Thursday, March 10, 2011

Swimming lesson update

So I’ve been taking swimming lessons the last couple of months. Let me tell you – I’m a different person (swimmer). My swim coach is Leah Nyikes at She is awesome and I have learned so much from her it is unbelievable. I still haven’t timed myself but I can tell I’m getting faster – just from sheer efficiency. I know this because I have usually been the fastest swimmer at the pool in the last month. That was typically not the case in the past. I will time myself soon and post it here when I do.

My biggest problem lately has been finding a pool to work out. I have access to 4 (yes 4) pools within my scope of travel. Granted, one is the Lakewood YMCA, where I take my lessons – it is slightly out of my normal drive pattern (20 miles) – but I have to go where the lessons are! That pool is spectacular. It is new and has dedicated lanes for lap swimming and is maintained at about 86-87 degrees. I like it like that. However, going there more than once a week is not practical. The other three are much closer. However, I am having recurring problems:

1. Bally’s Beachwood – 0.1 miles from my office and the one I swim in nearly every weekday at lunch. It has been hovering around 72-73 degrees. The idiots at the front desk keep telling me it is at 82 degrees and no one else has been complaining. Yeah right. That’s because there is no one else in the pool but me.

2. Bally’s Willoughby – 3 miles from my house and on my direct route to work. As an alternative to freezing to death, I started going here either before or after work. Its not ideal because its more crowded, but oh well. Anyway I get there one day and the water is green. It was so green I couldn’t see the bottom of the pool. So yes – I’m saying I went swimming in it anyway. At least it was warm. I held my mouth close so tight I got a cramp in my jaw. I also showered so long afterwards washing everything 2-3 times I determined it wasn’t worth it.

3. YMCA Willoughby – 2.5 miles from my house. It was warm – fantastic. It was crystal clear – wonderful. It had 7-8 people doing circle swimming per lane. There are only 2 lanes for circle swimming. Crap! It was my only choice. This has been the best alternative to being a popsicle or an algae parade. It also only has lap swim form 5-7am; 11-12am; and 9-10pm. The rest of the time the pool is used for classes. Gee those times are almost convenient.

So what would your choice be: big commute, freezing, green or overcrowded?


  1. Cheapest and most efficient for your time :)

    Ours is 5 min from our house and not THAT cheap, but for our brick sessions it makes the most sense for us.

    Glad you are happy with Leah! She is awesome. I wanted to do some random lessons with her throughout this summer to build up my confidence some more.

    Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Ha! I am the wrong one to ask, as I would give anything for your "big commute"! I live nowhere near a pool (90 min one way. It is crazy!) SO I would say, pick the option that you are most likely to use - by that I mean, if you see that 20 miles as a factor that might make you miss a swim, then don't do it.

  3. I have a pool in my house. My wife and I fight over the temp. She wants 84 I want 75. I would do the 73 pool.

    In case you are wondering, mine is set at 84.

  4. Do the Willoughby Y. You should see some benefit of swimming with other people. They will push you to swim faster. Just a thought.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys.

    MO: You will not be sorry if you take lessons from Leah. Maybe you can trim down your 12 strokes/lap :-)

    CG: I knew if you were reading this, that my commute could not compare. I'm lucky to have so many pools within 20 miles of where I live. I think there are 7 other Ballys and 7-8 other YMCA's within that radius I could use too.

    RST: See how smart you are for listening to the Mrs. I predict a long and health marriage for you!

    Eric: Thanks. Good advice. I did find myself pushing harder at that pool than any other because of the 'competition'