What could possibly be harder: to swim as a young teenager or swim as a mature adult on the second half of life?
As a young person, there are so many other activities that demand one’s attention. To have the discipline and commitment to train for a marathon swim is rare. It takes something special for a teenager to be able to ignore all the joys and temptations of youth and swim for long distances every day in preparation for a marathon swim. Instant gratification and social interactions are generally considered so much satisfying than the long-term focus and diligence necessary to prepare for a nearly 24-hour solo swim.
As an older person, as much as the maturity and wisdom of life are apparent, so it the decreasing muscularity and athletic prowess. Muscles become stiff, cardiovascular endurance become lower, joints creak more. The ravages of life simply slow one down while the physiological demands of a 21-hour solo journey in cold and rough water are incredibly arduous for any individual of any age.
Both women – one young, the other older – have shown the extremes of open water swimming can be accomplished by both the young and the old(er).
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association