Is there any correlation between Introversion and long distance swimming?

EDIT: when I look at my list of potential future subjects, after I’d written this, I began to think I had a few subjects that I might consider Big Questions. This is the first.

Much of this is true for me (maybe 90% +). I wonder how well it correlates with distance swimmers as a group (not sprinters!). From here. I imagine introvert’s ability to be alone within their own heads is an advantage, and part of the reason we struggle to explain distance to others. When people ask about the “boredom”, it never occurs to me explain how my mind works. I sometimes might try to break down why it isn’t boring but I never get anywhere. Those who are already distance swimmers already understand and have their own mental strategies.  Though I think the figure of 25% as introverts is wrong. My reading has always shown around 40% are introverts.

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends in low numbers. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race.


5 thoughts on “Is there any correlation between Introversion and long distance swimming?

  1. Introverts are not thrill seekers…

    Well, no. I suppose they’re not in general. But do you think that maybe, just maybe, swimming with sharks and tankers and jellyfish and in the dark and risking hypothermia and so on might, just maybe, have a LEETLE bit of a thrill seeking/adrenaline fix component?

    I know for myself (and I am an introvert) I do get a big ole rush from getting in the water at the start of a swim.


    • I haven’t even reread it to be honest. I’d probably phrase it differently now, as I’m certainly introverted, and amongst the things I have very occasionally done is swim straight out from shore and I do like testing the limits of the rough water I can swim through the caves and sea stacks. But I do it with less of a “what will happen?” attitude and more of an “ok, I’ve worked out that I can handle this and this” kind of calculated approach.

      But adrenaline is short term thing, as opposed to a long swim where adrenaline might not be the best thing in the maintenance of swimming composure. I can think of only one incident swimming this year where I was swimming thought a coast section I call The Canyon, when a wall of water came straight at me through, well, a canyon of rock, and the only way out was to get through it. That was fun.


  2. Pingback: The Global Swimming Crisis – The Invisible Threat To Humanity’s Future | LoneSwimmer

  3. Hi,

    I was wondering if there was a way of contacting you directly without posting a comment relating to a story? I’ve been following your blog for sometime now and would love to meet up and have a chat about a project i have in mind. I understand you’re in the Dungarvan area, and i found this website after seeing a sign on a car parked down by the lookout in Dungarvan when i lived there not so long ago.

    I’d love to be able to get in touch directly and maybe have a chat.


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