7 Signs You May Be A Bad Open Water Swimmer


  1. At the start of your last open water swim you jumped on your training partner’s back and started making whooping noises because a fish touched you.
  2. A satellite image of your half Ironman swim track spells out the word: potato. Yes it was a point to point river swim.
  3. You are feeling the groove, swimming smooth, then suddenly it feels like you are swimming harder but making less progress. You stop and look around. There is a large bird perched on your safety buoy enjoying the tow.
  4. During a race, you realize you have been sighting on the wrong tree when you look up and realize you don’t see any other swimmers … anywhere.
  5. On one open water swim you came face to face with a snake which led to a furious backstroke sprint across 50 yards of lake, a sandy beach, a grassy bank and halfway up a persimmon tree.
  6. You have such a well developed reputation for colliding with other swimmers that you have earned the nickname eight ball.
  7. During Beach 2 Battleship (now Ironman North Carolina) a kayaker paddled up and told you the buoy is over to the left and you are currently headed for Maryland.

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Al Dockery is a PTA (physical therapist assistant) based in the Upstate of SC. He is a former award-winning writer and editor, who has worked for publications including Textile World and Furniture Today. He is a NC native and a NC State graduate.

2 thoughts on “7 Signs You May Be A Bad Open Water Swimmer

  • February 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    4 and 7 are just too close to home to be funny. What am I going to do?

    • February 15, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Get the new googles. Do some open water swims with me at Clemson. If we can’t get it sorted out, we will get some tech support from our Tri friends.


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