I saw a great post recently about how the best learners learn and how we can all improve our ability to learn.
The full article is here – 25 Things Skilled Learners Do Differently – and I advise you to read it all (and if possible adopt some of the tricks into your life).
However, while reading it, it occurred to me that open water swimming can and does help with may of those elements that skilled learners do better.
– Meta learning (point 1 in the article) – developing, honing, updating, accessing our own training plans definitely fits here.
– Working with others (points 2, 11, 22) – the open water swimming community is all about asking (and answering) questions, offering pointers to others and sharing our knowledge – Was it rough? Which route did you take? What’s that drink you use?
– Curiosity and new things (6, 17) – for many open water swimming is the new thing, but on top of that one of the joys of open water swimming is that it is always different, there is always new scenery to look at, new swims to do or just new people to meet and stories to hear.
– Objectives (24) – I want to swim from here, to there – you can’t get a much clearer objective than that.
– Living with uncertainty – I know what my objective is, but I will never know what the conditions will be like until I’m swimming. As an open water swimmer life is always uncertain, if I wanted certainty I would have stayed in the pool!
I don’t know whether people who are naturally more skilled learners gravitate towards open water swimming, or the nature of open water swimming can make people more skilled learners – but there is clearly a link and clearly a business benefit!