Okay, so it's not technically summer yet, but in Vancouver summer starts May long weekend. Why is that, you ask? Kitsilano Pool is open, of course! Growing up in Point Grey, Kits pool has always been a major part of my summers. As a young girl it began with play dates in the shallow end. Next came the big step of going to the pool without my mom or dad..so grown up! At some point kits wasn't a play ground anymore, but an arena for elite training. In this stage of my life, my coach Steve would gather the distance group on the east deck for Saturday morning practice. It was a welcome change to train and get a tan! Not to mention the training benefits of those long flip-turn-less lengths. The most significant shift in my life at Kits Pool was when I got hired as an outdoor lifeguard, with the city of Vancouver.
I began working quite frequently at Kits pool. What a treat... getting paid to enjoy the outdoors and that gorgeous view. It was so easy to hop in the pool during my lunch and take advantage of my surroundings. In fact, it was jumping in for a mid-shift cool-off that probably kept me from giving up the sport during the years following my 2004 Olympic trails misery.
These days, I look at kits pool and I see happiness, freedom, and optimism. The water contains part chlorine and part salt, meaning I can absorb lots of vitamin D, with less chlorine after-smell! Remember that feeling I described about swimming in Hawaii - the playful freedom of swimming with endless ocean, visible all around me. Well pretend that the ocean is 137.5 meters long, and instead of tropical fish, I run into the odd swimmer who hasn't quite figured out how the lane works. I feel free and playful at kits! I love the long lengths. I love feeling the warm sun on my back, and seeing the fluffy clouds dancing in the blue sky. I love that when I stop to take a break I see a shimmery navy ocean stretching out to tall, strong mountains (and maybe I will head over for a hike after). I also see the arena in which I will be swimming for 12 hours. Just beside the pool is Kits beach. When I go to the pool for a swim, I am constantly thinking about what is to come on Aug 16th. I have swam at this beach before; Open water swim practices, short 1k races. Never have a had the opportunity to share 12 intimate hours alone in the chilly water. I say alone, but the seals will be with me! Once June comes along, I will jump in the ocean as much a possible (only one more week). But..assuming the water wont have warmed up enough quite yet, I will also play in the pool!
Kits, as well as Second Beach Pool and New Brighton, will be open until September. Go play - Go for swim!