On daily swims

Today is September 2.  In less than a week our local outdoor pool will shut down for the season. A day later, the indoor pool at the YMCA opens. How lucky for me. A while ago I wrote a blog entitled “What a jerk I am” because in all the years we have live here I had not taken advantage of the Y or the outdoor Westmount pool, both one block away. Once I started doing so, it changed my life. 

This past summer we have been unable to visit our country place in the Adirondacks because of Covid, but the outdoor pool compensated well. I have managed to swim for nearly every day. The scheduling only permits an hour so I usually arrive on time. As there is no changing room,  swimmers arrive in bathing suits, take quick showers, and get started.

My swims take about 2 minutes per lap and the pool is 25 metres long. So 20 laps takes 40 minutes. My longest swim this summer was 29 laps. Usually I swim slowly and am more concerned with how long I swim rather than how fast.

I recently discovered that I was having trouble raising my right arm and thought it was from having had polio as a child. Then I found that a slight roll to the left made it easy to use the right arm properly. I now have a nice relaxing steady rhythm, even though my kick is still not great. Most days I have little or no angina and only use a preventive squirt of nitro. If I eat too close to the swim I belch a lot but so far no one has complained. 

A few days ago it was cool and cloudy. When I arrived mid-afternoon at my appointed time I found I had the pool to myself. On a few other occasions, when it rained, it was much the same. Having few swimmers means I can relax more. Specifically, I don’t have to worry about  backstrokers who often repeatedly whack me, or the 300-pounder with flippers on hands and feet who ploughs along at top speed. I fear being concussed if he crashes into me. 


Labour day is around the corner; the pool will close a few days later. Before we know it the leaves will turn. Then summer ends. I will miss these swims; because of them I feel far fitter, more relaxed, and sleep better. I am, as they say, ‘a happy camper.’ Thank goodness, the YMCA awaits right around the corner so I can continue.  By way of a more formal thanks, I offer an ode – the first I have ever written. 


Ode to the Water


Oh Westmount pool

I sing to thee.

I praise thy gentle caress

Giving thanks for

Near-daily access. 

Your waters are as silk

Your warmth comforts my breast

As I breathe I see the sky,

Blue and a cloud-scattered rest.


On clear days

The sun’s ever-shifting rays

Weave patterns in the pool.

To not have swum

Would be dumb 

It could make me 

Such a fool. 

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1 Response to On daily swims

  1. Louis Hugo Francescutti says:

    Keep them coming always enjoy reading what is on your mind my friend…

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