This blog is dedicated to my Uxpool swimming friends - Anna, Marion, Cathy, Jane, Laurie, Joan, Pat, Meik and Connie, to name a few.
Like the contorted face in Edvard Munch's famous painting, The Scream,
her widened eyes and gaping mouth, as she enters the pool, say it all. Cold! Yup, we all smugly smile, About 76 degrees. ( Please note that as an " Imperial Baby", I reserve the literary licence to use Fahrenheit. )
Uxpool was constructed around 1970, thus sleek and modern are not words I would use to describe her. Cleanliness is. In fact, Thornhill's Thornlea Pool would be well advised to adopt a few of Uxbridge's pool cleanliness policies. Uxpool employs talented, enthusiastic, friendly staff and offers a myriad of programs for all age groups. One would be hard put to find a moment in the day or evening when our local "swimming hole" is not in use by citizens of both the town of Uxbridge and its surrounding communities.
I love good old Uxpool, but must admit that she is beginning to show her age. The giant furnace that heats her now breaks down with regularity. Why not replace it? The Town of Uxbridge has all of the plans and money in place to construct a larger pool complex on the old St. John's Boys School grounds. Well, all the money that is, but the approved provincial grant which thus far has not been forthcoming. Hey! How about that issue, MPP candidates? Patching the furnace so it can limp along for a few more weeks until the next failure appears to be current town policy. I get it. We are a small town. Why buy an expensive new furnace when a new pool is imminent? However, I dare you to jump into 75 F degree water while through the giant side windows, you watch snow swirl and blow. Brrr! Needless to say, the water temperature is now our daily obsession.
From my swimming pals, especially Marion, Anna and Cathy, I have learned three valuable lessons. 1. Suck it up princess. Just get in. The first step isn't bad, to quote Marion. 2. Move like a frenetic fiend. Do not stop. Do not tread water. 3. And best of all, find the humour in it.
The humour in it? Although the temperature is posted by pool staff, a new game has evolved. Watch the face, gauge the temperature.
80 F degrees. I'm thinking about getting in!
79 F degree. Ooooo! Cool, but I can do this!
78 F degrees. Can't you fix the *bleep* *bleep* furnace?
77 F degrees. Move, just move!
76 F degrees. I'm going to die!
75 F degrees. No words are required. The faces say it all.
Below 75 F degrees? Reserved for the Polar Bear Club.
Experts state that you lose more weight swimming in cold water. Perhaps then, the Uxpool furnace is doing me a favour. The advent of summer heat and humidity should make the cool water temperatures inviting. All this said, I am leaving nothing to chance as I prepare for next winter's swimming with specialized gear! What do you think, ladies?