Easing My Fear of Ocean Swimming
I am looking to race in a few events that have open water swims in the ocean. The only time that I have swam in the ocean has been on vacation – and it was more play time than actual swimming. Clearly one of my concerns is in navigating the open waters and staying on course. The other major concern is being stung by jelly fish.
I don’t know why this worries me so much. I have never been stung by one before, and have really only seen them in dead form on the beach. It probably has something to do with my mother’s worrisome nature and the tales of my brother being stung while on vacation when he was younger. Either way, it does weigh heavily on my mind.
Enter pantyhose. Evidently, the nylon forms a protective barrier that protects the body from jelly fish stings. I guess I don’t really need to cover my arms and legs in pantyhose but rather by a nylon skin suit that I could wear while practicing. This is definitely something worth looking into.
The attached article goes into more detail, and also has handy info on what to do if you get stung:
If you forgo the suit and end up getting stung, bust out the blow dryer—assuming you were stung by the irritating and not life-threatening kind of jellyfish— and use a trick a friendly lifeguard taught me. Fire up a blow dryer and hold it as close to the site of the stings on the hottest setting you can stand (don’t burn yourself) and then fan it back and forth over the affected area. The blow dryer dries out the stingers without activating them—like drying to rinse them off with fresh water would. Once you blast the area with heat you can use a safety razor or credit card to scrape the stingers off.
I would’ve never thought of that. Going through these scenarios in my mind is really helping to coax me back to the beach. I always feel more comfortable when I have a plan in my mind and have thought through what could go wrong.