Yesterday, the outside temperatures reached the upper 40s (Fahrenheit) by mid afternoon. The pool water temperature got up to an even 80 degrees. It was time to finally try out my pool! My husband and father had met early that morning to put the Fastlane in the pool. It was dark and 27 degrees when they did that. I thought they might fall in, but once the Fastlane was on top of the water, it was quite buoyant and easy to place. (I’ll write more about assembly of the Fastlane in the living room later)
Donning my long sleeve swim shirt over my swim suit, I approached the pool with excitement and tentativeness. The water was comfortable, not shocking cold or too warm. I turned on the Fastlane, which was at some unknown speed from Greg setting it up and testing the controls. It was like standing in a little river, requiring work to hold my ground, but I couldn’t tell if that was a good speed to swim at, so I dove in. (the following pictures courtesy of my mom)
It was a bit of a challenge to find a pace that I could maintain. I tried to lower the current speed right away. Then I discovered I wasn’t pressing the button firmly enough and it wasn’t changing. The current was moving the surface of the water significantly, mimicking wave action due to wind over a lake surface. I felt like I was swimming too hard, but I kept inching up to the generator and flicking it with my finger tips. I finally got it to really slow down and worked on positioning myself to be able to swim effectively. I was already glad we had chosen the longer 9 x 17 pool instead of the smaller 13 foot length.
It spite of the problem solving, I was having a blast. The open air, even in October, was glorious. The lower chemical needs for a private pool made the water much more pleasant than the gym pool. The dog kept checking on me, but I indicated in stern tones that the pool was off limits.
I began to notice some particular things about swimming against the current, both how it helped me and what I would need to work on.
- The current made it very obvious if I was placing my hand too high in the water as it entered the water. If I did that, I could feel the push back and loss of pull from my stroke.
- I might need to work on my core strength. I have wondered if I am a little too relaxed around the middle. The current was testing my mid section. I will be testing current speeds and holding myself more firmly.
- I belatedly remembered that we have a mirror to put in the bottom of the pool. That should help me work on my form and give me something to focus on without having to look up at the Fastlane to make sure I’m not creeping up on it.
After about 15 minutes, I was tired enough that I was having more trouble holding myself in the correct place in the current. At least, that is what I think was happening. I was feeling myself going to the side more and I began to have the beginnings of getting sea sick. I should have anticipated this, but I didn’t. We had tried an Endless Pool at our swim instructor’s place of business (flowaquatics.com) and I hadn’t had any trouble there. Maybe I just had the speed too high? Whatever the factors were, I will definitely be problem solving this, even if it means swimming out there every day until I “get my sea legs!” A good nap afterward took care of the problem for that day….
I managed 10 more minutes in the pool, then knew it was enough for a first try. It was a little chilly getting out, but not as bad as I had anticipated. I will have to plan better so I don’t leave a small river through the house trying to get my towel. I had wanted it to stay warm, so had left it indoors. Even if the towel is just inside the laundry room, I think I will need a heavy rug or bath mat right there to stand on because I’m not standing outside in sub 50 degree weather to dry off. 🙂
There is still work to be done on the equipment housing to make it winter proof. Plus, we will do some landscaping around the cement box, but I have a functional pool! It is both as small as a patio and as big as the ocean. 🙂 Pool party, anyone?