2 years, 200 posts: An overview and history of Freshwater Swimmer

2 years, 200 posts: An overview and history of Freshwater Swimmer


The WordPress admin dashboard informs me this is – hell’s bells! – post #200 here at Freshwater Swimmer. Sometime in the next month, three additional milestones will be reached:

  • My 2-year blogoversary! (Remember this post?)
  • 50,000 page views (not including RSS). Just a couple months behind Donal.
  • Best of all: 1,000 comments! That’s an average of 5 comments for every post (recently it’s been more like 10 per post — granted, some of those are my own!). I could be wrong, but I think this statistic might be unmatched in the universe of open-water swimming blogs. So, to my commenters, especially the frequent ones – Katie, Mike, Amanda, Adam, David, Donal, Rob, and Sully - thank you! And keep ‘em coming. I appreciate the engagement, and am gratified that you find my stuff worth reading.

Regular visitors may have noticed a few changes afoot – some new fonts, an updated theme, and alas – a new header image. Much as I loved that spectacular view of the Chicago lakefront, it no longer reflects my reality. The new header is less eye-catching, but I prefer it for a couple reasons: First, it actually shows someone swimming. Second, that swimmer happens to be me. The photo was taken as I warmed up before the USMS 10K National Championship in Noblesville, Indiana.

freshwater swimmer

For my RSS and email subscribers, there are other reasons to click over every once in a while. In the top menu, you’ll find a variety of static content to complement the dynamic content of the blog.

One recent addition is the “Explore This Site” page. It’s my attempt to go beyond conventional “categories” and “tags” in organizing my content. To help readers find the most interesting stuff at-a-glance, without having to dig, I’ve highlighted:

  • the most-commented posts (updated automatically)
  • race reports from the five 10+ mile marathon swims I’ve done
  • “featured” posts – a subjectively-chosen collection of posts that (a) I think best represent my writing, and (b) are not included in the above two categories

Next is the “Race Calendars” menu. If you’re looking for an interesting open-water swim to do, this is a good place to find one. In addition to my exclusive U.S. Marathon Swim Calendar and Midwest Open-Water Calendar, you’ll find links to 7 excellent bucket lists from Steven Munatones.

In the “Pages” menu are several unique resources you won’t find anywhere else on the interwebs:

  • a dashboard of current water temperatures in popular open-water swimming locations around the world
  • an extensive collection of swim narratives (blog posts, etc.) about some of the most famous marathon swims in the world
  • a pace table converting pool times (short-course yards and long-course meters) to approximate open-water pace
  • and – a recent addition – a bibliography of marathon swimming-relevant books (English language only, sorry about that)

Finally, a brief word on this site’s title, “Freshwater Swimmer.”

A few people have asked me (and others have probably wondered) how I can be a “freshwater swimmer” when I now live in California, and almost all my recent swims have been in saltwater. That’s a reasonable question.

I settled on Freshwater Swimmer for a few reasons:

  • At the time (obviously), I lived in the Great Lakes region of the United States.
  • Given that most American marathon swimmers live on the coasts, it seemed like one way to distinctively “brand” myself.
  • Less obviously, it was also a winking nod to the famous “freshwater vs. saltwater” debate in macroeconomics. I lived in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago – the best-known “freshwater school” – so it seemed especially appropriate.

Now, of course, the title makes considerably less sense. But I decided to keep it anyway. Regardless of where I live – now and in the future – the Midwest is where I discovered the joys of open-water swimming. I became an open-water swimmer in freshwater. I became a marathon swimmer in freshwater. I learned to swim in cold water… in freshwater. I learned to swim in rough water… in freshwater.

So Freshwater Swimmer it is – and will remain!

17 Responses to “2 years, 200 posts: An overview and history of Freshwater Swimmer”

  1. Donal

    2012-01-20T01:34:20+00:00

    Hey! We started the same time, I never realised, it’s also my 2 year this month. Happy whatever and, as we say in Ireland, more power to you.

    Reply
  2. Sully

    2012-01-20T05:58:49+00:00

    I was standing next to the photographer talking about the great sunrise when he snapped that picture. I looked out on the water and immediately recognized your stroke. We joked about you “swimming into the sunrise” instead of “riding into the sunset.” It’s a great photo – has a certain about of peace to it – unlike the start about 20 minutes later.

    Reply
  3. Katie

    2012-01-20T07:05:50+00:00

    Congratulations! I guess this is comment 2,003. Donal, apparently “More power to you” is one of the very few Irish phrases that is immediately understandable to English speakers everywhere. ;-)

    Reply
  4. Chicken O'Sea

    2012-01-20T07:35:22+00:00

    Freshwater’s a great name! Best Sydney beach, and best SLSC. Not that I’m biased because that’s where I was born :). And of course, it’s the Pacific so it’s salt water.

    Reply
  5. Evan

    2012-01-20T09:36:47+00:00

    Donal – Happy blogoversary to us! An eerie coincidence… you beat me by 2 weeks.

    Sully – I remember what I was thinking in the moment, too. Well, two things actually. (1) This water is really warm. (2) Why did I eat so much for breakfast?

    Katie – 1,003, but who’s counting?

    Chickosea – A freshwater beach that’s actually saltwater? A paradox worthy of this blog!

    Reply
  6. M. Mead

    2012-01-20T09:41:23+00:00

    I also am glad you are keeping Freshwater Swimmer. Since having moved to California it still floors me when people ask me “how did you get into open water swimming in INDIANA?!” as if the only swimable bodies of water are the oceans. I think freshwater swimming needs more attention!

    Reply
    • Evan

      2012-01-20T09:49:29+00:00

      Yes it does! At least people like your friend Dick Sidner are doing their part. When was the last time there wasn’t a USMS championship at Morse?! :)

      Reply
      • M. Mead

        2012-01-20T09:54:47+00:00

        Fo Sho…..I’ll be there again in June for 5k Nationals! Always and forever a member of the Morse Posse.

        Reply
        • Evan

          2012-01-20T10:17:17+00:00

          Excellent! But I fear no Masters swimmers will be able to keep up with you anymore. Perhaps there is a course record to go after?

          Reply
  7. Chicken O'Sea

    2012-01-20T09:58:35+00:00

    http://www.freshwaterslsc.com/

    Got in a quick visit when I was back last time :)

    Reply
    • Evan

      2012-01-20T10:17:56+00:00

      I want to go there!

      Reply
      • ViveBene

        2012-01-20T14:47:56+00:00

        Me too!
        Freshwater Swimmer is the club car for OW.
        Cheers!

        Reply
        • Evan

          2012-01-20T15:00:59+00:00

          VB, you have first-class taste, so it’s an honor to have you aboard!

          Reply
  8. Gords

    2012-01-20T10:13:23+00:00

    Good thing you’re keeping the name cause the new look and feel is “fresh”!

    Reply
    • Evan

      2012-01-20T10:20:38+00:00

      Thanks a lot, Gords! Font decisions are the most harrowing of decisions…

      Reply
  9. Chicken O'Sea

    2012-01-20T12:40:14+00:00

    If you go blue like that annoying woman on USMS I’m going to join the petulant unsubscribers

    Reply
    • Evan

      2012-01-20T12:51:43+00:00

      Blue is one thing… Blue and Comic Sans is something else entirely…

      Reply

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