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#463 - 20 meters in Collingwood

19 November 2020

So desperate am I to swim in new pools, to have some semblance of normalcy again, to add something that approximates travel, that I'll go to any lengths to be able to swim in new lanes.

Well, maybe not any lengths. As Canada is scaling the wall of the second wave of COVID-19, the concentration of new cases are in the Greater Toronto Area, so, rather than heading south towards the GTA, I'm willing to go north by northwest in Ontario, where there are both fewer people in general and a much lower incidence of this dread disease.

This morning I headed up to the lovely 'seaside' city of Collingwood, a beach town on the shores of Georgian Bay, to grab a swim at the local YMCA, which sat in the shadows of the main town water tower:

I honestly had not done my typical pre-swim reconnaissance. All I knew was this:

  • The pool was open

  • They were booking lap swim lanes for 45 minutes with one swimmer per lane

  • I had the day off from work

This is a quaint facility, older, but very well-kept. The staff were incredibly welcoming and gracious in their explanation of the current COVID-19 restrictions and process for navigating the rules (which basically boiled down to following the blue tape arrows on the floor, keeping your mask on and staying away from other patrons).

As I stood at the shallow end of the 4 lane pool, I thought to myself, "This is definitely not 25 yards or 25 meters long."

But, I loved ...

  • The skylights

  • The very clear & clean water that was surprisingly cool for a YMCA pool

  • The pace clock

Through the first 1,000 of my typical warmup, I kept trying to figure out, through paces, stroke counts and doing different variants of distances, what the actual length was. For awhile, I had assumed it was a 20 yard pool, but then got depressed because, if that was true, my times were so slow. I finally broke down and asked the lifeguard.

"It's 20 meters," she said. "I know. It doesn't make any sense."

It didn't, but I also didn't care. I was swimming somewhere new and that's a big win in 2020.


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