Everyone knows that’s how you get famous

In Featured Home Page News, New South Wales

Under the guise of expressionism, super-marketer Nigel Marsh is promoting his book, and general old-person nudity, in the inaugural naked 900m ocean swim Sydney Skinny on Sunday February 17. See Nigel’s very popular Ted Talk here.

From the smh.com.au

“FOR most women of a certain age, skinny dipping is something best done when young, in the dark or in the presence of loved ones.

And it is definitely best done in the absence of bluebottles and strange men.

But 12 members of a women’s running group, the Coogee Cougars, are about to step out of their comfort zones and bathers for the Sydney Skinny, the world’s first nude ocean swim for men and women.

”It is certainly outside my comfort zone,” said Jo Davison, 43, who’ll be dropping her bathers on the shoreline of Cobblers Beach on Middle Head to join another 190 participants as they swim 900 metres on Sunday, February 17.

It may not be the longest ocean swim but it is the only nude swim on the list of about 350 official ocean swims taking place in Australia and New Zealand this year.

Ocean swimming is one of the fastest growing participation sports in the world. Sunday’s Cole Classic, sponsored by Fairfax Media, which is expected to attract about 3753 swimmers, is one of 19 official ocean swims this month.

Ms Davison, an experienced ocean swimmer who has done the Cole, the Glass Island Challenge and the Bondi Roughwater, said it was important to challenge herself to do something new. The Skinny was also a chance for women from her group to celebrate their bodies, warts and all.

”It’s a celebration of accepting the good bits, the bad bits and things we can do,” said Ms Davison. She started the Coogee Cougars running group that now includes 150 women (and some of their daughters) ranging from their late 30s to their 60s. Among them, they have 500 children.

”Taking our clothes off is an expression of acceptance,” said Ms Davison. ”It says ‘this is my body, and I am grateful for all that it has done’.”

The idea of a nude ocean swim was dreamt up by Nigel Marsh, the author of Fit, Fifty and Fired-Up. He sees the swim as an annual opportunity to throw aside concerns of body image, to connect with nature and celebrate as a community.

It was not an event for nudists, he said, but a chance for people who wouldn’t normally get naked to try something new.

Mr Marsh said he had a ”bit of a life change” more than 10 years ago when he did the Bondi to Bronte ocean swim. He used that event to determine ”to be a better man and to be better husband”.

Mr Marsh now has a convert’s zeal about the power of life-defining events that take people out of their comfort zones. ”Enormous benefits can come when you do. That’s where the magic comes – when you get out of your comfort zone.”

While a nude ocean swim wasn’t on Heidi Froehling’s bucket list, she said she liked to do things that scared her. ”I’ve never done an ocean swim, so the combination of the ocean swimming with bits dangling is a bit scary.”

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