Why do we proselytize?

edited January 15 in General Discussion
For years I have wondered why people proselytize so hard for a given recreational activity. I've seen it in track, racewalking, ultrarunning, (shorter distance) OW swimming and now for marathon swimming. I am as "guilty" of this as anyone, if not more so, but have never really been able to ascribe a motovating reason for my "John the Baptist" activities.

So why do we push so hard to get people to embrace marathon swimming?

-LBJ
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot

Comments

  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    Because crazy people feel less crazy if there are more people around to share in the insane. :-)
  • I fell in with a bad crowd at Sandycove. It's akin to a cult.
  • I don't push my religion on others, but when you enjoy and love something so much I can see the desire to share it with others.
  • flystormsflystorms Dallas/Ft Worth, TXMember
    edited January 15
    I've been in ultrarunning through the years and they have a wide swing in the passions of its membership as well. I just enjoy the people who are passionate, but reasonable, y'know? I've seen it in running (and here too, truthfully) where people get so wrapped up in the sanctity of the sport, they end up putting off new folks who want to get started. It can be intimidating. Thankfully, these are outliers for the most part. There's so much great information and people out here. Thanks for letting us newbies learn from you.
  • For years I have wondered why people proselytize so hard for a given recreational activity.

    Hopefully I save someone a lookup:

    pros·e·lyt·ize:

    verb: convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.

  • If you like something , you want to share it.( except chocolate cake)
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • I don't think I proselytize (my new favorite word...) but I do love and talk about swimming a lot...I go for the subliminal approach. I have friends ask what's up other than swimming because that's the only thing going on according to Facebook...but in the same breath, tell me how they just ran their first 5K or started swimming again!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    LBJ, can you share an example of yours or others' proselytizing activities?
  • I can... if I may usurp LJ here...( we are battling to upend KThrosby for the most arcane words)
    Whenever I see a swimmer who seeks a challenge... I proselytize about longer swims... I have a someone I coached this summer for an Alc swim, who has now trained for his first 10 k .... and I sent him the link for CS&PF.... nudge nudge.
    When I coach, I proselytize about swimming with out a wetsuit and %95 of my students at least TRY a swim with out a wetsuit. When guests come to the DC, I proselytize about swimming with out a wetsuit and when the time is right about trying something longer.I proselytize about the health and social benefits of swimming. In fact.. I am a pretty boring conversationalist.... it's all about swimming.I bet you can start ANY conversation w me and it will end up being about swimming,( or food but that's another thread)
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • evmo said:

    LBJ, can you share an example of yours or others' proselytizing activities?

    I constantly talk to people at the pools I swim at about trying open water swimming by going to low-key (shorter) races. So far I have 3 people that have promised to go to the "Beware of Barracuda" race in Hazleton, PA this August.
    One of the women swimmers has a teenage daughter who is a very good swimmer (as is her mom), but won't compete because the atmosphere of pool meets is too intense. I have been trying to convince her that OW is totally different.
    Etc, etc, etc.

    I admit that one reason I do this is that, good ultra-liberal that I am, I want to get people invested in having clean water so that the next time a George W. Bush-type tries to cut the Clean Water Act regulations, there are more voices and voters to tell him to put it where the sun don't shine.

    However, that is not the driving force - as I said, I haven't puzzled that out yet.

    -LBJ

    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • I think that most people who proselytize do so with good intentions, because they think they have figured out the "best" thing for their life, so they want to share it with others. Whether it be Jesus Christ, Crossfit, jammers over briefs, triathlon, most people have their thing.

    I try not to do it too much. I know that my interests are wierd (even triathletes think I'm nuts), and that not many people are likely to be interested in my x hour swim with just me and my kayaker around to watch. That said, if people ask my take on Diana Nyad, or if I wear a wetsuit when I swim, I'll give them my opinion. If someone is interested in swimming a 25k, I'll give them my opinion on how to work up to it. But, I'm not going to be that forward about how marathon swimming is a much bigger challenge than a triathlon, because it's an opinion I can't prove, and triathletes don't seem to be open to much advice, anyway.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I don't proselytize marathon swimming. I can't find many people who think I'm not crazy when I tell them what marathon swimming is.

