I’ve visiting family in Southern Alberta in Canada in a town you’ll almost certainly not have heard of unless you’ve been here. It’s called Lethbridge and is situated between the grain growing prairies of Canada and the foothills of the Rockies. It’s not the most picturesque of places, but I love it here as I love visiting my family.
One thing Lethbridge does have though is a university and within the university is a sports complex and within the sports complex is a swimming pool. And that swimming pool is amazing.
It’s a newer, cleaner, very possibly bigger version of Ponds Forge with a 50m pool that can be altered by the use of a moveable platform, a diving pool and a kids pool. It also has a spectator area and great showers and changing areas.
The Ponds Forge facility is the closest 50m pool* to where I live in the UK and it’s an hour away from me. Based on that, I’m making the assumption that the Ponds Forge pool is very probably the closest 50m to around 5million people in the UK. To be the closest to that number of people the Lethbridge pool would need to be the only 50m pool in the whole of the province of Alberta – which I sincerely doubt.
* at least with these kinds of facilities.
Anyway I swam there and it was lovely.
Having said that, I can now understand why some people look to have underwater MP3 players. I’ve never bothered before as I kinda don’t see the point. One of the things that I need to train for is the mental boredom as much as the physical effort. I’m not allowed to have an MP3 player while I’m swimming the events I enter, so I don’t think I should train with them either.
However, as the Lethbridge university pool complex is so large it meant that number of different groups were using it while I swam. Not only were there a few lane swimmers (of which I was one), but there were also swimming lessons, parents with kids and a synchronised swimming training session.
That training session was using music and lots of instructions from the coach, making it a noisy session – and with the music seemingly pumped through the water as well it meant that it was hard to get ‘into the zone’ to just swim. If I’d had some I would have gladly worn some headphones and listened to music.
I swam 2 miles on Thursday and 2 miles on Friday.