Michael Phelps and I have a lot in common. We both have a proclivity for pot… and we both like to swim. Okay, so maybe not a lot in common. And, well, it’s not like I’m an Olympic-class swimmer; I only started front-crawling my way to fitness again about four weeks ago. That said, I’m confident Phelps and I could go neck-and-neck in some heats by summer’s end…
My first trek back to fishy emulation was a sad showing to be sure. Forty-eight laps in 60-something minutes – far from impressive. Typically this is when I’d decide to give up, violate my insides with 14,000 mg of cholesterol, and search for lost regions in underdeveloped nations where overweight oligarchs still reign supreme. (I could totally usurp a spot, don’t ya think?) Instead, I went again. And again. And again. Until 120 laps with three rests (sets of 30) became my new a la mode.
But this post isn’t about my fitness goals, as enthralled with my personal progress I’m sure you must be. No, today is all about one of the most beautiful swimming facilities in the city in one of the most unlikely of places: the Regent Park Aquatic Centre.
The crown jewel of Toronto’s public centres, the Regent Park Aquatic Centre is literally a swimmer’s wet dream realized: double-wide slow and medium lanes; two for fast; a heated whirlpool; Tarzan rope; winding slide (H2O-no they didn’t!). Best part? It’s free. As in, gratis. Like, don’t spend a penny… er… nickel. Fuh-ree. Worst part? Universal change-rooms, meaning awkward post-swim showers while still suited. Small (figurative) price to pay for such a rich (figurative) swimming experience.
But, before you go getting all wet, I’d like to take a moment to share some Considerate Swimmer Instructions – or the real CSI, if you will – so that you aren’t one of those assholes causing bottlenecks in the lanes…
One: Like driving, swimming requires a certain steady flow. Don’t be the d-bag going half the speed of everyone else in your respective lane. Can’t keep up? Go paddle ’round the kiddie pool or join the elderly in the slow lane.
Two: Be aware of who’s coming up on your rear. Sure, you might be maintaining a pretty steady pace, but there will always be someone with a swifter glide. Before circling back on your lap, make sure there’s a decent distance between yourself and the swimmer on your tail. If they’re coming in too hot, hold off starting your return until they’ve passed by.
Three: Stick to the basics. Side-stroke + back-stroke = actual stroke. You’re in lanes with sometimes a dozen or so other aquatic adventurers. Don’t risk a collision because you think being “original” or “unique” is a virtue. Save your one-of-a-kindness for where it belongs: your faux, my-life-is-amazing status updates on social media.
Will you be swimming ’round the Regent Park Aquatic Centre this summer? Comment below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.