After nine months of crowded pools, returning to outdoor swimming in a lake or ocean is like liberating a lab rat. There’s so much freedom without having to follow that black tiled line beneath you or worry whether the angry Masters swimmer is going to start slapping your foot at any second. So give yourself the time and the space to lengthen your stroke, and start to listen for a more natural rhythm that can emerge when you’re not worried about people in front or behind you, or hitting a lane line. There’s a natural one-to-three, one-to-three movement in the front crawl, just like, Yep, you guessed it, the waltz!
Personally, I’m happy to not have to do flip turns every 15 seconds or so. However, I realized that I do miss the fun of flipping around underneath the water. After you build up a nice rhythm or speed in the open water, try an unexpected flip turn where instead of pushing off a wall behind you, let your legs slap the water and you decide which direction to go in next.
And to get you started, here are a couple of swimming holes in upstate New York that will be sure to make your summer officially enjoyable.
Stony Kill Falls– a small swimming hole with the amazing distinction of being at the bottom of an 87 foot waterfall. If you keep following the winding river uphill, you can find many more pools and cascades. Stony Kill Falls is located in the town of Wawarsing, on the northwestern edge of the Minnewaska Preserve. Here’s a video, albeit in the off-season.
Croton Beach Point – not too far north of the city in Croton on Hudson. A County beach that is accessible for nonresidents on the beautiful, wide Hudson River.