Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
So you remember my cousin TJ, right? The one who flings cats into pools to see if they can swim?
Well, he asked me recently if I’d feel comfortable using my blog to publicize a fund-raising event he’s involved with to renovate and re-open a pool in his northern Colorado community. And I said, “Heck, yes! There are days I debate using this blog to sell my children if I thought I could get away with it.” So helping my cousin do something that’s both legal and would benefit his community is a no-brainer.
And, almost even better, is the fact that the way TJ and his Loveland Swim Club compadres are raising money is crazy. Not like a little crazy. Like a lot crazy. They aim to get 3,942 individuals to each swim one length of a 25-yard pool in relay fashion in 24 hours or less (that’s an average split of 21.92 seconds per leg of this erstwhile relay).
Why 3,942? Because in January, 3,941 South Africans did it, and thereby got themselves into the Guinness World Book of Records (TJ’s a little fuzzy on the yards/meters differential, but he says their short-course yards pool fits the criterion). Anyway, if the community of Loveland can get this record back, I think it would do a lot to erase the sting of that 2004 Olympic victory by the South African men’s 400 free relay.
That plus it would help raise money to renovate the Loveland High School pool which has been shut down since 2002 when some authoritative agency deemed it “unsafe” because of its age and condition.
The Loveland High School pool was built in 1965. I would love to walk this authoritative agency through Mr. Coach’s current facility which was built in 1954. This should be its last year because the walls are going up, even as I type, on the new natatorium.
But a few missing tiles, a sinking foundation and a roof that lets in more air (and rain) than the actual ventilation system are no reason -- at least in our town -- to shut down a 55-year-old pool before a new one is built. Heck, there’s this one faculty member’s wife here who was complaining recently that she won’t swim in the current pool because the environment there is “completely toxic.” All of us who use the facility on a regular basis were like, “…and your point would be?”
(Actually I should never complain about people who refuse to swim in the current pool. Less people = more lane space for me.)
But in Loveland, they would probably love (no pun intended) to have too many people in a lane if it means they’ve gotten this particular pool renovated and back up to code. So what can you do to help? Well, if you’re within shouting distance of Loveland, fire up the snowmobile and get yourself over there to swim your length on the weekend of Nov. 6-7 at Mountain View High School’s pool. Conversely, if you’re already snowed in for the winter, then consider making a donation to this worthy cause.
For all the information you will ever need about this event, you can visit Loveland’s Web site. Tell ‘em TJ’s most fabulous cousin sent you.
Incidentally, the photos here were taken in our current facility by Marisa Obuchowski, one of Mr. Coach’s student-athletes, for a photography class. Isn’t it amazing how beautiful crumbling concrete and rusting radiators can look at the right shutter speed?
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Anyway, the anecdote: Mr. Coach came home the other evening, proud to report that he had beat up good on the team that day. In fact he had beat up on them so good that afterwards, he said, he found one of the guys sitting in the shower eating an ear of corn.
Now a guy might read that and say, “Mmm, corn on the cob, that’s a good idea.”
And a girl like me would be even more stunned to hear Mr. Coach reply, “Yeah. Guys eat in the shower all the time. What do girls do?”
To which I said, “Shower?”
And even that isn’t exactly true because -- and ladies, feel free to back me up on this -- a lot of women don’t shower in public after their athletic workouts. They will go home to their dorms, apartments or houses with that flesh-eating layer of chlorine or grime on their skin and shower up in private. And even if you do shower in public, there’s not a whole lot of social interaction that occurs. Women may be champs at multi-tasking, but in the shower, we tend to be very purpose-driven.
But apparently there’s a whole other branch of the food-service industry going on in men’s showers. Now I knew about chairs being dragged in, because I had heard about that years ago (again, never seen it happen in a women’s shower and probably never will), but I never realized the chairs are sometimes there to accommodate food consumption.
But corn on the cob? Now, to be fair, Mr. Coach said that was a first for him, too. Usually, he says, it’s things like apples, bananas and granola bars, but an ear of corn is a food choice he applauds (mostly because he really likes corn, too).
However I hear that and I’m thinking this wasn’t like a random “open the fridge and eat the first thing you see” food choice. This took planning. And transportation. And then storage for a few hours in -- what? A locker that hasn’t been disinfected since the Roosevelt administration. The first one.
So to sum things up here:
Girl + shower + corn on the cob = No. Just no.
Guy + shower + corn on the cob = Where can I get me some of that?