An adult taking lessons in a community swimming pool.
You have finished taking swimming pool lessons and you want to try other bodies of fresh water adventures. Swimming in a pool teaches us not to fear water. It provides a structured environment for studying and practicing strokes and kicks. We learn how to propel above and under the water. We float on water as easily as lying down on a bed to relieve tiredness or to relax with the gentle rocking motion. It is a secure environment in which to study, practice, and build up our self-esteem and self-confidence.
There are many pleasures swimming in a pool. But when the pool becomes more crowded than we wish our adventuresome self is ready to explore other options.
These options include open waters of ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Nature’s ponds and lakes invite our swim-suit bodies to jump in and cool off from the summer heat. This is a lot of fun, but there are common sense rules to follow.
Wear appropriate body wear. For instance, wearing a stringed bikini is not a strong garment if you find your body snagged by weeds, grasses, fishing lines, and drifting tree branches. Lake water has the temperament to create wind blown choppy waters that may rip away the bikini top.
1. Ponds and lakes have water critters. Check with your local and state departments asking if they have conducted bacteria studies and other safety measures to guard against infections or hazards in the pond or a lake you are considering using. The state monitors a local natural springs site in our area. If you leave this safe area and swim downstream towards the river there is trouble. The stream welcomes fish, turtles, water moccasins, and alligators.
All ponds and lakes have microscopic life, plants, and animal life. Wear goggles to shield your eyes and do not breathe or swallow water to prevent bacterial infections. Bathe after being in these waters. I experienced one lake which had a soft boggy bottom; I recommend wearing lightweight shoes to protect feet from wood splinters, cracked glass, rusty metal, and other unsafe objects.
Swimming in ponds and lakes is a wonderful experience, think safety factors before entering these waters.
2. Rivers present the calmness of ponds yet may change into rough or fast-flowing waters demanding a unique challenge to swimming strokes. Check all safety factors similar to ponds and lakes. There are other things to deal with such as, Is there a waterfall or rapid waters section or other known peculiarities?
Sight a tall object to know of your whereabouts.
3. Oceans present different challenges. I recommend swimming in view of a lifeguard station. Swim in a straight line parallel to the shoreline. The life guard station acts as a marker for sighting to avoid getting lost.
Your swimming strokes will be a bit out of rhythm and irregular to swim in rough water or surviving a wave which may hit your body or slap you across the face. We need powerful arms and leg kicks for salt water propelling. Breathe when you can and remain relaxed but prepared for the unexpected. Swim with the wave, not against it. Salt can be an irritant to eyes; wear goggles.
As a child they instructed me to never turn my back to the ocean. Till today, I continue to follow this rule. The reason for this rule is to be aware of wave patterns to avoid unforeseen and unpleasant wave battering.
We can swim in any waters giving you a refreshing sport hobby. Safety first, relax, and have fun.
Tips to safely swim with waves
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