By Mike Gustafson//Contributor | Wednesday, July 12, 2017
The commencement of humid, muggy July means one thing: Millions of humid, muggy humans will migrate from land to sea, from backyards to beaches. All those pristine outdoor swimming spots you once enjoyed? Kiss them goodbye. Thousands will flock to your ancient watering holes, shorelines, lakeside beaches in search of cooling off, in search of water games, in search of summertime fun. Including your non-swimming, non-chlorinated friends.
That’s right, swimmers. It’s swim season.
(Wait. Isn’t every season swim season?!)
While the last thing a water-logged, chlorinated swimmer wants to hear from other friends is, “Let’s go swimming!” you will probably go along with friends to the beach, pool, or lake. Summer is, after all, for swimming. You can only evade those non-swimming, pool-venturing friends so long. Sometimes, you will just have to go swimming with your non-swimmer friends, the ones who know not the slings and arrows of 6am July wake-up alarm clocks.
Then, a decision is made: Where to swim?
The beach or the pool?
Admittedly, I have always preferred the turbulent currents and wild escape of large, non-chlorinated bodies of water. But there’s an argument to be made, at least for the average competitive swimmer, that the beach (or lake, or river) may not be superior to the chlorinated confine where you spend every waking minute of your life.
Here’s are 7 Reasons Why The Pool Beats the Beach:
1. As a swimmer, you’re King of the Pool.
In the summer, I spent the entire day at practice or swimming in lakes, rivers, or more pools. Why? I loved water. And when you love water and swim for sport, you’re an heir of Poseidon. Meaning, you’re more comfortable around water than any other non-swimming friends. It’s like if your ballerina friend wants to go dancing. At the pool, you’re basically in charge.
2. If you’re already at the pool, getting to afternoon practice is pretty easy.
All good daytime swim trips must end; if you’re already at the pool, getting to the pool is, uh, very easy.
3. Sweet, sweet chemical clarity.
Some beaches in this world are beautiful: Clean, open, unexplored. Many other beaches in this world are covered: With humans, and what humans leave behind in the water. (Yep.) Sometimes, especially when scanning any crowded, warm-water seaside, I’m thankful for the occasional diluted disinfectant like chlorine.
4. Hot concrete is not as hot as scorching sand.
I have been on sand that has blistered my feet. It was so hot, I couldn’t walk. But I’ve never been around a pool with the same kind of heat.
5. Racing non-swimming friends.
Let’s face it: Any time you swim with your non-swimming friends, a race will occur. Some football player will say, “C’mon, let’s race, swimmer!” So you race. And when you race in a pool — “Let’s go down and back, ok?” — nailing that flip turn and dominating that football player feels so, so good.
6. At the pool, you can actually see underwater.
In lakes or rivers or the ocean, underwater, it’s hard to see. Sometimes this is great; sometimes, especially when playing around, you want to dive underwater and blow air bubbles, handstand contests, dive for rings, and play every other underwater pool game. Here, the pool is again superior.
7. Diving boards.
The great separator between the beach and a pool? Diving boards. Belly-flops. Cannonballs. Every long, sun-kissed day at the water isn’t the same without some diving board action.
Are there as many, or more, arguments countering that the beach is better than the pool?
Yes, of course.
But for the purposes of the competitive swimmer, sometimes spending another few hours at the pool really ain’t so bad.