I was just about to go to bed last night when I read a strange post on Facebook. A woman whom I've become friends with via Triathlon and morning swims, said she was heading to the Y for "one last flip turn." Hmmmmm. I know she wouldn't Quit Swimming....once a swimmer, always a swimmer. So I knew there was more to that sentence. A pit formed in my stomach. I responded to her. "why?" At that point, I began receiving emails from a few other friends, "did you hear. The Y is closing." NOooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! This is not good. Where will I swim? where will my kids swim? This should not be a question one ever has to utter. I was spoiled as a child. I grew up in a town with it's own community pool. Swimming was HUGE in my town. It was our Football. Swimming ruled many people's lives in my town. Here. It doesn't exist. I live in a beautiful community filled with mountains and lakes. We have one traffic light. We have long winding roads through the woods and over the hills. However, there is no community center nor is there any swimming pool for the town. I live in the Oxford hills of Maine. Our High School includes 11 towns. There are 11 towns that come together to create this community. And there is No pool. Lewiston-Auburn is not a town. It's a city! The Auburn YMCA is still in business, and yes, they have a pool. But it is 4 lane-20 yards. Something like that. It's an old facility that needs a face lift but bless it's heart, it's still open. However, there is a huge huge void now. There was a huge void before but now it's worse.
When I decided to try the sport of Triathlon in 2006, that was the biggest question. Where would I swim? (I have to add that I did do a few Tris in the 90s but I was still a collegiate swimmer or just out of school so I didn't really train yet...) I finally realized I COULD in fact wake up early early and make a swim happen. I would drive to Lewiston by 5:45, swim from 5:50-6:20 (yup, tha'ts it) and then still be home for Mark to go to work at 7:00. It was sort of comical. I swam 1800-2000 yards 3x week. It's all I had. I made it work. And then! It was like Christmas...they extended their hours and opened at 5:30!!!! yahooooooo!!! to make it even better, our guard would open the doors at 5:20 (because he's cool) so if I left home by 4:40, I could get in the water by 5:20 for a FULL HOUR swim!!!! PeRFECT!!!!
For a few years, this worked nicely. Now....I have a problem. There's a pool 45 min away, and it's a MUCH nicer pool. But, they open at 6:30. Hmmm...can't get back for 7:00 a.m. with that schedule. I don't know what to do. My 6 y.o. said, "where will I take my swimmnig lessons Mommy?" sad.
When I was in High School, I set the pool record for the 50 free at that pool. 26.1
My 3 boys learned to swim at this pool.
For years, I have swum next to a man named Brooks. He was a swimmer when he was younger too. We had fun racing from time to time.
I became friendly with a handful of older women that would come to do water exercises around the pool every morning. They rreally really need those swims. It gave them social time, time out of the house, and it kept their aging bodies agile and strong. Now what's next for them?
Less than a year ago, my Triathlon shop shut down in an instant. It was a loss. Not just of the place I shopped, but it was the place I saw my friends. I made connections. I had fun.
Today, my pool shuts down. The feels are the same.
If you are reading this and you live in this area, call me. If you have the motivation to join forces to remedy this problem, I'm willing to go for it.
For those of you out there with pools down the street from you or perhaps, several within 20 minutes, stop and appreciate that for a minute. It's really tricky when you have to go to such great lengths just for a nice swim.