My Saturday morning started out like most Saturday mornings, with my two-hour Master’s team workout at the local pool. After a broken main pipe shut the pool for a few days last week, it was nice to be back.
The 50-meter pool looked nice and clear. The 25-yard training pool was another story. It’s green. Really green. Like alien, otherworldly green. The lane lines are obliterated. Even the frogs who occasionally find their way into the pool from the nearby retention pond were not going near it. You could see them, sitting along the edge, commiserating about how much it looked like their standard swamp abode and kind of daring each other to be the first one in.
Of course, a few of my fellow swimmers were not happy about “only” having a 50-meter pool to use. Fifty meters is a long way, unless you have a reason to do it, like the Olympics or other long-course meet competition. Twenty-five yards is a nice, comfy distance between one wall and another. And throw that on top of (GASP) having to share a lane with someone. Social distancing in a pool lane is attainable, with opposite side breathing and swimmers entering from different ends of the lane. That’s not the issue. It’s more like, oh the horror of having to share the space.
Given that we were two months without a pool at all, courtesy of COVID-19, should make us all grateful to have even one. Given that we are well over the half-million mark in terms of positive virus tests in our own state and approaching 200,000 nationwide should give us a pause and reflect moment on what’s really important: the opportunity to live and breath. Given the increasing number of police shooting protests and the growing unrest and distrust among Americans for each other and among other nations for America, just how big a deal should an off-limits, chemically cranky pool be?
Take a breath, gang. A big dose of chlorine will set the little pool to rights again in a few days. You won’t share forever. The pool, like life, will be normal again. We will be able to see the steady black lines of guidance again when everything clears.