    I do, however, proselytize skin swimming to my triathletes I coach. I'm not nice to them about it either; I tend to call them names, or tell them instead of spending $500 on a wetsuit, spend it on your kids/wife/husband, etc. Or ice cream.
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    I don't do anything I can't pronounce. But please hold back people. Swim the Suck filled last year before I could even decide whether I'd do it.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited January 15
    IronMike said:

    I do, however, proselytize skin swimming to my triathletes I coach. I'm not nice to them about it either; I tend to call them names, or tell them instead of spending $500 on a wetsuit, spend it on your kids/wife/husband, etc. Or ice cream.

    As long as you do it in a pithily way.

    We not only get educated in things concerning OWS here but as you can see we learn (to use) new words. :D pithy
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • IronMike said:

    I do, however, proselytize skin swimming to my triathletes I coach. I'm not nice to them about it either; I tend to call them names, or tell them instead of spending $500 on a wetsuit, spend it on your kids/wife/husband, etc. Or ice cream.

    If someone is a competitive triathlete, I can understand why they would want to race in a wetsuit. Given the free speed available, if you are entering a race to try and win your entry fee back, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage to not use a suit if everyone else you are competing against is also using a suit.

    But, if you are just a scrub age grouper looking to finish, you look silly giving yourself a panic attack in 78 degree water because you felt the need to look cool.

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @timsroot, I mostly chastise my triathletes when they say they cannot do a 2-mile OW swim in 72 degree water w/o a wetsuit. I understand the speed benefits of wearing it in a tri, and since they don't differentiate skins vs suits, might as well wear one in the tri. But I still hate them.
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    There are 2 possibilities:

    1) I think everyone around me is so stupid that they couldn't come to the conclusion on their own that marathon swimming is quite simply the most god-like activity a person could be engaged in.
    2) I'm so stupid that I think people couldn't come to the conclusion on their own that marathon swimming is quite simply the most god-like activity a person could be engaged in.
  • @IronMike - Understandable, and I agree with the sentiment. My years as a cyclist led me to giving up trying to lend advice to triathletes.
  • For me there a a few levels of proselytizing:

    Audience.....................Message
    Non swimmer.................."Swim!"
    Pool Swimmer.................."Swim in the Ocean!"
    Open Water Swimmer......."Bodysurf, Surf, and/or Spearfish with me!"

    Now why do I do it? Probably for a little bit of all the reasons mentioned above, but for the most part, its just damn fun to be in the water with your friends!
  • Bodysurf when it's too rough to swim! The damage iv taken from that pursuit.
  • @timsroot Im pretty new to tris (4 years) and even newer to OW, mostly those in the tris I have done, some local lakes and the ocean when on vacay but nothing more organized. Bigger plans this year!
    I share a tumblr with a bunch of like minded tri-nuts. Most of them are runners, some bikers but none are swimmers first and foremost. I think, to the tri masses and I used to be one of them. The swim leg is the ugly step child of the tri world. A necessary evil to endure but with the thought that, the relatively few minutes, I might lose on the swim can be made up for on the bike and/or definitely the run.

    Fellow tri-ers, if they are allowed, all wear wetsuits for the imagined advantage. If you can not swim in the first place, having more buoyancy aint gonna help diddly squat. Get in that pool/lake/ocean!

    In my group, I am the nutter banging the swimming drum, calling for longer swim legs to even things out. I am recently converted so, like a new ex-smoker, Im the most annoying proselytizer of them all.
    I announced the completion of my first non-stop pool, 5K over the weekend to friends.
    'Why would you do that?'
    'For the same reason, you were out in 40F weather cycling 60 miles last weekend. Cos its a challenge and its there! And to my mind, more of a challenge!'
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