Swimming at the Aquatic Center is Always an Experience

swimming in a busy pool

The winter is rough. Although I don’t love swimming in a pool, after a while you get used to it. A few weeks ago, the Big East was taking place at the Nassau County Aquatic Center. Although I didn’t get to see any of the swimming, I did experience a lot of backlash from the regular swimmers.

We were informed via signage that the Big East was happening and that there would only be 10 lanes available from 6 am to 8 am. My coach had given me 3000-yard workouts and I knew it would be challenging to get it done at the center.

When I went on Wednesday, it wasn’t terrible. My training partner, Ray, and I shared a lane and I was able to get my workout done. But on that Friday, it was a zoo.

Pizza Anyone?

At the Nassau County Aquatic Center, if you don’t get there before 6 am, the likelihood that you will get a lane is slim. Between the master swim groups — Excel Swimming and Total Masters Swimming, there are few lanes open to the general public.

When 6 am strikes, everyone runs for a lane. It’s ridiculous. It’s like someone is giving out free pizza. I know that the aquatic center has a pool on the other side that is in a tent. I’m not sure why that isn’t open for the crowds. But it is what it is and you need to be aware that it’s nuts in the morning.

Big East

On the Friday of the Big East conference, I went to the pool and met my training partner there. We divided up the lane and we swam. As we were swimming, a big guy was in the lane.

“Hey, I’m sorry but there’s nowhere else to swim,” he said. “Let’s do circles.”

The problem with circles is that if you don’t swim at the same pace, then people are swimming over you. So you really need to keep up.

Ray was swimming and the guy was right on his tail. I noticed he was in his bubbles or drafting off of him.

At one point, I tried to draft off the guy, but he didn’t want any part of it. He swam faster to get away from me. But now, he was right on Ray’s feet. A dirty thought entered my head and I had to stop and laugh.

When I needed to speed up my interval, I went in front of Ray and knew I needed to kick it up to keep pace. So I pushed and stayed ahead. (And at the same time, I thought, that the circle swim makes you go faster.)

When Ray got out, I continued to swim with the guy but within minutes, another guy jumped in. I was swimming so close to the people in the lanes next to me. I started to have a bit of a panic attack thinking that we are all breathing the same air. That’s when I said to myself, “enough…”

And with that, I quickly got out of the pool and went home to finish my workouts.