Friday, November 2, 2012

The Pool

The Danskin is long over and the weather has turned to the endless grey of the dark time of the year. It is so hard to kick myself out of the house so I have joined a gym.

Long ago and far away I joined a gym. This was in the days where a hefty joining fee was required in addition to the monthly dues and you had to get someone to buy your membership or forfeit that initial fee.

The gym was in a lovely building, circa 1930's in downtown Pasadena. The pool was in the basement and it was a real pool with an end deep enough for diving. The ceiling was high, two stories at least.  Clerestory windows along one side faced west.

I swam in the morning before work; the pool was always empty. It was delicious.

When I joined, the company was in the process of building a new gym, state of the art everything. The old building closed and I switched over to the new. The new pool was 3.5 feet deep and divided into lanes.  Every lane was always filled. I hated it.

Even thought it had a hot pool, I swam less and less and ended up taking a loss when they said they couldn't sell my membership. It all left a bad feeling about gyms.

I am a self-proclaimed weather wimp. The rainy days descend and I retreat inside becoming more sloth-like with each passing day. I also work on the computer. A lot. This means sitting. A lot.

Hence, the gym. I don't expect to ever find something as lovely as the old pool. Buildings aren't built like that anymore. I opted for a low-joining-fee, low-monthly-fee gym. It doesn't have a pool. Just the basics, ma'am.

And that's ok. It has a bank of TV's to pass the time and a dizzying array of machines for reaching all muscles, even ones I never use. It's open all the time. It's close.

But, oh, those early morning swims in the watery light with my strokes echoing up and around.

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