Sunday, October 18, 2009

How to Save a Pool

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?


  1. Very Cool Mrs. Coach!

    Thank you from Loveland Swim Club, Loveland Swim Club and the entire swimming community of northern Colorado.

  2. hey mrs. coach,
    i think you should transport your entire family on a vacation to join this relay. i'm pretty sure that they could all swim under 21 seconds. just throwin' that out there.

  3. I am only about 1 hour from Loveland! I didnt bring my suits with me :( but I may try to make it over there that weekend anyway!

    Love the pictures by Marisa too

  4. From the sounds of it, everyone in Mr's Coach's family could do their entire length with no breathing!!!

  5. Ha. Ha. And ha to all of you.

    And, Kim, just tell us where to Fed-Ex you a suit.

  6. BTW, I checked with the race organizers, who checked with Guinness - cats are NOT allowed to enter, which is too bad because my Maine Coon would clean it up!

    He might have trouble with that 21 second split though...

  7. Love this blog and totally agree that this pool needs to be renovated and i will try to help and come support by swimming some laps.

  8. I hope you're able to make it there, Dori, and thanks!

    Just watch out for my cousin....

  9. Just wanted to give a shout-out to the folks in Loveland, and wish them the best of luck! My oldest son, who unfortunately is not a swimmer (well, only for one summer season, right Mrs. Coach??) was born in Loveland on this very day 15 years ago.



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