Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Goodbye Y

It's so strange navigating this week without factoring in trips to the Y.

We went to Swim Team as a family last Thursday (although, ironically Mona was the only one who didn't swim--her coaches threw a dance party).  Friday I did my laps as usual before work.  And that was it.  Now it's closed and we're not going back there anymore.

We've been going there for a long time.  Here are my kids in the playroom at the Y when we first signed up:

One of my favorite places to let the kids use up some energy was the racket ball court.  We never actually figured out how to play, we just always got as many balls as we could and let them all fly.  (Yes, occasionally someone got bonked, but life is like that.)

This was my pool:

And one of the nice things about the Y was they had a small "therapy" pool that the kids liked that was always 90 degrees. 

There was lots of talk the last day among the aqua aerobics ladies about where they would go.  Several of them just weren't going to go anywhere, which is a shame.  I admire those old ladies getting themselves out to exercise every morning.  Part of the reason I like swimming is I know I can do it for a very long time, and I won't have to worry about hurting my joints or risking other injuries as I age.  I'm just assuming I will still be doing laps at 90.
Aden and Quinn's last swim in the little pool.

It's a weird feeling to have spent so much time in a place and to not be able to go back there.  I did so many laps in that pool I'm scared to even try to calculate the number.  I know all the marks in the ceiling and any irregularities in the tiles, which were the good showers and lockers, the names of the staff who remembered which key I wanted and how many towels to hand me without being asked--And all of that information will fade away to just a general impression.

But it will be a good impression.  We joined the Y originally because I needed somewhere to take the kids to run around outside of the house when it was cold and I was feeling stir crazy during Ian's first deployment.  One of the main reasons we stayed was because I wanted to make sure all of my kids could swim.  I can now say Mona is a strong swimmer, Aden lacks technique but is quite capable in the water, and on our last trip to the Y I asked Quinn if he could get from one side of the small pool to the other without touching the bottom now, and he not only did it, but did it in one breath!

Mona and her coaches
Everyone at the Y was nice.  The political banter among the old men in the lobby was enough to make me run screaming, but the old ladies were sweet and sometimes brought me treats for my kids, and the staff was unfailingly helpful.  At Mona's last real swim team practice I asked her coaches if there was any chance of letting them try the log roller thing that my kids had eyed sitting off to the side, and they did it, even though it turned out to be surprisingly difficult to get it out and put it away and I didn't realize what I was asking.  The kids weren't able to run, or even really stand on the log in the water, but the coaches came up with fun games for sitting on it and rocking an opponent off.  Mona was thrilled and she'll remember that forever.

I haven't been able to convince Mona to try another swim team.  She liked what she had.

I did, too, but at least from my end this could work out to be a good change.  I will miss the Y and its towel service and abundant showers and suit spinner, but the county pool is much closer, so instead of half an hour of extra driving time in the mornings it will only be ten minutes (and in good weather it's an easy bike ride).  Swimming later in the morning does mean I arrive at work with my hair still wet, but if Ian's the one taking the kids to school I can actually sleep in a little.  The pool itself is bigger.  There are more lanes and they are wider, and a mile is 32 laps instead of 36, so I actually finish a little faster since I turn around fewer times.  It will be good.  I need to build a new routine to get used to it, but it will be good.

Of course, when I bought my annual pass this morning the guy at the counter warned me that the pool will be closed for maintenance for three months at some point, but they don't know when.  Fun.  I'll swim under that bridge when I come to it.  In the meantime there are lots of laps ahead of me, and I'm sure I will figure out something for the kids to do to get them moving around more.

We'll miss the Y.  But a lifeguard did let the kids take one of the plastic toys from the bin at the small pool that they were extremely sentimental about.  I don't think the bank would want it anyway.  And it's a little piece of the Y they can bring to whatever pool we swim in.


  1. Dear Korinthia,
    I am sorry that such a wonderful place is closing. However, it is great that you ar going to continue to swim. It's a wonderful exercise and yes, you can swim into your nineties. My sister and her partner, both in their fifties, are veteran swimmers and they attend as many swimming events as they can, European veteran championships, world veteran championships... And there are always! swimmers in the age group 85 - 95. It takes them a bit longer to do the 400m races, but they get the longest applause and the loudest cheers. I wish you best of luck with your swimming in the new pool and all the best.

    1. Thanks, Tanja. So far so good at the new pool. I like that it's close to home, and the pool itself is nicer in a lot of ways. I just have to get into a new rhythm (so I don't forget to bring a towel, etc.). The odd thing is this pool is pretty much just my experience. The Y was a family thing, and Ian came with me every day to use the gym, and now my exercise is just me, so it feels different. Not bad at all, just different. When I have time I like to swim my age, because I figure by the time I'm 90 that will be impressive!

  2. It's hard to leave a place that holds so many memories! I still haven't gotten over the fact that we lost our Barnes and Noble here in town. We used to walk there all the time and hang out.

    1. I know. My kids still lament the demise of Bucky's Super Video, and we still drive regularly by it and their former favorite burger place Bella's Fat Cat, now closed for years. Of course we still live across the street from our old house, so we confront old memories in architectural form daily!

  3. You should totally count the number of laps and celebrate it with a post here sharing the insane number you come up with. Maybe *that* will get me to start exercising again. I've completely fallen off the exercise habit (except for an hour a week with the girls at the dancercize thing, which honestly is more fun than exercise :))

    And so happy to see you start at the new pool with such a positive attitude. I have a feeling you'll make some nice memories in this pool as well!

    1. No, I'm still horrified by the amount of time exercise takes up. I would total all those laps and hours and just think about how many novels I could have written in that span, or violins I could have made, and get irritated. The only real achievement in my exercise routine is that I do it at all. I'm glad I do it, I need to do it, I like the effects of doing it, but I don't think I will ever not resent having to do it. Better to be blissfully ignorant of how much of my time it's sucking up.

      In terms of your own motivation, I think about staving off dementia. When I picture what kind of life I want to have in my old age I want to be as healthy and non-loopy as possible. You don't want to go loopy! Keep that circulation going!

  4. Aww! A fitting tribute to what sounds like a great pool.

    And I love the picture of your little tiny kids when you first started going to the pool! So cute!