I’m going to assume a few things. First, you’re unfamiliar with the San Luis Obispo Swim Center. Second, the next time you’re passing through the Central California coast, you’re gonna want to get your swim on at the Center.
I can’t quite explain how infatuated I am with the Center, an outdoor Olympic sized pool that has three generous lap swimming shifts a day, year round. Owned by the city, it single handedly proves the public sector works. Built in 1979, it’s “Exhibit A” of substance over style. The “locker room” doesn’t have lockers, people just leave their post swim accessories—shampoo, soap, shaving cream—splayed on wood benches and on their towels near the showers. It’s the epitome of rustic minimalism. And it works beautifully at keeping all the classist dilettantes away.
Thursday pre-dawn, the Center’s Sinsheimer pool was set up long course meters. I split my lane with another dude. Air temp in the mid-30s, I couldn’t see from one end to the other because of the steam rising from surface. Just like the old days when the mighty Cypress High Centurions water polo team practiced before first period. Saturday noon, I had one of the twenty 25-yard lanes spread across the beautiful behemoth to myself.
The only negative, besides the Pacific Northwest winter weather, was the cashier who charged me the senior rate, $3.75, without any questions. Dammit, I wanted to pay the $4.25.
After Saturday’s swim, I chatted up an eight-year old swimming stud* and then read the Center’s rules and policies while waiting for the GalPal. Allow me to highlight the most important rules and policies to help you avoid an embarrassing infraction.
Proceeding from “fairly easy” to “impossibly hard”.
1st. And I quote, “Guests currently suffering from active diarrhea or who have had diarrhea within the previous 14 days shall not be allowed to enter the pool water.”
2nd. Horseplay, sitting on shoulders, or throwing of guests is not allowed.
3rd. Animals are not allowed to enter the water at any time.
4th. Excessive displays of public affection are not allowed.
The Good Wife struggles mightily with the last. To reduce the odds of an infraction, I purposely pick a lane a safe distance away.
You are welcome.I hope you enjoy your swim(s) half as much I enjoy mine. Long live the Center.
*My new eight-year old friend swims, plays soccer, and baseball. “Yeah, I always make the All-Star team,” he said matter-of-factly, “but I don’t get to play because I have to visit my family in Greece.” “Always?!” What, has he been named to eight All-Star teams in a row?! I spared him a “family privilege” talk.