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Ordre Aquatique Québécois

20 May 2022

If my first experience swimming in a community pool in Quebec City is indicative of the well-ordered aquatic community here, I might just have to pack my bags and move. With the 1500 racing taking up the morning at the Canadian Masters Nationals, I decided to do my first warmup at a community pool near my Airbnb , the Lucien Borne Community Center.

I didn't know what to expect for their 7:00 -8:30am Length Swim, especially as it appears that all community center pools in the city are free to everyone. While I certainly enjoy a no-cost swimming experience, I have found at other places that free typically means a free-for-all, crowded, discombobulated pool.

My expectations could not have been further from reality. What I found was:

  • Six, 25 metre lanes logically demarcated with lane ropes (something Ontario pool staff should really take note of)

  • Each lane had a designated speed ranging from lane 1 as "libre" something (e.g., the water walkers, noodlers, lane rope hangers-on and what not) up to "Tres Rapide" in lane 6.

  • More impressive than the signage was the fact that the swimmers all seemed to know where they belonged.

When I jumped in the fast lane, there were two other women swimming in perfect circles, and by the time I had finished my initial 400 IM kick-drill, I had the lane to myself for the rest of my 1,100 meter meet warmup:

Now it's time to shave down, do some light yoga, then head over to the PEPS pool at the University of Laval to see if my training and tapering can produce anything special!


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