Pool: The Natatorium at UM
The Good News: 25 yards, six lanes, crisp cool water, paceclocks, kickboards, paddles, buoys and theColumbia Masters Team
The Bad News: Well, for me the weekday workouts are too close to showtime, but on Saturday-Sunday, the Masters swim, uncoached, from 12 to1pm.
Details: If you can find parking, life is good. It's easiest on the weekends, except during homecoming when Mizzou is playing Nebraska; then you'd best skip the Natatorium and face up to an afternoon of waves at the Hickman Pool. (see below). The Master's team is very laid back- each lane makes up its own workout, so it is possible to insert one's breaststroke agenda.
- Pool: Hickman Pool
The Good News: 25 meters, kickboards, the water isn't as warm as it could be, considering how many kids are peeing in it.
The Bad News: Lot of waves.
Details: This pool- hell, this community- is kid oriented. Out of six lanes, just one was roped off for swimming, and it was a wall lane that also shared a deep end with the diving well. Waves interfered with pulldowns and on the Saturday afternoon I swam there, every kid in Columbia had a birthday party. Jeez, is the whole town a Scorpio? Each time one party of kids got out of the pool, they were replaced by a new wave of pale-faced Midwest Catholic moms and their oversized family reunions. (And don't think I'm prejudiced- my own parents are pale-faced Midwest Catholics. That's how I can spot them a mile away). I never got a moment's peace. Hanging on the lane rope, diving into my measly lane, fingering my Zoomers...it was a long afternoon.
My feeling is that if you can't discipline your own kids then I will, and I believe in corporal punishment. In fact, if you are a parent who thinks it's cute when their kid plays with my paddles and jumps on me during a streamline, you, too, are in need of a beating and if I have enough coffee in my system, you'll get one.
Of course, after writing this diatribe, I realized I had left my new black jacket at Hickman Pool. When I returned to check the lost and found, with no hope of seeing it again, there it was, turned in by one of the moms of one those noisy Midwest Catholic families.
- Jefferson City
Pool: YMCA on Stadium
The Good News: 25 yards, six lanes (roped into three large ones), pace clocks, kickboards, pull buoys, cool water, flags.
The Bad News: When the kids get in for swim lessons, there's only one lap lane for swimming, and the push off is impaired by a handicapped ladder.
Details: Everyone here was so nice. The desk staff couldn't do enough for me, the swim teachers welcomed me to the state- if any of these people saw my act, they'd be devastated. Oh, well. A series of old guys, (Harold first-then Stan, followed by Carl), told me about their medical problems and added an hour to each workout. I was initially annoyed, but then I decided, hell, if I get old, I'll do the same thing. I'll find some upstart arrogant punk swimmer who thinks her workout is more important than mine and I'll nail her with surgical details. Why not?
- Kansas City
Pool: Red Bridge YMCA
The Good News: 25 yards, six lanes, paceclocks, lane ropes.
The Bad News: From the cockroach-infested crackhouse where the comedy club houses me, the YMCA is an hour away by bus
Details: This Y is a pool only. Don't be like me and cajole a runner (with a car) into driving you to the Y because you think he can do his treadmill thing while you swim. This is called burning a (red) bridge.
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