Meet Angela Stockard: Odyssey Open Water Swimmer Profile
“The team at Odyssey is supportive, friendly, and helpful. The positive low key vibe makes swimming with them a good experience.” -- Angela Stockard
Angela Stockard began swimming in the open water because it’s a necessary part of triathlons. However, she says, “I enjoy the challenge and freedom of open water swimming,” and mentions that it’s “rewarding when I look at the bodies of water that I have swum in.”
Angela has turned necessity into a hobby, and has participated in more Odyssey swims than she can count.
“I spent the majority of the 2018 triathlon season swimming with Odyssey so I could prepare for Escape From Alcatraz and Wildflower. I was motivated to attend the weekly swim due to a bad swim during a half Ironman that I did in 2017. I realized pool swimming is not enough to get you through a triathlon swim since the conditions can change so quickly.”
Out of the Water
When Angela isn’t in the open water, she’s cycling or running. “I've been doing triathlons for five years so if I'm not swimming, then I'm doing the other two disciplines or sadly, pool swimming,” says Angela.
Why Swim with Odyssey?
Anyone can go into the San Francisco Bay for a swim, but Odyssey Open Water Swimming offers an opportunity to join an organized, friendly group of swimmers for a safe adventure in the Bay. When asked why she swims with Odyssey, Angela says, “The positive low key vibe makes swimming with them a good experience.”
“If it's your first time open water swimming, you'll receive some tips on what to do and are encouraged to swim what feels comfortable. The biggest selling point for me is having kayakers and sometimes a boat out on the water watching over the swimmers for safety. Open water swimming can be intimidating so knowing someone is watching helps with feeling safe. Also, the buoy selfie is a fun incentive to swim further.”
Tips for Fellow Swimmers
Angela shared the following tips for fellow open water swimmers new and experienced:
Don’t “wing it” during a swimming event -- prepare
Understand that open water swimming is a different skill from pool swimming
Consistency reduces the anxiety and foreignness of open water swimming
Take pride in your willingness and ability to swim in the Bay
Enjoy the views of the bay, especially during the summer months and Tuesday evening sunset swims
Most importantly, have fun!
The Best Swim of Her Life
The best swim of Angela’s life was the 2018 Escape from Alcatraz swim.
“It was the first time I completed an Alcatraz crossing unassisted. I was freaking out (in a good way) the whole time because as I passed every sighting marker, I couldn't believe I was getting closer to shore. Once I made it to the beach, I was so excited the race could have ended right then and I would have been okay with that.”
She also reflects positively on her swim during the Ironman 70.3 in Santa Cruz, which was her first 70.3. “It was the first time I swam a longer distance and I watched the sunrise while swimming,” says Angela.
Goals Going Forward
As an athlete, Angela Stockard still has much she wants to accomplish, including:
Run a marathon
Complete an Ironman
Swim the Bridge to Bridge swim
Bike and camp down the coast
“The bay is a safe and beautiful space to swim in,” says Angela. While there are risks to open water swimming, they can be reduced by swimming with support. We recommend never swimming alone in the open water. Bring a buddy and/or kayak support.
We would like to thank Angela Stockard for bringing her positive attitude and friendly demeanor to so many of our swims.
Are you ready to join Angela and other Odyssey Open Water Swimming swimmers for an adventure? Join a weekly Berkeley swim. Learn more and register here: https://www.odysseyopenwater.com/berkeley