Thoughts: Public Pools

It has clearly become the ‘Summer’ season and my kids (and I’m sure those of pretty much every parent alive) have decided that there is a compulsive need for me to take them swimming every weekend they’re with me.

My closest pool is Pt Erin in Herne Bay, but for some reason it’s not opened yet. So Mt Albert Aquatic Centre has been the best option.

If you’ve never been there, it’s quite a cool place. Multiple pools, sprays, a wave generator, and a decent water slide.

My kids LOVE IT and charge in all guns a-blazin’, and today I reluctantly decided to join them. I’m not big on swimming but more importantly to me, getting amongst a seething mass of humanity in a bowl filled with a liquid of dubious composition really isn’t my thing.

The children pressed me to pony up the cash to hire tubes for them to play with for an hour. Naturally, they ran out of things to do with said tubes after about 25 minutes and wanted me to hold on to them for them. Yeah… nah.

The people-watching dynamic is always interesting. But you’re not allowed to watch too closely as that may be construed as slightly creepy. It’s interesting listening too – the screeches of happy from kids, the cries of torment from kids, the words of encouragement from parents “suck it up, it’s only a bit of water” etc. etc.

It’s when clients of yours bob past that you realise you’re really not looking your best and suck in your stomach. Talking shop and generally being wary of the amount of eye contact your’re engaging in is a tricky balance. You don’t usually have business meetings with little clothing on.

I also found it disconcerting when my kids deserted me to go down the waterslide. There usually is a bit of a wait so I was left there floating in the main pool having to watch them. So… Mid-40’s male, bobbing, alone, surrounded by hordes of children, trying to act nonchalant… Uh oh…

Happily they swum themselves out and I was released from my overthinking.

And once dried and dressed and walking out of the place, I released my stomach muscles. I am after all, just a little bit vain.

God I hate Public Pools.

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