I was one of THOSE people tonight. You know, the type who know that the pool closes at 9:45, so they show up in a suit at 9:25? My daughter, who was watching a very old man tread water from her lifeguard stand when I walked in put on a happy face and waved. I approached her very professional like. “Can you hold my glasses?” I asked her, “Or is that against the rules or something?” She made a face, I think. But by then my glasses were off and I couldn’t even see her face, let alone her expression.
I jumped in the water and tried to force the cold water shock away. I only had a little time to swim, after all. I started out my set. I have recently lost 9 pounds, so I felt the difference in my legs. They just take up less room now, and I wonder if they’re strong enough to get me through the pool. I also find the smaller bulk much less tiring during my laps.
I had finished my third length when my daughter met me at the deep end holding her buoy. I thought she was telling me to get out, but she had some tips on my stroke. I’ve developed some bad habits in my freestyle, like a lot of rocking from side to side, taking too long to breathe, and pulling my shoulders all the way back on my stroke. No wonder I get so tired swimming freestyle! My daughter tried to show me to pull my elbows back, like I’m pulling a bow on an arrow. She also directed me to pull straight out in front of me instead of whatever the heck I was doing.
I had intended to start swimming breast stroke right away, but I wanted to try out what she suggested. So I swam backstroke to the shallow end, where I started up on the freestyle taking her advice. I started off pretty strong, but soon returned to my old habits. I glanced towards my daughter in the lifeguard chair after that length, but I couldn’t see what she was doing, so that was a waste of time.
I had swum 200, and decided to move onto the breast stroke. My goal was to swim 500 before the pool closed. It takes me about 2 minutes to swim a 50. It was 9:43 when I’d finished swimming 450 total. I had just enough time, give or take a few seconds, to finish my goal. But I didn’t trust my freestyle to carry me in on time, and every other stroke is too slow. Plus, even with my blind bat status I could tell my daughter was ready to close the pool.
So, with great trepidation, I left the pool, my goal unmet.
I’ve opened the Y before. There is nothing like looking at a pool full of still water and being the first one to part the waters. Closing the pool is a little like closing out a party, only more pathetic. I was the only person in the locker room when I heard a ‘get out of the Y warning’ over the PA. Then someone else came in briefly, but she left soon enough. I had the lobby to myself, too, waiting for my daughter.
We were walking out the door when the front desk person announced that the Y was now closed. I wondered how my daughter felt to hear those words every Monday night.
cross-posted at www.imswimming.net