Amidst the piles of books in my room, past exam papers spewing from the printer and colourful pens playing hide and seek across the house, I decided that I needed a break…. And what better break than a trip to the swimming pool?
Apart from the odd parkrun and jog around the city, sports is one of the things I haven’t really explored whilst at uni and so I decided to make a start with swimming. With a quick google search for the timetable, I found off-peak times in the pool to be 7am to 5pm on weekdays, costing a reasonable £3. Armed with a big fluffy towel, my flip flops and the all-important 20p for the locker, I began my swimming adventure at Goodwin.
Upon arrival in the changing rooms, I was immediately shamed as a rookie. Ready for a swim-packed session, my first mission was to actually find the entrance to the pool… after a puzzled look from a fellow swimmer, I was pointed in the right direction (ladies, follow on through the changing room past the showers and toilets. Gentleman, unfortunately I am going to have leave the navigation challenge up to you.)
Finally arriving at the pool, I realised that the swimming pool was just what it was, with the pool sectioned off into a standard general area, slow lane, medium lane and fast lane. The images of the funky colourful tiles and sea-themed wall art at my local swimming pool from home stayed wistfully in my mind but nevertheless I was determined to make the most of the trip. Having not swum properly since leaving secondary school, I dived in and began doing the standard lengths, trying my utmost best not to swim-crash into the only other person in the lane who hadn’t quite mastered the ability to swim in a straight (ish) line (or maybe he was zig-zag training, who knows). After a while, I got bored. From the days when I used to spend whole Sunday mornings doing lengths, I came to realise that I no longer found swimming calming, or fun. Maybe it was the lack of changing scenery that I was accustomed to on my runs, maybe it was the fact that I felt conscious of wearing so little in the public eye or maybe it was down to the super fun looking frog float boards tied away neatly on the sides away from public use.
After an hour and a half of time-racing myself up and down the pool, I popped into the pool sauna (awkwardly jumping out as a group of lads all came in at once) and returned back into the changing rooms. The changing room itself was probably the most impressive part of the experience. Facilities included a swimming costume dryer (woah), wet clothes bags, shoe covers, hot showers and hairdryers – all the small things that are incredibly helpful yet normally missing from the majority of pools.
So… as a student almost coming to the end of my second year, I can finally say that I have been swimming at Goodwin’s pool. Conclusion? It’s a good pool with decent facilities (would have been improved significantly by access to the frog float boards) but personally, I would much rather stick to running… and now back to the fun world of studying! Best of luck to everyone studying as well!