Then again, some pools are for swimming. The pool outside my window serves as a visual attraction, with an occasional dip when fueled by two glasses of wine on a warm summer evening. But the lap pool over at 24-Hour Fitness is for aerobics and is now part of my 6-day regimen each week: two days on the bike, two days of weights and two in the water. And surprise, surprise, it’s wonderful.
I added the health club pool to the week’s routine just last Tuesday, and so far I’ve stayed above the bottom; given that the deepest part is just four feet, tapering off to three-and-a-half feet at both ends, there’s little risk of going down for the third time.
As I’ve said in the past, a regular and energetic exercise plan is a big part of my day now, in accordance with the boys who wrote “Younger next year.” On that note, if you venture into a sporting goods store anywhere in America now, you’re likely to run into people who have read it, often more than once. Key to the authors’ suggestions to guys like me — I’m talking mostly about age here — is to establish a six-day plan and stick to it forever, with ample aerobics leading the way. For me — now — that means simply doing laps. Not very exciting, but just a champ for getting everything working and keeping the heart rate up. For the record, temperature for the lightly salinated water is 81 degrees, which at the moment is bit warmer than the air.
Why salt water, you might ask? I did, and the club manager told me that constant cleaning and other maintenance is precluded over the chlorine approach, which is a very big deal since people are in the water through much of the 24/7 schedule. There simply isn’t an opportunity to do it. Not my problem, of course, but certainly my pleasure, because the water is the softest I’ve ever encountered.
Couple of decades ago, I joined a club in the Valley, and on my first visit I decided to use their pool and do a dozen or so laps — you know: like we could knock off at the village pool when we were kids. No sweat.
Ha! I barely made it end to end, and dragged my body out of the pool, never to repeat the process. I ached for a week.
So there was a bit of trepidation this time as I threw my trunks into the trunk and headed over to the gym. Problem was, I had boldly told Kris that I was going to do it and was stumped for a way to explain how or why I chickened out. But it did work out, much to my satisfaction. Then too, I just did not concern myself with the younger, svelte bodies that shared the water with me; it all gets equaled out when just your head appears above the water. One of the writers of the book puts it this way: If you’re self-conscious about walking to the pool in your Speedo (I defer to more traditional trunks, as mentioned), put on your goggles so no one will know who you are.
To that I would add one more caution: watch where you’re going when you finally get out of pool — it’s a bummer to run into another guy who’s swimming in your direction at full throttle.