Swimming is not an optional activity for me. I swim two miles a day, five days a week. I don’t ask myself whether I’ll swim on a given day any more than I ask myself whether I’ll eat lunch. On rare occasions something comes up, and I can’t swim, and on those days I deal with it as the mature adult I am. But I don’t enjoy a day off. I work best on two miles a day.
This Monday, however, after I walked across campus to the pool, I encountered this sign.
There is something wrong with the roof over the pool. I assume it’s related to the incredible amount of rain we had in early October. In any case, the roof may cave in, and the pool has been drained, and no one knows when it’s going to open again.
But swimming is not an optional activity. Every day I heat up leftovers in the office microwave and eat them for lunch; if the microwave broke, would I stop eating lunch? Of course not. I’d figure out another way.
By the time I got to the pool at lunchtime Monday, the fitness center was already working on another way; they had called Westside Aquatic Complex to arrange for us to swim there. Westside is a county rec center; it’s 10-15 minutes drive away from campus. We swam there when our pool was closed for renovations in late 2013, and Westside swimmers come to us when their place is closed for meets. It’s a beautiful facility, and I’m happy to swim there when I can.
So I went back to my office, found the WAC open swim schedule on their website, and rearranged my whole life so that I could make there for lap swim for the duration. Their open hours are not the same as our open hours, but I cleared a space in the middle of the day, moving my responsibilities around, and I have just enough time to make it there for two miles of swimming if I don’t mess around.
And I’m not going to mess around. I can waste time with the best of them, but I was trained at a young age to get my homework done so that I could go to swim practice. This is the same deal, thirty-plus years later. It’s just a matter of remembering what’s important.
I swam at WAC Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, and I plan to make it Friday as well. It’s not exactly easy. They don’t have a swimsuit water extractor (or any permanent lockers) there, so I have to keep a wet swimsuit in my car all day; I hang it up when I get home, but it doesn’t dry overnight. I’m carrying around a wet towel too, which isn’t great, and my shampoo is going to spill in my gym bag at some point, because it always does. Oh, and I’m wearing jeans to work for the duration. I don’t have time for grown-up clothes.
But you can’t just stop swimming because of some inconveniences, big or small. I’m fortunate to have another pool to swim in. And I’m less than five miles from my 500 mile goal for the year. I’m pretty sure I’ll swim that 500th mile at Westside.