I have a real aversion to public swimming pools. It’s not because I can’t swim and am worried the lifeguards will have trouble dragging my sorry ass out of the water. No, it’s a lot less dramatic than that.
The idea of accidentally swallowing a festy old band-aid or a wayward pubic hair or people’s skin follicles makes me want to gag. Actually, I’ve just vomited a bit in my mouth as I type this – that’s how much I don’t like public pools.
Close your mouth! Why are you even drinking pool water?! I hear you yell out.
No one WANTS to make a liquid lunch out of disgusting bodily offcuts from randos but it HAPPENS. Let’s not forget about the dirty gastro-causing germs, accidental (or not so accidental) pee from kids and adults alike, and other bodily fluids that are excreted from people. Oh gosh, please wait while I dry retch a bit more.
Chlorine kills everything!
My husband likes to tell me this every time I complain about germs. I might be a bit of a germaphobe.
Look, here are the cold hard facts – I know the chances of contracting tinea from the change rooms are more likely than catching germs from pool water. BUT, chlorine does not kill everything so there’s still the risk of catching something like Giardia and I don’t want explosive diarrhoea.
Anyway, as you can see, I detest public swimming pools, but given how my children are learning how to swim and my daughter loves being in water, I have to go there. Once in a while, I have to enter the
cesspool to supervise, and the experience leaves me feeling twitchy.
Yesterday, my husband suggested we take the children for a play at our local swimming centre. Our membership has restarted and there are no longer restrictions with numbers or needing to book sessions due to the pandemic. It was a good opportunity to make use of our time and money.
As I sat by the sidelines and watched my husband splash around with the kids, I took a few moments to observe my surroundings.
Sometimes I wonder how it is that I come across so much fodder for my blog. Why does it feel like I bear witness to strange stuff all the time? Am I attuned to the weird and wonderful because I’m looking for it?
I must be ‘cos why else would I see a REALLY hairy man (back and front, sides, legs… well, let’s just say everywhere!) wearing his CK undies in lieu of swimming trunks. If I could burn my retinas to remove the image of his manhood playing peekaboo through his wet transparent undies, I would. Add inappropriate swim gear to my list of ‘Why I hate public swimming pools’ please.
After shielding my precious eyes from further assault, I witnessed a fit looking, middle aged man standing by the pool steps doing quick calf muscle stretches, arm stretches, lunges and running on the spot before getting into the water. I was expecting him to do epic laps up and down the lanes because why else would you go to such trouble? I know warming up your muscles is important to avoid cramps and injury, but this man just got into the water to stand. He really confused my poor mind when he left after ten minutes of standing. What the? I tried really hard not to giggle. It was so funny to watch, much better than CK undies man.
An old lady holding some snorkels got into the pool after exercise man. I thought it was strange for her to wear her prescription glasses while trying to snorkel down the pool lane, but hey, whatever works for you lady!
As my attention reverted back to my daughter swimming nearby, two lifeguards decided to stand right in front of me, blocking my view. While staring at their backs (note: not backsides), I noticed they carried a lot of gear, along with a water bottle and a walkie-talkie. How could they save anyone if it takes them an age to strip off all that stuff? I hope never to test the hypothesis. One of the guards turned around and saw that he was blocking my view but instead of moving, he turned back and continued his boring conversation. How rude!
I left my seat to corral my daughter back to the others and found another seat. There I noticed a sign that read ‘No ball games or inflatables’. I looked back at the husband and children. Take a stab at what they were doing.
Can I add inadvertently condoning rule-breaking people to my list of ‘Why I hate public swimming pools’?
This list keeps growing at an alarming rate. It makes sense why I never bothered to learn how to swim. I know, I know, it’s a vital skill to have. I’ll get on it as soon as I overcome this aversion to public swimming pools.
In the meantime, it makes for great blog fodder, right?
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