Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Like a caged animal....
So I mentioned previously that I recently joined a gym finally. Well it certainly wasn't the gym of my choice, but it was the gym I could afford. And let me tell you, finding some place to swim on a shoestring budget is not easy. And you have to give up A LOT. Like cleanliness.
I went with the local family oriented, scholarships and discount rates for everyone, pee in the pool establishment. Awesome. And should someone who is connected with this national string of fitness establishments stumble across, I hope they will take heed.
Where do I start. How about the locker room. Okay, the "Women's" locker room doesn't even have bathrooms, or showers, or its own door to the pool. But if you'll go through the adjoining door to the Girl's locker room you will find all this amenities. Oh, and there's only maybe 50 lockers to be had in this bathroom free locker room. So if you are lucky enough to find an open locker, and make your way through the adjacent child filled Girl's locker room, you are blessed with the newly remodeled pool. Uh-huh. When I think remodeled I think clean, new, improved. If that is the case here, I am terrified to think what the old one was like. Ick, ick, DOUBLE ICK!!
Through the locker rooms, into the pool, now to find a lane. At one end of the pool there is 8 starting blocks, count 'em people, 8. But somehow the pool is only divided into 4 lanes MAX, even at the busiest of times. In fact on multiple occasions there is only 2 lap swim lanes because there needs to be at least half of the pool for saggy swimsuited old foggies and pool peeing kids. But should you be lucky enough to be 3-5 of the people crammed into one of the lanes, you can now submerge yourself and put your face into the same water that has random floaters and what seems to be dirt and or mold stuck into every grouted surface. Sweet.
Now let me back up here. I purposely wear my glasses, not contacts, when I head to the pool to swim. Usually its to make me rely less on track the bottom of the pool and more on spotting the things around me (hey, visible is far from great in the open water segment of a tri). But here, at my new swimmin' hole, I keep hoping that if I can't see I won't be able to notice all of the ick floating in the water. But there are soooo many and some of them are so big and nasty, even blind, I still see them!!! Yuck, yuck, DOUBLE YUCK!!
So let's say I am lucky enough to stumble across Adult Lap Swim. Please note, I said Adult Lap Swim, because that is what the schedule specifically says. It even qualifies this as continuous lap swimming and that no other activities will be allowed. Sweet!! I mentioned that there are at best 4 lanes designated in the 8 lane pool. What they failed to mention, is that during Adult Lap Swim, it is perfectly acceptable to walk or bounce in a lane. I'm sorry, what? Since when is bouncing in place or walking til the shallow end drops off continuous lap swimming??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!! In fact this morning, the lifeguard went as far as to tell me, the swimmer, that maybe if I ask nicely the water walkers will let me swim in their lane. uh huh. I'll get right on that. So, in this instance, I did, and those blue haired saggy suited water walkers were none to happy when I would "splash" them as I swam by during Adult Lap Swim (and ps, I stopped kicking every time I was in the vicinity of them and merely pulled, but even my hand entering the water was too disruptive to them).
So I've made my way into a lane with, on a good day, 2 other swimmers. I've left my gag reflex and contacts at home. Its time to swim. We're circling each other like caged animals. But I love it. As I crank out my couple thousand yards, maybe with a twist of kickboard time or a pinch of pullboy time, I love it. I love the mind numbing laps. The monotony. The feeling of having been there a time or two or seventy before. Its awesome. I swim until my arms ache. And then I wake up at 5am the next day and I do it again.