Monday, August 24, 2009

Cleanliness being next to Godliness

..maybe only in Provo, UT, but especially after this mornings swim while sojourning out west for semester #2 Module #2. Anxious last night to get settled quickly in Provo after an exhausting delay-filled trip, I did what makes me comfy: search out the nearest bike-shop and the nearest swimming hole.. Through the magic of the internet, I found the Provo Recreation center and swimming pool, located near the business district, right behind the Provo High School. Having taken a bike spin around the 'hood after Sunday's class (scientific writing), I was not really amazed to find it shut tight on the Lord's Day, the lord weighting in pretty heavily in these parts of the world. Still head-spinning after hours spent figuring out import filters to EndNote X2, I headed towards the big "Y" painted on the hills overlooking Brigham Young University, and span my wheels. Several Mount Greylock-like climbs later, I dropped down into the valley floor, burning up my CX brakes and heading towards Mad-Dog Bicycles (also closed).. Never mind, I had dinner, drank some utah legal micro-servings of wine and hit the sack. This morning, an early start at 4:45 got me out of the Marriott King size slumberpad and onto my bike for a quick, dark spin through Provo. Whizzing past the original BYU campus, the Womens Gymnasium (honest, I HAVE to find out more about this building) and onto BullDog Ave, I hung a quick left and arrived at the unremarkable pool building. 1970's style concrete block without any windows, it looked remarkably similar to my beloved Kennedy Memorial Swimming Pool in my Irish home town of New Ross, where I spent many many chlorine filled years. Wafting a faint scent of chlorine and humming in the dark. Home. 5am had 8 or so locals lined up for open adult swimming, and I stood out amongst the septugenarians. Or at least, I hoped I did. Inside, having parted with the princly sum of $3 for a swim session, I followed the unspoken pool ettiquette and showered, lined up on the deck and surveyed the landscape; everyone assuming their position in their respective lanes. One lane empty, for me. Cool. Sliding into the water, immediately comforted by the familiar tiles, the warm water, the silky embrace of the blue water. Several thousand yards later, my attention is drawn to the large, bobbing figures to my right as I flip turn at the deep end. Aqua-aerobics is underway, and along with the ubiquitous 1980's music, a dozen extra-large ladies bob and weave while strapped into floating water-corsets, heads crowned by rubber floral swim hats, bottoms dimpled, legs larger than life underwater. Pushing off and tightly wound into a long arrow, with my ears filling with slooshing and my eyes tracking the black lane line, I am settling into Provo.

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