Saturday, January 31, 2009

Picture of Michael Phelps Spitting Water

Kidding ... still, does anyone know of anyone who was swimming when one of these water spouts came along? Amazing picture. Oh, are those two spots open-water swimmers?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Feesh Mawn wins one for Hollywood !

The documentary called "Big River Man", which featured Martin Strel's (also known as the "Feesh Mawn" by his fans) amazing swim down the Amazon River has won an award for cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival. Here's the entire list of winners. Scroll down to see "Big River Man".

Congratulations guys!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two Swimmers who Challenge the Arctic

Hate cold pool water. Read these and you'll never complain again.

Here are two articles about swimmers who are challenging what it means to swim and thrive in cold water. What's cold? Try the South Pole and the North Pole.

This first one (about Wim Hof) appeared in The Telegraph UK last December. I had planned to post it in honor of Jan 1st's polar bear jumpers, but was out of town.

This second one (about Lewis Gordon Pugh) is in this month's (Jan '09) issue of Readers Digest. The only thing I didn't like about this story, is that Lewis is a lawyer. He already had ice in his veins.

Both are perfectly fascinating.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Martin Strel Goes Hollywood

I haven't posted much on Martin Strel in a while. If you are out of touch on my fascination with Martin ... he's the guy who among other minor achievements, swam the Amazon from the Andes to the Atlantic two summers ago. Anyhow, they made a movie about it and it is to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival later this month - I'm guessing documentary?

If you have missed any of the posts I've put up about Martin here's a great article that tells you all about him and fills in a lot of detail I may have missed. You can see my posts by searching my site with "Martin Strel".

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

How to Find a Pool When Away from Home

I found this, ugly, yet awesome Swimmers Guide website this past November and have intended to create a post for it for some time. Better late than never. After you read this, you may be p.o.'d at me for not having posted this amazing resource before the holidays.

The site says "Swimmers Guide contains the only international, descriptive directory of publicly-accessible, full-size, year-round swimming pools available. There is no resource available in any format with as many pool listings or as much information about each pool as you'll find on this Web site ... This 143rd monthly update of the database since May, 1996, lists 18,507 facilities with 19,742 full-size, year-round swimming pools in 10,521 cities and towns in 165 countries."

If this database is even half of what it says it is, it is still amazing.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Lifeguard failure? No, a hero!

It's pretty much accepted practice that our heroes are only given the grand title when they are successful, or when they die trying. Today, I read an article I found on, which ended in neither. Yet I come away astounded by the heroics the individual exhibited.

Austin Hearn, a lifeguard at a YMCA in New Jersey, happened to be riding his bike near a pond, when he witnessed a woman fall through the ice. He first fought to break the ice to create a path to the woman. When that proved impossible, he attempted to step out onto the ice to commence a reach rescue and fell in himself in waters over his head. Fortunately, there weren't two deaths that day, and Austin saved himself.

I'm guessing, Austin is kicking himself for not succeeding. Similarly, I imagine others may not give Austin the credit he deserves for trying. That's another tragedy, since to anyone who knows cold water, understands that Austin went over and above the call of duty. Oh, yeah, Austin wasn't on duty! He did it out of the goodness of his heart!

From a former lifeguard ... All the best Austin! May you have peace of mind.