Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not So Swimmingly

I write a lot about my swimming regimen. I think swimmers are more inclined to writing. More so than runners. Or even cyclists, who tend to have no less passion for their activity.

It stems from the environment.

With our heads submerged beneath the chlorinated water, we are trapped with only ourselves for stimulation or company. There's nothing social about swimming. To the contrary, it is distinctively anti-social. And thus, allows for introspection.

Swimming can be also be quite therapeutic.

As Harvey Weiner, another swimmer who likes to write,  noted in his book Total Swimming: anyone can use swimming to achieve an inner calm -- a euphoria that integrates movement and thought and relieves tension like a mantra.

And while I'm not as spiritual as Mr. Weiner, my swimming sessions do allow me to have long, meaningful conversations. With myself. Conversations, that more often than not, result in a blog posting. Or even a new commercial for one of my clients.

The picture above is the swimming pool at my brother's condo complex, where I go at lunch hour. On this particular day the marine layer has persisted and has successfully scared off the kids and those not comfortable with 76 degree water.

That's fine with me. As I often say -- to myself -- an empty pool is a happy pool.
It is my own personal nirvana.

That is, until today.

When I walked up to the front gate I saw this:

Prior to this week, there had been no sign telling those afflicted with Montezuma's Revenge to stay away from the pool. Nor a need to. But now there is.

And the implications are as clear as the deceptively clean water.

Somebody, maybe a poorly potty-trained 5-year old or a forgetful 75-year old, had "launched a brown dinghy off the S.S. Assitania."

The evidence may no longer be visible, thankfully. But it does mean that my very well being and my resistance to some fecal-borne disease rests not in the efforts of some skilled hazmat team, but to 3 or 4 pool cleaning guys snatched up from the nearby Home Depot parking lot for $5 an hour.

This sign has not only tainted my daily swimming experience, with every errant gulp of pool water, it has seeped into my inner underwater conversations.

Harvey Weiner didn't include a chapter in his book about "Dropping the Sloppy Kids Off at the Pool."
I wonder why.


Anonymous said...

I have to think that there's some other introverted swimmer out there who also hates crowded pools, is surfing through some mail catalog and spots this sign; thinks to himself, dam, I'm going to buy one or two of these and put this up. The pool will be all mine and no one will be the wiser.

Is it a Smart Joe or the lazy pool man?

Rich Siegel said...

Genius, Anon, genius.

Jeff said...

That, or the drunken teenager who lives in your brother's complex who's been fighting the Avian flu and West Nile virus came home late from the chili cook-off and pecan pie eating contest. Just after he chowed down the leftover shrimp that'd been on the counter since last Saturday. He might've been "pushing cotton" all the way home and decided he couldn't quite make it up to his condo, so he took a nice dip(shit) in the pool. I wouldn't worry - the water looks clean and it probably didn't happen. Forget I said anything.

plaidbus said...

All I see is "Diarrhea-Free", man. Jump in!