Since yesterday's blogpost, there've been a flurry of emails and Facebook posts, some defensive, some jibing, expostulating on who is and is not a "wimp" or a "wuss" -- or just plain crazy! -- for swimming or not swimming in this late OWS season....It's all good-natured, of course, but it also all misses the point, which is that every single one of us who ever steps off the beach and into the open water is a hero, every single time....The open water is a realm that is populated as much by fear as by the real dangers that inhabit it: rough waves, raging currents, hungry fish, speeding boats, submerged obstacles, descending fog, stinging jellyfish, exhaustion, disorientation, aloneness -- and open-water swimming is not only physical exercise but an exercise in mastering fear and pushing beyond our physical and emotional comfort levels. Those levels are as individual as the astonishingly diverse universe of people who are drawn to the open water, including those of the West Neck Pod.
Whether you stopped swimming in early September, when the water temperature dropped below 70, or in early October when it dropped below 60, or are still swimming when it's dropped to below 50, you are still doing something that most people -- even most swimmers -- find unimaginable. So for all the good-natured teasing about wusses and wimps, I want to go on record as saying that there are no wimps or wusses in the West Neck Pod, and you are ALL my heroes, every day, every time! See you in the Salt!