I’m back! Not necessarily better than ever, but I’m out of the hole I felt like I was in, and am pushing forward. All is good. So…what better way to re-start than take a swim in my other home pool (my real home pool is closed until next May)? Good for the spirit and the body.
It wasn’t too long ago when I made that initial call to reserve my lane at the “Y.”
This new normal of swims came with strict rules, of course, starting with those questions – like – “have you traveled outside of the United States in the past 14 days?”
Then came the temperature check and the wait in the hallway until the group is allowed in. Just like cattle, you are herded into the pool area where you place your “stuff” on a chair that is a safe distance from the others. But if you picked the Lane 3 Chair, you swim in Lane 3, and so on.
At exactly 45 minutes after the hour, in you go! This leaves very little time for stretching and “getting used to the water” – probably my biggest quirk since college. Ugh, the water gets colder and colder as I get older and older. However, now that my son gave me an Apple Watch, it helps me get my fanny in and get going. It’s also a game-changer. This amazing device knows what strokes I swim and the exact distance. It takes my heart rate too – so I know when I’m huffing and puffing too much.
There is also no socializing. As much as I miss chatting with a few of the regulars, I totally get it. Time is of the essence as people just want to get in, squeeze in their swim, and get out before the lifeguard sternly looks down in your lane and tells you it’s time to get out – so they can “sanitize.” Sanitize? Pool water is beyond clean, so the focus is on the pool deck, chairs and locker rooms. They spray with disinfectant, using the Ghostbusters-type backpack. Remember that? It must be so Slimer doesn’t show up anywhere.
If nothing else, this no-nonsense approach of swimming is a good way to start getting back into shape. I had been hanging onto the fitness bandwagon this spring and summer, mainly walking, then walking, and then some walking. Yawn. Golf league came and went for the season, and although it was not played with much finesse and expertise, it helped with the long depletion of social interaction.
As for the pool, I must admit, having my own lane is pure Heaven. No one to share it with means no bumping hands or arms, no waves, and no “hugging the lanes” if the other swimmer decides to swim his or her half in the middle of the lane. Not my idea of a good time.
Let’s just be thankful that pools and gyms are starting to open, and we seem to be returning to some sense of normalcy in a year that most of us would prefer to forget. Forever.
If lap swimming is now allowed in this part of the world, then tolerating the small things in life is O.K….and that includes putting up with the snarky lifeguard, who I may rename Dr. Peter Venkman just for fun.
I guess this no-nonsense attitude can be kind of, well, amusing…
Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in “Ghostbusters” (1984)