The most charmed swim in recent history

Monday, July 4, 2016



The sun was long and low when I locked my bike at High Park Pool and there was a T-ball game on. As I waited for the length swim to start, a kid named Moose got her first base hit and the umpire yelled "batter up" and "play ball" every time a kid stood in front of the tee. It was already summer perfection and I hadn't even gotten in the water...

The change rooms at High Park are cavernous, doubling as the change rooms for the skating rinks in the winter. I was so excited to find the pool, I got lost a number of times. Whoops.

But when I finally found the pool, it was so still and empty I almost wept. I was the only one in the water for the first few lengths, my arms cutting through the glass surface, the sun reflected through the water on the bottom and the sides of the pool in pale blue pale diamonds, shifting, wavering. And whenever I stopped to adjust my goggles, I could hear the the crack of a baseball on a bat at the diamond beside the pool, the eruption of fans at a home run, encouraging the runners home.  

Oh, and I found a loonie in the deep end, making it the most charmed swim in recent years.

Except that the water was so cold my hands were numb before the first lifeguard stepped down from the chair and I couldn't make it the full 55 minutes. I was too cold and my goosebumps had goosebumps. 

 I didn't swim at the High Park Pool last year for a lot of reasons, and I'm so glad this year is already different than last, even if it did take the longest, hottest shower, wool socks and track pants to warm me back up.


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