Pool Party

As part of my efforts the past year to improve my overall fitness, I have taken to running and swimming on alternate days. Our condo has a nice pool, although at 15 meters, it is a little shorter than ideal. Morning swims are best for me as they get the exercise out of the way and the water is generally cooler. The problem is, there is a crowded, informal “schedule” of who uses the pool, when. If I am not downstairs on time, I miss my opportunity!

About 6:30 on weekday mornings the middle-aged, silver hair British gentleman takes the plunge. He is friendly and our paths cross in the fitness center, but since he and I both use kickboards to augment our swimming, I would feel a little self-conscious if I was in the pool at the same time. It would feel like swimming class.

After he has finished, a Danish (I think they are Danes) retiree couple arrive around 8:00. Though they appear stern, they are friendly enough. The wife floats around while her husband’s swimming style involves a lot of splashing. Not enough room for me to share the pool without the sense of intruding upon their morning ritual.

By 9:00, the quiet, Japanese-looking (I think) Thai man who lives on the first floor with his male roommate comes out to swim. We were in the pool together at the same time a few weeks ago and his head-always-out-of-the-water combination doggy paddle and breast stroke is so slow that his body is almost vertical. As we swam, I was hyper-conscious that any wake I made would slosh him.

The sun hits the pool by mid-morning and I generally don’t like to swim in the full sun. In the afternoon, a Japanese retiree who lives on our floor removes his toupee and heads to the pool for his daily regimen of sunbathing. He alternates between lying on the lounge chair and lying in the pool resting his head on the deck. As he turns an ever darker shade of brown, the water around him is so still that I can’t bring myself to interrupt his sense of serenity by swimming laps.

By late afternoon, the children arrive at the pool. I love children but trying to swim laps while children are playing in the pool is futile. You become a target as they swim across the pool, seeing just how close they can come to colliding with the farang. Great fun for them. Less fun for me.

So that leaves me with my 7:15 am slot, right after the British gentleman and before the Danish couple. Use it or lose it, as they say. Of course, I am speaking a bit tongue-in-cheek. There is enough room that three people could swim laps without running into each other. But you know how it is, different people have different swimming styles and sometimes you don’t want to share a smallish pool with them. 

Have a good weekend!


0 thoughts on “Pool Party

  1. I like the toupé description. And the Japanese guy goes swimming alone or brings his room mates with him. Like a gang meeting?I know exactly why I never use the pool here.

  2. That sounds like the schedule for our pool. Here there is a time for the ladies execise group – an elderly gentleman who seems to just float around – then there is the gossip group of ladies. I manage to get my swim done in there somewhere and a short nap on the lounge chair to dry off. Yes, and to keep my tan

  3. Hilarious post…you’re lucky you live a country when you can swim year round. I miss my Californian swimming pool when I was growing up. You realize when you move to Europe and Asia that that is a rarity in the world. I’m taking up swimming at my gym in Bejing when it gets to hot and smoggy.

  4. i never enjoy a crowded pool. i prefer to have it all to myself. which reminds me, it’s been months since my last swim. i really need to get this flabby bulging tummy of mine to its former flat self. sigh…

  5. Here’s the solution. Tell people you pee in the pool and you’ll have it all to yourself. And hats off to you for running and swimming. You’re gonna be ripped.

  6. This is such a fun post Chris. How about swimming at night, when the children are all gone? Is that too late for you? I too like to be in a pool that is not crowded. How good that you are exercising like this. You have always been in great shape and now you will be still better. Keep it up.

  7. I think you are over thinking the whole pool schedule. I’m guessing the British gentleman wouldn’t mind company at all and more than likely none of the others in the morning line up. But 7:15 isn’t a bad time… Bravo for sticking to the new exercise schedule.

  8. That pool looks so inviting and good for you for your exercise routine to staying in good health. I love having a treadmill which I had to move some pieces of furniture to the storage shed to have room for. I am not up to 15 minutes three times a day at a fairly slow pace and TD is 5 minutes twice a day.It works<:)Have a good week coming up way to fast.

  9. @Wangium – Actually, there are probably only about 15% foreigners living in our condo. But several are retirees so they are down by the pool more often. Plus, Thais generally don’t like to get out in the sun if they can help it! =)@Inciteful – More complicated than I realized!@Grannys_Place – Yes, it is important to keep moving.@murisopsis – Well, perhaps I’m overthinking it a bit just for the sake of writing a blog entry! @ZSA_MD – Usually, I find it difficult to stick to an evening exercise routine. By that point, I’m already well into whatever activities have taken up my day and exercising is the last thing on my mind.@ElusiveWords – Nice solution, Matt. Remind me not to swim with you!@rudyhou – Cannot imagine that it is flabby or bulging.@KevEats – Yes, they want to swim with the “great white whale”! Ha ha!@armnatmom – Of course, I am not opposed to actually sharing the pool even though I try to seek out a time when it is unoccupied.@snowjunky8 – When I get a regular job again, I may join a proper gym or, more likely, a hotel gym. That way I can have access to a full-size pool and not have to turn around after just six strokes!@Fatcat723 – Ah, maybe if I work on my tan instead… get some vitamin D!@Nostra_Damus – That’s funny you say that. There was a point in my life when I was a bit paranoid that there might be some creature in the water that I couldn’t see, always swimming just beyond my line of sight.@beowulf222 – He is always solo, although his brother lives in the room adjacent to his.@CurryPuffy – You one of those almost vertical doggy style swimmers? Hey, as long as you don’t sink, that’s success!

  10. The pool looks nice, but that time slot is so early to get up and exercise. I have to forced myself to get up around that time to get ready for work. What about going for night swims?

  11. @icebladz – Generally, I find that if I try and work out in the evening, one of two things happens: either I get so wrapped up in other activities that I never get around to working out, or when I do work out, I find it hard to get to sleep at a reasonable hour because my body is still warm.

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