Swim Practice

For the first time in just under a year, I swam at a pool today. It was glorious. The safety protocols were great. We go to the pool already in our suits, and enter through a separate entrance that leads directly to the pool (to avoid going through the community centre). We had a COVID questionnaire before going into the change rooms. We wore masks except when actually in the water. There were three double lanes, with eight swimmers; my lane had three people. We were never less than 6 feet away from the others. Our coach had pre-printed workouts laid out at one end of the pool, so we just read what to do next and swam, rather than having the usual huddle for instructions between sets. Afterwards, a few of us grabbed a quick shower though technically I think we supposed to just change and go. The two women’s change rooms at this pool are huge, so it was easy for the six women to maintain our distance.

Woman in an orange bathing cap and blue mask, with a swimming pool in the background

I was so excited to be back in the water I forgot to take off my glasses and put on goggles before taking a picture.

My last practice with the club was March 14, 2020. Then the pools closed. I swam outdoors until October 26, but then the water started freezing up. The pools were open in the fall, but I was nervous and dithered about registering with my club until all the spaces were gone. I did sign up for January, but much of the city (including pools) has been locked down until this week. Despite doing lots of other activities, including dryland workouts for swimmers, I had to work hard! I could barely do 25M of butterfly, and I needed a nap after lunch. Did I mention yet that it was glorious?

As I swam, I noticed something that reflects a real change from my own days as a lifeguard. One of the guards was a hijab and burquini-wearing black woman. You can just see her on the right in the picture.

Diane Harper has has loved swimming for over 50 years.