The pool in my town leaves much to be desired. It's kind of falling apart, and sometimes it's so gross I just thank god for chlorine. When you hop in, the water gives you a shock with how cool it is. The hot tub is frequently closed or the water isn't actually that hot. There's three showers in the lady's change room, but only one of them works well. The other ones only turn on for a few seconds before you have to press the button to make it go again. While they provide some equipment, all the flippers in my size are torn and unusable and the pull buoys have chunks out of them.
Having said that, my pool is a 5 minute drive from my house. When I walk in, I'm greeted by a friendly face. I never have to show my pass because the staff knows me and my children. I have a locker that I usually use, right next to one of the broken ones. When I enter the pool area, I say hi or briefly chat with the life guard. Then I hop into the pool, cool at first, but great once I'm warmed up. I know all of the regulars at the pool. Some of them I chat with. Others, I just give a brief nod of hello. I know how they swim, so I know which ones are good lane partners. I'm at an in between speed right now. Some days, I'm fast (compared to others at the pool). Other days, I'm just a medium speed swimmer (when the truly fast people are there).
Right now, my pool is closed for maintenance. If I didn't have a triathlon next weekend, I'd just take a few weeks off swimming. Since I do have a triathlon next weekend, I need to get a couple more swims in.
It seems early September is a popular time for annual pool closures. When I considered where else to swim, the first 3 pools I looked at were also closed. So, I headed to Renfrew, meaning a drive into the city, but not even to the edge of the city; it's almost central.
It was a 45 minute drive to get there. When I went in, the pool staff were nice, but not familiar. The locker room was in decent shape, and the showers all seemed to work properly. I headed to the pool area where they actually had speed signs up for the lanes. (I wish my pool did that!) I hopped into a medium lane, since I figure that's where I belong. The temperature was nice and comfortable when I got in, even a little warm.
I started my warm up, and promptly lapped the other guy in my lane. As I moved onto my kick set, I considered whether I should move up to one of the fast lanes. I glanced over and saw that I was passing the person in the fast lane next to me. I was kicking with a flutterboard, no flippers, and I was passing her. While she should probably move to a slow lane, the other people in the fast lanes were going at similar speeds, so no point in switching.
Before long, I heated up. Really heated up. Man, that water was warm! I caught up with someone in my lane again unexpectedly and accidentally hit his foot. That's okay! We were almost at the wall, and tapping toes is the universal sign that you want to pass. Oh, guess he didn't get it. He pushed off the wall. At least the lanes are wide, so I could pass him. I pushed through my work out in the bath water and got out. I considered the hot tub, which Keith said is great, but it was super busy, so I skipped it. I went to the nice clean and functional showers and then left.
I miss my pool.