Sunday, December 14, 2008

pool rules

we are in a winter wonderland today: fresh, clean, powdery snow coating every surface but slowly melting under the sun-filled blue skies which have just opened up in the past hour or so.
not too long ago I sat on my spin bike in my favorite spin room, watching the city brighten up as the clouds slowly split apart and revealed the blue beyond. this was my first daylight spin class in so long I can't even remember, and I rediscovered how much I enjoy the view, especially on a day like today.
there are a few narrow trees which reach high up the left window panes, and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed watching them change throughout the seasons, from bare limbs to buds to full blown leaves. today the branches are a beautiful purplish gray, reaching tall, spotted with teeny buds and sprinkled heavily with snow.
the pool, below and just west of the spin room, is in its hibernation stage: dormant, quiet, barren. but the "pool policies" sign remains, and this morning I thought that if only my eyesight were good enough, I could read all of the rules.
my next thought was that I probably know all of the rules, which led me to think about how many of us know the pool rules by heart . . . my guess is that you could list a handful of them easily and immediately, without putting much thought at all into it. haven't we all grown up with pool rules?
the first public pool I remember spending time at was in Potawatomi Park, in south bend, indiana. rock music blared, and kids swam and dunked each other and flirted and lay out in the hot humidity for hours on end. I will always connect Three Dog Night's "shambala" with that swimming pool, just as I will always link joy, freedom, and heaven with that same environment.
and the rules?
these are what I know by heart:
shower before entering pool
no running
no horseplay
no jumping or diving except from diving board
no swimming when lifeguards are not present
no glass containers
no alcohol
no diapers

how did I do? the jcc has many more rules for their pool, of course, as most places probably do these days: liability must be limited somehow, mustn't it?
regardless, thinking about swimming pool rules brought back great memories of long, lazy days spent with friends, thinking about nothing greater than whether or not to apply more suntan lotion, how long I could lie there without sweating to death, and whether or not it was time to go buy a popsicle from the snack bar.
which are fun thoughts to have hanging out in my mind as I spin away on an indoor bike while watching the stunningly beautiful snow settle in for the winter.

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