A Reluctant Swimmer

by Mary on August 20, 2016

Gold's Gym salt-purified pool

Gold’s Gym salt-purified pool

A couple of Saturdays ago I tried to get out for a hike with my husband but never made it out of the house. Hiking in the summer is a big part of the Northwest lifestyle and I’d thought I could maybe do an easier trail like Wallace Falls. But the closer I got to leaving the more I realized that trying to hike with my back the way it is now would be a really bad idea. After a frustrated meltdown followed by a nap to clear my head, I had a new idea for exercise: go for a swim.

A friend had suggested it about a month ago but at the time I wasn’t ready to hear the idea. Swimming is my last resort exercise that I only do when I can’t do anything else. The last time I regularly swam for exercise was when I was pregnant with my youngest son, now a grown man.

But on that Saturday afternoon I looked into where I could swim. Pools in the Northwest are mostly indoor affairs because of our cool climate. My local public pool has been very run down, so much so that it’s been a plus that I’m too blind without my glasses to see in the water.  A little Googling revealed that it was finally renovated last year. But even better, a nearby Gold’s Gym has a salt-purified pool. I called over there and they said, sure, come on over and try it out.

I got over there with my little-used swimming gear. Immediately one lens of my googles popped out. I swam anyway and it was better than I expected. The salt-purified pool has enough salt to keep it clean, but not enough to sting your eyes like the ocean. And no chlorine smell. It really is pretty pleasant.

The next time I swam my cap ripped apart when I put it on. I had to laugh. All that gear was old and petrified. I am a reluctant and infrequent swimmer indeed. So now I have both a new cap and new goggles.

I used the stretching area and yoga classroom to do my PT exercises. It made it much nicer to get through them. Overall the Gold’s is very clean and the staff was low-key, didn’t try to sell me at all. I got a one-week free pass to the place. Over the week I swam several times and popped in once just to do my exercises. It was a good experience. I didn’t buy a membership, at least not yet, and this week a backlash from a little gardening kept me off exercise most of the week. But it’s good to know that Gold’s is an option if I have to be off skating much longer.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa August 21, 2016 at 12:33 am

You’re just like Michael Phelps! His swim cap ripped right before he swam his gold-medal winning turn in the 4x100m relay. I’ve only been in a salt-water pool once, and it was very nice. So much better than chlorine, and much kinder to your bathing suit and skin. Hoping you can hike, and skate, again soon.


Mary August 21, 2016 at 4:04 am

Well, maybe that augurs good things for my swimming! Yes the saltwater pool is much more inviting than a chlorine one. Thanks for the good wishes, my sports medicine doctor said I could try stroking and edge work in a couple of weeks.


Jo August 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Ooh, I love swimming! Good for you, Mary! What a great thing to do for your back and to keep in shape. I have never been in a saltwater pool, but it sounds really really nice. I hope the weeks till you’re back on the ice are good to you. Maybe some cross-training is in order till then?
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Mary August 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

I’m glad you love it, Jo. I’m getting to appreciate it more, it’s the easiest way for me to move right now. I’m on a trip right now, and the hotel pool was just what I needed after a long dive. Definitely some cross-training is in order: swimming, gentle yoga, a little walking.


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