Pet peeves in the open water can take on a different perspective.
In the pool, pet peeves are usually something that are caused by someone else like another swimmer, a maintenance man, or a coach. In the open water, pet peeves can also ruin a perfectly enjoyable swim in any open body of water, although some of them are just natural acts of Mother Nature.
Below are some of things that can frustrate and irritate us:
1. Jellyfish stings. They come, they sting, they irritate. A jellyfish sting is always a surprise and never appreciated until the pain goes away.
2. Plastic bags and debris. You hit garbage as you stroke through the water and get frustrated with mankind’s ability to pollute the water.
3. Skin ointment, lanolin, Vaseline or sunscreen on your goggles. Limited visual abilities are already a given and now something smeared on your goggles makes your vision even more limited.
4. Oncoming currents. You can feel the push-back from Mother Nature. It is especially aggravating when you know you are swimming hard and staying in place.
5. Diesel exhaust. You know escort boats spout exhaust from their engines, but it is maddening when the pilots have positioned their boats right in the path of an oncoming breeze that directs the fumes right up your nostrils and down your throat.
6. Cotton mouth. You know swimming in salt water is different from swimming in fresh water, but that does not make your dry, irritating mouth and cracked lips and sore throat any less more acceptable.
7. Turbulence. You know rough water is part of open water swimming, but those rogue waves that unexpectedly enter your mouth right when you turn to breathe are disheartening.
8. Boat wake. You understand the ebb and flow, waves and currents of the ocean, but when that boater comes whizzing by you and creates a man-made wake, you feel unnecessarily vulnerable.
9. Temperature changes. It is great when the water temperatures are within your comfort range. It is understandable when there are pockets of colder water in cold-water swims or areas of higher temperatures during warm-water swims, but that does not make these temperature changes any more tolerable.
10. Back pain. Sore shoulders, neck stress, and muscle fatigue exist on tough workouts and long swims, but that nagging lower back pain is flat-out discouraging. There is just nothing you can do except an occasional stopping where you bend over in the water – only for it to begin soon again after you re-start.
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association