I get to the pool relatively early on Tuesday mornings. The local youth swim teams have a bunch of lanes reserved from 4:30-6:15 am, but open swim starts at 6, and the kids are typically out of the pool and into the locker rooms by that point.
Typically, I get to the pool around 6 or so, and am in the pool before 6:15. This week, I wanted to try to get in some extra distance before heading to work, so I did my best to get there early. When I walked onto the pool deck, I wished I had brought my camera.
The pool has two sets of lanes – the shallow end to the left and the deep end to the right. The deep lanes are often used by water walkers, so I swim on the shallow end. When I walked in, there were still a few swim team members in the deep lanes, and on the end of the shallow lanes sat adult swimmers, patiently waiting for the signal to swim. It was a very neat effect.
At first, I couldn’t figure out what they were waiting for. I wondered what the signal was that swim officially started. It didn’t take long to figure it out. There was no lifeguard on duty. Clearly, that’s the most important thing at the pool. I hope to never see anyone need their services, but they must be there.
So I said good morning to my normal lane partner (as per usual, he didn’t acknowledge my presence, but one day you will, grumpy old man) and sat down to wait. I still didn’t know what the signal was after all.
Then I saw it. The moment the lifeguard put one foot onto his stand, people leapt into the pool. My break was over. Time to swim.