Just before Christmas I arrived at my favourite swimming pool to find an abundance of car parking. Was everyone doing their last minute gift shopping? When I went inside I found out that the pump in the Olympic sized pool was broken. Fortunately our pre-paid passes would be honoured at the Petersham pool.
Where was this mystery pool I wondered?
I knew it had only re-opened recently, so I set my sat-nav and went on a quest. At the end of a picturesque park shaded by trees that had seen many trends change over the decades, I found my detour.
Unlike my own bustling pool in Enmore where real swimmers take command of their lanes at 6am (while the rest of us straggle for an easier but still hard-working timeslot), this other recreational centre was small and family friendly. Let’s break those two phrases down.
Hidden away in a corner of the park that is also the address of a huge sports oval and a lucky quiet street of houses overlooking the greenery.
Family friendly, very!
It’s popular with parents and their toddlers. In fact there’s even a playground on the site, and the pools themselves, are small. In the main pool my laps were over before they began.
No tiring myself out on long stretches. My flapping arms and my splashing legs had me darting to the finish line moments after kicking off at the start.
When part of me is naked.
When I rested, my naked flesh warmed itself against that unique marriage of hot tiles and cool water. The Summer air reminding me that it was time to change pace as it was the end of the year. The scenery also voiced the same message.
I had a break away from the fast lanes at my usual exercise centre. It was time reflect. It was time to not be competitive with myself. It was time to just be.