Not a swimmer. OK I like swimming in the ocean but no pools, please. It’s OK once I’m in the water, but if I have to choose to go swimming or something else? I won’t go swimming. Yeah, I know how to swim and, as a kid my brother and I spent a lot of time in the public pool in Bellevue, Nebraska. We rode our bikes a couple miles to get there. The pool was on the edge of the forest and as summer days were muggy and hot, the pool was the best place.
My love of swimming in pools or anywhere else (except the ocean) died in the early 90s. (I wasn’t a kid. I was 42.)
In Switzerland, my friends took me to a water park named Alpamare near Zürich. It had several water slides and different pools. It was fun until it wasn’t. I got on a slide, slid down, and, somewhere along the way hit my head and got a concussion. When I landed at the bottom I was unconscious and my face was under water. A nurse/guard there pulled me out and asked me the usual questions about my name, rank and serial number and I couldn’t answer. He concluded things were even worse than they were. He didn’t know I didn’t understand Swiss German. When my friends got to the bottom of the slide they looked for me and found me in the little “hospital” room off the slide area. They hurried in and things were straightened out, but after that I didn’t really like water, especially over my head. It’s funny how an experience like that tells us “No more!!” on a primal level. I’ve only recently put these pieces together to understand why I don’t want to go swimming.
I had the chance in Italy to take diving lessons and the thought terrified me. Kind of too bad though, honestly, it doesn’t put a big crimp in my life.
All around the rim of mountains are hot springs and hot springs pools, mostly on the opposite side of the valley from where I live. There is a wonderful place to swim here in the San Luis Valley known as The Pool. The views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains from this place (not obvious in these photos) are awe inspiring.
It’s a large, wonderful hot springs pool. The facility also has a place it calls “the Greenhouse” which is adults only. A narrow pool runs through it and “rehomed” potted tropical plants grow all around.
I have gone swimming at The Pool once, had a good time, and never went back. I don’t expect to go back, but who knows?
Another hot springs near the small mountain town of Crestone is very beautiful — Valley View Hot Springs. It’s a very special place for its history past and present, and its goals. It looks down over the valley. Incredible.
So what’s different about the ocean? I’ve swum in the ocean many many many times. I loved diving beneath the breakers and coming out on the other side to swim. Maybe it’s the buoyancy provided by salt water? Maybe it’s that there were no boundaries or walls? Maybe it was the joy of living water? Maybe because, in its way, it was like hiking because I could see animals below me and around me? Maybe it was that I would get a free ride back to shore on the waves? I don’t know, but I really loved it.
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