The The Good News: 6 lanes 25 meters, indoors, a pace clock and free with a Y card. Jacuzzi!
The Bad News: no flags, one lane rope and a snippy lifeguard (see details).
Details: On my good days, I am a moody and bossy bitch. I was having a bad day when I went to this Y. My first impression of the night lifeguard was that she was bored and lazy, but I spotted her ten personality points just in case I was the jerk. However, when you've got seven lap swimmers in a six lane pool, it's time to haul your ass out of the lifeguard stand and put in more lane ropes. One isn't going to cut it, sister. My offer to do all the work for her was spurned outright.
"I don't feel that's necessary ma'am. If you just swim on top of the black line, you should be ok!"
"Thanks for the tip, Nancy Drew. I get the feeling that in five years, this chick is going to be serving me cold coffee in the coach section of a United Express flight.
No flags mean for a nasty surprise on your first backstroke turn. Luckily, I can save your face. One of the heater jets at the deep end puts out a nasty lateral current. As soon as you feel your body move uncontrollably into the lane rope, flip over on your stomach. You will execute a perfect turn, I guarantee it. If you hesitate even a moment though, you'll crunch up and look like an idiot.
- Pool: University of Southern Indiana
Rating: B The Good News: 25 meters, indoors, six lanes, kickboards, pace clock, nice lifeguard and lax security
The Bad News: You need to either attend USI or look like you do and then pretend that you lost your student ID. Also, there are no flags and the water temperature is YMCA-esque. Ugh. I am beginning to think that the CA in YMCA stands for Catering to the Arthritic.
Details: If you're a fan of cool and crisp water, the kind that's perfect for swimming, hit the showers and turn the handle towards "H". For warm water, the kind that's perfect for a jacuzzi or boiling eggs, dive in the pool.
And, I have had it with the 'no flags' situation. Please, we are professionals, are we not? Just when I was to sink my teeth into 8 x 400 IM's descending 1-4/5-8, I realized I would not be able to time my backstroke turns properly. I was forced to do an easy 200 and get out.
- Ft Wayne
Pool: YMCA (Central Branch)
The Good News: 25 yards, lane ropes, cool water, paceclocks, kickboards and buoys.
The Bad News: 4 lanes.
Details: Well, I left Toronto at 10 am and pulled over at this Ft Wayne Y at 8 pm. It had been a long, crazy day of lying to customs officers and running over Canadian geese. Maybe I was in a caffeine daze, but I liked this little pool. The chlorine was strong and awful, like I like it, and I emerged from practice with sixteen wrinkles. My apologies go to the lifeguard, as I noticed I was in need of an armpit shave only after a chunk of backstroke work.
The Good News: 25 yards, a pace clock and lane ropes, plus it was free for me because I passed out tickets to the comedy show.
The Bad News: No gutters and slippery walls make for funky breastroke turns. Four lanes, mental patient (see details).
Details: Well, I was within driving distance of the Indianapolis Natatorium but thanks to a severe bout of apathy and laziness, I drove around the corner to Bally's. For local flavor, you can't beat the crazy backstroker who compulsively cleans the walls for no reason. You know how it is... you finally break out of a long slow distance mode and get pumped to do some broken two hundreds when all the sudden the poster child for OCD is in your lane, scrubbing away at imaginary dirt. I had to swerve to avoid turning on her head. Hey Hazel, take a breather.
Pool: Natatorium at University of Indiana
The Good News: 50 meters, indoors, equipment, a master's team with a noon workout, paceclocks, bulkhead, lane ropes (one half of the pool is double roped), cheap visitor parking.
The Bad News: I am at a loss.
Details: OH MY GOD. I have a new boyfriend. Someone tell the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wa., that I am smitten with this fine (and I mean fine) fifty meter pool in Indianapolis. It's like swimming through silk. The '84, '92 and '96 Olympic Trials were held at this pool, and the names of all team members are scrawled in blue on the diving end's wall with a calligrapher's hand. The Master's Team, IndyFit let me crash the 11:30 workout (the mark of a civilized masters team being a well attended noon workout) and they even invited me to the Saturday morning workout. (Morning? Oh, that won't be happening, friends.) The pro shop sells one dollar caps.
- Pool: Jordan YMCA
The The Good News: outdoors, fifty meters, lane ropes, equipment, clocks. There's also a kid's pool thankfully located indoors and the water is crisp and cold.
The Bad News: A tad shallow.
Details: Well, being a pool in the city with the UIPUI pool is like being one of the non-Alec Baldwin brothers. No matter how good looking you are, you don't have a chance. IndyFit works out here at 7:30 am on Saturdays and the team is huge and friendly. It's nice, but really...treat yourself to the Olympic Trials pool. It's only five dollars if they charge you at all.
- Pool: Jordan YMCA , pool 2
The The Good News: Indoors, 25 yards, cold water, deep pool, lane ropes, a clock visible on both ends and kickboards. I had my own lane the whole time.
The Bad News: Hmmmm, nothing really. Oh wait; no free massage. But then again, no place offers free massage. Never mind.
Details: People this nice make me nervous. An older guy gave me great directions over the phone, then gave me a tour of the facility. The Y is near a military base: buzzcuts are in. Here's the thing with military guys- they know a thousand ways to kill you with a pencil yet one lap of fly has them vomiting blood in the gutter. All I'm saying is, Mr President, I wouldn't launch an invasion of Omaha Beach anytime soon.
The The Good News: 6 lanes, free with a Y card, kickboards, a few lane ropes
The Bad News: Lots of kids, only an hour for lap swim, warm water.
Details: If I swim in one more YMCA in Indiana, I am going to hang myself from the locker room shower with my goggle straps. I can't take it anymore. They are all the same. Exactly. The same up-with-people messages stenciled with the same typography, using the same pastel colors. The little swimmers are called polliwogs and the larger ones are barracudas. Etc etc etc. And the beat goes on. I wish there was a Goth town, like the first Batman movie's Metropolis, with a black pool, neon lane lines and lava lamps.
The The Good News: 6 lanes, 25 meters, indoors, a pace clock, kickboards, cool water and all the lanes are roped during lap swim.
The Bad News: Sometimes the pool is completely closed.
Details: Well, there's not much to report here. Everyone's nice, and I guess that's good, if you like nice, which I don't. The jacuzzi is for both sexes, but it's in a common area between locker rooms, so I thought it was ladies only. I was about to peel off my suit when I guy walked in. Then I definitely peeled off my suit. Why not? Am I ever coming back to Valpo? I only hope the answer is no.
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