Lake Swim

Today we had a joint open water swim with another Tri Zones training group (the two morning groups combined; we’ll do it again next week on our regular training day, Wednesday). I brought all my wetsuit gear because I wasn’t sure what my task would be and how much just sitting in the water I’d do and how cold the water might be.

It turned out to be a wonderful day to swim.

The Beauty of Open Water Swimming

The water was brisk at first but PERFECT swimming temperature once I got moving (no need for the wetsuit). I was a “swim angel,” so I paddled around with 3–4 styrofoam noodles, calming nerves and assisting the less able swimmers. It is horrible swimming with a noodle; Coach Jen was in a kayak and, after the first loop, she graciously stopped by the shore to dig my fins out of my swim bag so I could zip up and down the group with ease.

Swimming with a group of newbies always make me thankful for my comfort in the water. I’m not the best swimmer in the world, but I am very proficient and entirely comfortable, which makes up for any lack in the speed department. And I actually love to swim in open water. Something about it makes me go to a zen place and that makes me feel fabulous. No fussy lane lines, just getting from one place to another as best I can.

I guess that is kind of like trail running…instead of a homogenous track or road, you can only run what the trail allows.

It also take me back to growing up in Austin. One of our favorite things to do back in the teenage years was to pile everybody in a car, pack some snacks (and usually some beer…legal drinking age was 18 back in those days), and head out to some body of water somewhere for the day. Windy Point was a favorite. We also used to go to a friend’s lake house on Canyon Lake and water ski. Tubing in San Marcos and New Braunfels.

When I was a little kid, we visited my grandparents in southern Illinois; they had a big stock pond on their farm, and my brothers, cousins, and I would spend all day swimming, fishing, and paddling around in Pa’s old boat.

I love the feeling of being in the lake and having sunshine on my shoulders. And a swim makes everything in my body feel good.

Tracy also let me try out her kayak. I’d never been in a kayak and boy, did I LOVE it. It just feels like an extension of you, zipping along the water. I’d love to do more of that.

I swam a loop on my own after the group left as she pulled up the Tri Zones buoy. I could’ve done a lot more but there were things to do during the day, so I reluctantly left around 1:00.

We agreed that we needed to plan better and bring a picnic so we could hang out after these open water swims.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

2 thoughts on “Lake Swim

  1. I\’ve been meaning to reply to this for forever, but Cathy\’s FB post reminded me, if you ever want to play around with a kayak, Pure Austin at Quarry Lake has 3-4 kayaks that you can use for free as a member, and every few weeks they have Bring A Friend Wednesdays, and I\’d be happy to take you out there so you could paddle about while we swim. I love kayaking (even if it feels unnatural to type), and did quite a bit of it after my shoulder surgery to get back up to speed.

    1. Hey, thanks. That is so sweet of you to offer.

      I am actually looking hard at changing over from my membership at the Y to Pure Austin. The Splash & Dash the other night really brought home to me how much I\’d use the quarry (and love doing it), plus they have so many classes that appeal to me and work into my schedule. A friend invited me to come out next Wednesday to the Bring a Friend night, so I\’m taking her up on swimming that evening. Maybe I\’ll see you there!

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