Thursday, January 15, 2015

Update on the Pool - A plea for you to use it. It's heated!

The pool's operating hours and pricing are posted above. Thank you to the city for putting together these informational cards. I have just seen them at the pool office and not other places around town. It really is a tremendous asset that more people could be taking advantage of.  You can go there anytime it is open for recreational swimming and have your own lane to do laps. The kiddie pool is closed and that area might be ripe for another use - like weight lifting equipment or machines that are weather-proof. There are such machines in South Bryant Park and the small park on North H Street, just northwest of the Compass building.
My foam barbells and famous "noodle" - part of my water gear. Noodles and other gear are available at the pool if you want to try it out first and don't have your own.
If you want to try water aerobics and water exercise, the times for that are Saturday 11 a.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. You pay the instructor, Sally Welsh, directly. Just tell the attendant in the booth that you are there for water aerobics. They will give you a laminated orange pass that you can show for future visits. The same person has been there for a while, so she will get to know you and know why you are there, waving you on. The cost is $5. Classes last almost an hour and provide a variety of strength and aerobic workouts. No special swimming skill is needed and the classes stay in the shallow end of the pool. Recently, there has been a mix of 50/50 males/females in the class. Sunday classes can draw almost 30 people sometimes. It's a friendly group, of all ages, and everyone eventually gets to know each other. Newcomers are always introduced by first name and the class greets them in return.

As for results, I find that it is a good, low or no impact workout and is a good companion to my bike riding. Getting there by bike is more of a challenge now with the Lake Worth bridge under repair. I would not recommend trying to bike east over the bridge in its current configuration with the south span out of commission. It is dangerous - too narrow a lane on the right side of the traffic lane and cars can't move over to accommodate bikes since there are stanchions dividing the lanes. If you are going to bike to the beach or the pool, I would recommend dismounting and walking across the span going east. Going west, right now, is not as much of a problem and I do it quite often. You just have to watch for bikes or motor scooters trying to use the westbound lane going east. This is rare, but I have witnessed people doing that.

For the past two weekends, I traveled a longer route. I start at my house in College Park and head north on Flagler Drive and then go across the Intracoastal at the Southern Boulevard bridge. It is not much of a biker's picnic either, as the edge of the road is not too wide and you have to be aware of people fishing and crossing from north/south, changing sides, on the bridge. Then I go south at the circle where Southern Boulevard meets A1A and it seems that in no time I am turning left to go to the Lake Worth beach. That's about an eight mile route to the beach from my house. That's a nice warm up to more exercise and you look forward to jumping into the refreshing water in the pool.

I bike a lot anyway, but the reason for the detailed explanation here is that I really would encourage it, especially if you don't have a Lake Worth resident parking pass. Bike parking is free at the beach and many people bring their bikes, leaving them leaning against the building on the pool deck while swimming. If you don't have a Lake Worth resident parking pass and pay by debit card, the minimum parking charge is $4 - which gives you two hours. It also adds time and that is important, especially if you are in a hurry. Just today, someone in class passed me in their car on the way to the beach and honked nicely to acknowledge me as I rode south along A1A. I was just north of the Palm Beach Par 3 golf course at the time. I was in the pool already by the time she did the parking meter "dance" and walked from the inconvenient parking space to the pool. She couldn't believe I had made it there before her.

I bet, if it was safe to go over the bridge now, and I did the usual 2.5 miles from my house, it would take about the same amount of time to drive there, park, etc. as it does to ride a bike to the beach. Keep that in mind if you want to go in the future. Many people who live close, and one not too close, to downtown Lake Worth, walk over the bridge from where they live too. 

This is how the pool looked today: - GORGEOUS
Many people do not know that the pool is heated. Today and yesterday the water temperature was 79 to 80 degrees. That is a perfect temperature for swimming. During the cooler months, you may want to bring something like a sweatshirt or sweat pants to change into after swimming. Many people wear a 100% polyester shirt, besides their swimsuit, to stay warmer in the water and especially when the top half of your torso is out of the water. The chill is more prominent when it is windy. The one story pool/locker room/bathroom building on the east side of the pool serves as a good windbreak when the wind is coming off of the ocean.

With an air temperature in the low 70s, the pool should be much more utilized than it is. I hope that the ideas that are being brought back to the Commission in the future about the beach "fixes" include a way to keep the pool intact and find a better way to promote it. We'll see what that project yields.

I'll leave you with this video I did about a month or so ago that I set to music. The video is in slow motion so it doesn't reflect the actual speed of the movements.


Erin G said...

Great story. Thank you. See you at the pool next week.

Anonymous said...

What a shame if the kiddo pool will never open. it was so much fun with my son and I was looking forward to bringing my daughter as well.