Social Swimming

Many people think swimming isn’t a social sport. It’s easy to think that as one’s head is mostly in the water.

To the contrary as any swimmer knows, swimming is very social. The short periods of times between sets or intervals can be filled with intense conversation on a wide range of topics. Some topics appropriate for this blog and perhaps others are best left in the water. Often times I think as speedo clad bodies pass each other in the lane we communicate telepathically with one another.

Post my 20 Bridges (swim around Manhattan) training regime I was compelled to ramp up my “social game”.  I lingered on the pool deck chatting before getting in and wasn’t quick to get out of the water after practice.

From an open water perspective I  also allowed myself to enjoy the social side of a very special community of swimmers at Pam’s Pond.  Most people in the Boston Metro-West area know this body of water as Lake Cochituate. To us it is named after the doyenne of the lake~Pam.  Her house sits on the lake with an easy pathway to the water. The patio area has three outdoor showers with soap and shampoo and a hot tub to relax in post swim-its perfect.

It’s a great group of swimmers of all ages, speeds and abilities that all enjoy the water, swimming and each others company.  The weekend start times are “soft times” meaning if you show up 15 minutes after the appointed time you aren’t late. In fact, the chances are great everyone is still sitting and chatting.

It’s a good sized lake but feels smaller as “regulars” have named all the points the group swims to after some distinguishing feature or a play on words of its real name.  My favorite is Booty Island. At each stop there is an animated conversation about the water temp. Sometimes it’s a short rest stop and other times it lingers.

(generally the first stop on the swim)

(always shenanigans at Sax beach šŸ˜‰)

(Dead is always fun)

After a Pam’s Pond swim I always feel like I got a workout and was socially engaged.  Pam has built a wonderful community of swimmers and I am fortunate to be part of this  group.

Yes, swimming seems solitary and sometimes it definitely is but…it is also quite social. Sometimes the socialization is verbal and other times it’s non-verbal but in both cases swimmers share a sense of joy of being (or pain) in the water with each other.

(Pam’s 11th Labor Day Jubliee swim track)

*Pics courtesy of Laurie



  1. I was a regular until I moved to ATL in 2018.
    I miss the open water swimming and general camaraderie.
    I was always cold, so I don’t miss the north.
    It is fun to see the faces and fun.


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