Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pool Blues

I'm posting my gripe here, because I would go unheard elsewhere as I am an unimportant citizen of Artesia. For those who don't know (and I have such a huge fan base) I work in Carlsbad and live 15 miles south of Artesia - close enough to Artesia to be in their zip code and thus be counted as a citizen. Anyway when I started swimming last year prior to my triathlon dreams, I swam in the Carlsbad Aquatic Center. This pool is lap swimmer friendly in that they had good hours and hours dedicated to just lap swimmers. So I could hit the pool before work and it was great! Then in April they closed for renovation and I am counting the days till they are back online (probably not till January). So I try to use my "local" pool when it is open. Artesia pool is not lap swimmer friendly. I don't know if there is a lack of fitness swimmers in Artesia, or if there is a lack of fitness swimmers in Artesia because the pool hours suck!

So due to my work situation and rural home life, I can only swim in the late evenings. Artesia's pool schedule should accommodate me on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8. So if I leave work on time, don't chat with the babysitter, drive at least the speed limit home, drop off the boys, change and drive at least the speed limit into town, I can almost make it by 6:30 - more like 6:45. But that is rare, so I'm lucky if I can get there by 7. One whole hour, 2 nights a week - yeah!
But.... you knew there was a but coming didn't you. Artesia's economy is booming, thanks to the oil prices and terrorism, ie FLETC. FLETC = Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where they train the air marshals, the border patrol, state police. Next to oil, FLETC is god. I support FLETC - this is not about them other than they have enough money they should build their own pool.... They use the Artesia pool quite often, so the pool is closed to the general public a lot - like 3 days a week or more almost weekly which means Thursday nights too. And I'm thinking the late evening cancellations have nothing to do with FLETC other than they had the pool all day, so why open for the tax payers for two hours that night. I mean the life guards need to have a life too right!

What a summer for the kiddos - the only pool in town not only has crappy hours, but also is closed most of the time. Oh and lets not forget their hours on those evenings 6-8, well that really means 6-7:45. The teeny bopper life guards were whistling away at 7:45 last night for everyone to get out and go home. Maybe they had a pizza party planned or something.

Thank God for Carlsbad and Carlsbad Lake. For those who don't know, the Pecos River flows through Carlsbad and they widened it and added a couple of dams (eons ago) so that it is a water recreation area. During the summer they have life guards at the "beach" which is a cordened off area for swimming. I've been hitting the river after work one day a week for some time now. So I am still getting at least 2 days of swimming in and one day of open water swimming - yeah! And its free ( since I'm not a tax payer in Carlsbad other than the occasional breakfast burrito and lunch out)!

So it works out for me the lone lap swimmer from Artesia, but it still sucks that there is such a user unfriendly city pool in my neck of the woods.


Herself, the GeekGirl said...

Wow, that does suck. You need to move to the big city: Albuquerque! or Las Cruces! At least you have open water swimming; lots of people don't have that. And you might be able to use to figure out how far you're swimming.

ShyTriGirl said...

Hmmm I'll try that. I took the wheel out the other day during lunch and walked the distance along the sidewalk. It's about 118 meters between bouys.