MATT WROCK, Capistrano Beach
I was reading Jake Howard’s article “Surf Your Best This Year,” and while I fully agree with all of his cross-training suggestions in the pool and yoga studio, I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that here we are in Dana Point, and we live alongside one of the most beautiful pools one could dream of swimming in.
For almost three years, I have been swimming about 1.75 miles a few times a week at Strands. In late May of 2020, the gyms had been closed for a few months for COVID-19, and I was reading—in the Dana Point Times, of course—that the local water temperature was about 68 degrees.
It dawned on me that my full-body workout is about 15 minutes away! I literally grew up at Strands and feel comfortable in those waters. So, I drove down, got in the water and swam about half a mile. I have been hooked ever since.
I have seen tons of fish. I have seen dolphins and seals literally right in front of me. The beach may get crowded, but there is never a crowd past the surf line.
Years ago, I swam in a pool a couple days a week, and that was a great workout, but this is totally different. In the ocean, every day is different. It is a dynamic and living body of water.
When winter came, I just kept swimming. I personally “trunk it” without a wetsuit, but most will likely want to wear one when the water gets into the low 60s. There are swimmers here at all times of the year. It is such a lovely way to both get in a workout and be refreshed by nature.
It is honestly difficult to articulate the value I have found in this activity. This year, I started bringing a small camera into the water with me and started a photo blog covering every swim at danastrandswimreport.com/.
When I used to swim in a pool, it was always frustrating having to wait for a lane when they were all full. Well, the lanes are always open here at the beach!