This summer, I was going to go swimming, whether my husband wanted to go or not. Since my town has two pools, and it wasn’t a weekend, I figured it wouldn’t be too crowded. He still said, “Have fun and be back by three-thirty, so I can drink afternoon coffee with my friends at McDonald’s.
Swimsuit, – check, flip-flops, – check, two towels (one to keep car seat dry when I drove back), check, Kindle with books to read, – check, and driver’s license to prove I lived in the town, – check. I was ready.
I parked under the shade of a tree, well the front of the car was shaded, but I later regretted parking so far to walk back.
After shedding my bag and flip-flops by a lounge chair, I walked on very hot cement (It was supposed to reach 106 today and probably did.) and grasped the railing at the side of the pool opposite the diving board. The pool was twelve feet deep everywhere with no steps to walk down. Oh, well. I’ll jump. When I hesitated, the lifeguard looked at me kind of funny, but didn’t say anything. I jumped in and got a noseful of water. I swam to the side and rested until I could breath easily again.
When I began to swim, a lady walked over. “You’re not supposed to swim in this pool. It’s only for divers.” She pointed to the winding five-foot-wide channel full of kids in giant plastic inner tubes, all moving in the same direction.
It was only three and a half feet deep. I could swim in that depth. After hurrying across the hot concrete again, I found steps and descended. When there was enough space in front to swim, I started doing the breast-stroke in earnest, but couldn’t go anywhere. Then I realized there was a current, and I was trying to swim in the opposite direction. I turned around and tried again. Periodically, I had to stop swimming so I wouldn’t bump into kids.
I’d swum for awhile when I realized I’d forgotten to put on sunscreen. I ran back across the burning concrete and plopped on the lounge chair. I slathered on sunscreen and ran back over the burning concrete again to the circling channel.
I swam some more and braved the hot concrete to reach the lounge chair. My feet still hurt, but when I stuck out my legs, the metal on the edge of the woven chair burned my legs. I made a quick grab for a towel to put under them. I chatted with the couple sitting next to me, who were there with their grandson. After pulling out my Kindle, I read while I waited to dry off enough to get back in my car.
It was a long trudge back to the car in the hot sun, and my feet still hurt from walking on the hot concrete, but I felt refreshed. Maybe next time I’ll try the city’s other pool. I hope it’s still the standard type it was the last time I was there, because I really want to swim more than I want to float on an inner tube or sit in the sun.