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Old 04-07-2017
waulylee waulylee is offline
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Default Fear of dark water

I am looking for any suggestions on how to overcome the anxiety and panic I feel when I get far enough out in the lake that I cannot see bottom and everything looks dark. I live in Wisconsin and all the lakes here are dark water. I'm fine in the pool - but panic when I get into the lakes.
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Old 04-07-2017
sojomojo sojomojo is offline
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I don’t know how you can overcome your fear of open water, but when you share the same fear as Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, you’re in good company.

http://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_...ody-issue-2016

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Open-water swimming just scares me. Once I put my head in the water, if it's super murky or whatever and I can't even see my hand, then I just freak out ... it's not OK. I remember an open-water swim in the Bay where that specific instance happened. I was OK as long as I was 100 to 150 yards from the shore, but the second that that opened up into the channel, I absolutely freaked out and had a ton of anxiety. I just had to lay on my back and put my hands up until a boat picked me up [laughs]. It was my freshman year in college [at California]; the upperclassmen didn't let me forget it.
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Old 04-07-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waulylee View Post
I am looking for any suggestions on how to overcome the anxiety and panic I feel when I get far enough out in the lake that I cannot see bottom and everything looks dark. I live in Wisconsin and all the lakes here are dark water. I'm fine in the pool - but panic when I get into the lakes.
I'm in Wisconsin, too--I know what you mean. The water's clean but the tannin makes it dark.

I get a little panicky every year at the start of open water season myself, even though I've done lots of events up to 10 miles. I've learned to be patient with myself in the spring. I know that I'll be a little more comfortable out there with each session, so I try to notice the discomfort I feel without judging it as "bad." More like, "Huh, I notice I'm a bit scared today, not swimming as well as usual. The same thing happened last year. I wonder how many sessions it'll take before that goes away this year?" I just accept that I'll be a bit uncomfortable out there for a few sessions and get on with the swimming.

After a while, open water becomes comfortable and I start to hate pool days where you hit that wall every 25m...

Good luck!
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