Friday, October 12, 2007

Why Swimming is Doomed

Swimming may be doomed. The signs are all there. The population is aging, so more and more of us are embarrassed to even put on swim suits. The boards of most organizations that make decisions about swimming facilities have few if any swimmers to vouch for why money should be spent on them, much less how they should be designed - deep pool more than four feet? Why?, a pool longer than 25 yards? Why? Extended season past Labor Day? Why? Diving boards? Why? They've kept larger pools around because they are marquee facilities that are great to show off to attract new membership. But are these people really using them? Sadly, only a few of us still use them as they were intended. Mostly pools have become grand patios with a pretty view. A good place to catch intense sun rays - and now we hear that's bad for you. In place of grand facilities of the early to mid-twentieth century, we now see these new replacement trends: small, heated pools for soaking aching joints, heated large pools for (see previous entry), shallow pools because people can't stand up in deep water and haven't learned to tread water. Will people ever again truly appreciate the value large, deep pools? It's doubtful. The skill set is being lost. If most people never even learn to tread water, future decision makers certainly won't make the sacrifices necessary for people to enjoy these facilities. The next generation will never have had the chance to even had experienced what a good pool is. Those that survive will be a novelty. I think swimming, as we know it, is doomed.

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