Athletes share why they love diving, dancing, fishing, and boarding in water.

By Mirel Ketchiff
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There are so many ways to stay active in the water besides swimming laps. These four women share the profound ways the life aquatic can move you. Their passion will inspire you to seek out a new water-based hobby. (Related: 7 Pro Adventurers Share Why You Should Leave the Gym and Head Outside)

1. Cliff Diving

As I do a series of flips and twists midair, I have a small window to spot my entry point before I feel my feet smack into the water. Still water can feel almost like landing on concrete, whereas moving water feels soft, like diving into clouds. And then the water just envelops you. - Ellie T. Smart, pro cliff diver, founder of the Clean Cliffs Project (Not prepared to dive in head-first? Here are the best places in the world for cliff jumping.)

2. Fly Fishing

Casting upstream in smaller rivers, I look for ripples, where fish may be seeking coverage. I watch as my fly drifts down through the current, in hopes a trout will rise to it. But I spend most days up to my thighs in cool water, swinging my fly in a meditative rhythm of cast, step, fish, repeat. -April Vokey, fly-fisher and owner of Fly Gal Ventures in Canada

3. Synchronized Swimming

In the pool, the water brings fluidity to my movements. It makes me feel graceful and in control as I use my strength to synchronize precisely through the added resistance. The performance is exhausting, but from the surface, it all looks effortless.-Sarah Marie Higgins, synchronized swimmer with Aqualillies in New York City

4. Bodyboarding

As I lie belly down on a bodyboard with the wall of a crystal blue wave near my face, I can really feel and even hear the speed and the power of the water in a very intense way. The ocean is always changing, so the experience is different every time. It's addictive. -​Joana Schenker, professional bodyboarder in Portugal (Related: 4 Reasons the Cayman Islands Are the Perfect Trip for Swimmers and Water Lovers)​​

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