Monday Masters: Split Tempo for Open Water Swimming

Pool swimming is controlled. Open water swimming is not. Current Photo via Mike Lewis/Ola Vista Photography

From SwimSwam

Courtesy of Eney Jones

“If you don’t own the ocean, you’ll be seasick everyday” Leonard Cohen

Eureka!

My best ideas usually come submerged in water. The same experience Archimedes had when he screamed “Eureka!” (Greek “εὕρηκα!,” meaning “I have found it!”).

The story of Archimedes tells of how he invented a method for determining the volume of an object with an irregular shape. According to Vitrivius, a crown had been made for King Hiero II, who had supplied the pure gold to be used, and Archimedes was asked to determine whether some silver had been substituted by the dishonest goldsmith. Archimedes had to solve the problem without damaging the crown, so he could not melt it down into a regularly shaped body in order to calculate its density.

While taking a bath, he noticed that the level of the water in the tub rose as he got in, and realized that this effect could be used to determine the volume of the crown. For practical purposes water is incompressible so the submerged crown would displace an amount of water equal to its own volume. By dividing the mass of the crown by the volume of water displaced, the density of the crown could be obtained. This density would be lower than that of gold if cheaper and less dense metals had been added. Archimedes then took to the streets naked, so excited by his discovery that he had forgotten to dress and screamed “Eureka!”. The test was conducted successfully, proving that silver had indeed been mixed in.

Pool swimming is controlled. Open water swimming is not. There are many variables which are for the most part, uncontrolled. Water and air are two different elements, with two different densities, thus creating many choices. How can you respond to these choices rather than react?

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