Simon Dominguez, a member of the Night Train Swimmers, honestly stated about his reasons for swimming in the open water, “I swim a lot because I eat and drink a lot and try and live a balanced lifestyle.”
We asked him about his experiences from his home base of Aquatic Park in San Francisco, California.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What interests you in the open water?
Simon Dominguez: There is no better feeling than the third or fourth minute in the water when the water temperature is around 50°F (10°C). I love it. I love the open water swimming community and how much it has welcomed me into its arms. I love the way I can now share my experiences with others to help them become marathon swimmers and was able to mentor 12 swimmers last year to do their first marathon swim across Lake Tahoe. There does not seem to be the same egos in open water swimming as there are in other sports or even in pool swimming.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Does anything surprise you in the open water?
Simon Dominguez: I am continually surprised by how different every open water swim is, even if you have done it hundreds of times. I get nervous before every organized swim, never knowing how hard it is going to be or if I am going to be successful. I even get nervous when I am not nervous before big swims. Swimming is a very important part of my life and it is very easy to fall out of balance with it by [spending] too much time in the water. However, I now need it in my life and have made a number of lifelong friends through this sport. While I miss the surf swimming that I grew up doing in Australia as part of the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, I feel very lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay area and to have fallen in with Vito Bialla and the Night Train Swimmers. To be able to do something you love and raise funds for worthy causes at the same time is a special thing to do.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you improve?
Simon Dominguez: I swim in the pool half of the week to work on my stroke and do not particularly like pool swimming but, like paying taxes, it is necessary. My latest improvement is to get my head down, which is difficult for an open water swimmer. I get great instruction from the coaches at North Bay Aquatics in Marin county where I coach on weekends as well. I swim early in the day to try and help the balance between work and family and this is not always easy.
I will be attempting some longer swims this summer. A solo Farallon swim is being considered.
Dominguez will be part of the first two-way Farallon relay attempt, a 6-person 60-mile double crossing relay from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands together with Emily Kreger, Patti Bauernfeind, Kim Chambers, Ashley Horne and Dave Holscher with back-up swimmers Kate Webber and Vito Bialla later this month.
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