Bay Area represent, yo! It was a happy afternoon at the gym. The first thing I saw as I entered the cardio area was a 49ers jersey. I don’t know if the guy wearing it is from California, but it made me smile. I like to see pieces of home over here. (I happened to be wearing my old and tatty t-shirt from the Great San Francisco Bike Adventure of 1994. I hold on to my shirts!)
I haven’t always had a smile on in this gym. When I became a member in November, I was very excited. New gym, new equipment, good line-up of classes. Trendy looking pool. I wanted to jump right in. Except, it didn’t have any water in it. And I didn’t have my bathing suit on. So they wouldn’t let me.
When the gym opened for use, I quickly became aware that looks can be very, very deceiving. Stainless steel pools may appear chic, but once I so much as dipped a toe in, I came to realize they aren’t practical for swimming laps. They are dark, so it’s hard to see the walls. When uncertain of distances, I tend to err on the side of caution and flip my turns too soon. This leaves me suspended in the water with nothing to push off from. And looking pretty silly. So flipping’s out. I am okay with that. However, I am not so okay with the fact that the pool had no demarcations for swimming laps, nor any type of posted courtesy rules. At a fitness club, I found this a little bit odd. I have absolutely no problem sharing the pool with people playing and doggie paddling around. I like to do handstands and somersaults in the pool as much as the next water baby. BUT. I pay the same membership fees as them, so it seems there should be an area of the pool where I can swim laps for fitness without zigzagging my way across the pool, hoping I don’t kick someone in the stomach.
When I returned to England after Christmas, I gave the pool another try, to see if the gym had addressed user comments. (I couldn’t have been the only one to offer up suggestions). I was hopeful. They put up a sign asking people on one side of the pool to swim clockwise. So that’s what I tried. Until a very sour lady, not following instructions, insisted that she was there first so basically, I was to step off. I work out to be healthy in mind as well as body, so I removed myself from the situation (and vented my frustration to Crunchy husband later). She wasn’t amenable to the idea that if we both swim as per instructions, we could both use the space.
Within the last couple weeks, I heard rumors that they were putting in lane ropes. And today, the first thing I saw as I entered the pool area was a lane rope. And people within the roped off area paddling clockwise. I nearly busted out a happy dance right then and there. Everyone swimming and splashing in harmony. Oh happy, happy day! (I only had a short time to swim today, but man, was it nice and stress-free, the first positive experience in that pool. I can’t wait for the next swim!)
Distance: 2.0 miles (Treadmills bore me!! I can’t do it!)
Pace: 9:18 min/mile
Distance: 3.7 miles
Pace: 9:32 min/mile