I swam the size of Windermere for charity, and was requested if I want to write a e book about my journey, so I assumed why not? It consists of all of the ups and downs, the laughs, the cake consuming, the mischief, the superb folks I met alongside the way in which and naturally the swimming. It is out there on Amazon in paperback or as an e-book.


I even have a ‘group’ web page on Fb and am on Twitter and Instagram, the place I submit common shenanigans and such like. If you would like to hitch/comply with you would be very welcome. Listed here are the hyperlinks. 😊

Open Water Girl


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