Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Griping About Outdoor Pools

It didn’t take long for me to remember still more reasons why I don’t like swimming outdoors – the biggest being I’m all over the pool swimming backstroke. If it wasn’t for lane lines I’d end up three lanes over after a single fifty meter lap. My childhood memories have me bouncing from one side of the lane to the other in outdoor backstroke races which isn’t exactly conducive to best times. So I have to learn how to swim straight without following a ceiling. Does anyone out there know of some drill which improves how straight one swims? That is other than swimming several million meters; an alternative to that would be nice. The other complaint isn’t really fair to blame on outdoor pools per se, being an architectural faux pas, but most of the outdoor pools I’ve swum in this city are orientated East-West. Now I thought it was a well known axiom you build North – South and so avoid the rising and setting sun, but at least here in Vancouver this doesn’t seem to hold sway (no snide comments about those living in the Pacific Northwest not having enough sun to worry about such mundane things). Central Pool is almost bang on an East – West axis and as our practices are 7:00 to 8:00 PM we have to deal with the setting sun. I’m going to have to buy some coloured goggles just to see the clock. On second thought this is probably the very reason why we have tinted goggles. Jeez, almost fifty and still learning basics.


Joe said...

Scott, I hope you get your directional challenges solved soon. You just about killed me a couple of times on Wednesday. Thank God I saw you at the last second and dove deep to avoid your fast moving, lanky frame.

I'm not much of a backstroker but I do have a strategy for staying straight in an outdoor pool. I turn my head slightly so I can see the lane rope in my peripheral vision. Then I try to maintain an even gap between me and the rope.

As for the clock problem, do what I do. Wear a Timex Ironman watch while you swim and use that as your clock.

Scott said...

I have actually started to do that in practice (sorry about my wanderings and a very big thanks for avoiding me). Since it requires my head to be held in an awkward/incorrect position, and because I haven't yet acquired the spatial sense of translating my position vis-a-vis the rope to how straight I'm going, this will take some time. Be prepared for some more scares in the next couple of weeks. My profuse apologies in advance.