Pam LeBlanc jumps off a swim platform at Bamberger Ranch Preserve, a private ranch near Johnson City. Chris LeBlanc photo

I swim laps in a neighborhood pool four or five times a week, crunching out about 2 miles each time.

I swim with a team, so a coach stands on the edge of the pool and barks orders. That keeps me motivated.

I do it because I love the way water feels on my skin, and I love pushing myself. Bonus? It keeps me fit. I’m 57 years old, and I’ve been doing it regularly for the past 30 or so years.

Who knows what lurks beneath the surface? Photo by Chris LeBlanc

But you know what’s better than swimming in a cement pond? Swimming in a lake, pond or river. Here are my ten top reasons why:

  1. Swimming pools are chlorinated. Remember when you were a kid, and you swam without goggles for so long that your eyes turned red and burned? That doesn’t happen in the wild.
  2. Some people freak out that they might touch a fish. I love spying on marine life (including sharks). That’s why scuba diving is one of my favorite hobbies.
  3. Skinny dipping is generally frowned upon in public pools. But jump in a lake and either nobody knows your naked, or nobody cares. Just find your own private corner to take your dip.

Pam LeBlanc sits beneath the spillway at Blanco State Park. Chris LeBlanc photo

4. No lane lines mean swimming in a pond doesn’t feel like a workout. It’s just for fun.

5. Fewer people. Last summer, my swim team was shut down for a few months due to the pandemic. A friend had access to a cove on Lake Austin, and we met there once a week to swim. Nobody else was out there at 7 a.m.

6. I’d rather look up from a swim to see a bunch of trees than a parking lot.

A leaning tree in the San Marcos River makes a good launch pad. Jimmy Harvey photo

7. Fewer flip turns. Generally speaking, you’ve got more room to swim in a river, lake or pond than a pool. That means you can swim a long way before you must turn around.

8. Some ponds and lakes come with swim platforms! That’s the ultimate.

9. Often, you can’t see the bottom of a lake. I find that appealing. Who knows what’s down there?

10. It’s an adventure, and I’m all about adventure.

About Pam

I’m Pam LeBlanc. Follow my blog to keep up with the best in outdoor travel and adventure. Thanks for visiting my site.

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