Gym-Free Swimming Challenge

Monday I got home a little before noon. Michael was golfing with Charles on the way home from our camping trip so I had the day to do whatever I wanted. I unpacked, did laundry and then headed to my old pool. Being gym-free on swim days are stressful. I didn’t have any other options than to go to Mt. Scott Community Pool. It was where I started swimming to lose weight. It was where I worked really hard to lose over 100 pounds. I have very fond memories of Mt. Scott.


I also have some not so great memories of the place, which I remembered once I was there on Monday to swim. I arrived about 11:45 and was expecting it to be empty. I mean, it was the middle of the day on a work/school day. I paid the drop-in fee and got changed in the locker room. The pool wasn’t packed but it was busy. The whole pool was dedicated to lap swimming. Every lane had at least 2 people in it. I groaned inwardly and remembered what I disliked about community pools: sharing the lane when it was crowded.


I got in the fast lane with two other people already in it and they circle swam. I also remembered another thing I didn’t like about sharing a lane: everyone goes at a different pace. Even being in the fast lane with other fast swimmers, it’s so hard to find the right pacing. I had to slow down and sometimes stop in the middle of the lane because the guy in front of me wasn’t quite faster than me. I know it sounds petty to be annoyed with other swimmers in the lane but it really is hard to find swimmers who are evenly matched in pace. It’s hard to get a good workout when you have to stop a lot or slow to a breast stroke or dog paddle because you’ve caught up to the person in front of you.


Eventually one of the people in my lane left and we didn’t have to circle swim anymore. The rest of my swim was really enjoyable. It brought back fond memories of my time spent there. The pool at Mt. Scott really is a nice one.


By the time I was done with my 1.5 mile swim the lanes were all empty. Can you believe it? I guess I just picked the wrong time to go.


I relaxed in the hot tub and then took a shower. Where I remembered yet another thing I didn’t like about Mt. Scott: the showers. They are small and the water only stays on for about 15 seconds at a time before automatically shutting off.


You wouldn’t think that’s a big deal but it is when you’re in the middle of the shower and your water shuts off every 15 seconds. It’s these little things that remind me why I must have a gym membershipΒ somewhere.

Don’t let me discourage any Portlanders from using Mt. Scott, however. It suited my purposes just fine for 3 years. I used to work out in their small gym:


It had treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines and free weights. It was convenient to where I lived and in my price range. The pool is really nice, too. I definitely recommend Mt. Scott to anyone in the area looking for an affordable option. I just moved beyond this place and needed more in a gym.

Swim Stats:
Time: 57 minutes
Calories Burned: 400

Despite my minor annoyances, I was really glad I went and got in a swim session. I love swimming so much–it would be a really hard thing to give up. Until I figure out the gym thing I will probably drop-in to Mt. Scott for awhile.

The other part I disliked about swimming there: it took me two hours on Monday to swim. I had to drive to Mt. Scott, change, swim, sit in the hot tub, shower, dress, and drive home. Two hours? Two hours out of my life. It’s just not a convenient location to go to for me. πŸ™

Monday night’s dinner was a quick and easy dinner. I didn’t feel like going big grocery shopping after camping all weekend. I bought a rotisserie chicken from the store and made us salads, complete with tomatoes from our garden.

It was a good, quick dinner when I really didn’t have much motivation to cook.

QUESTION: If you are a swimmer, how do you deal with pacing when sharing a lane with other people?

4 Responses

  1. When you first started swimming did you like it? If not how long did it take until you liked it and then loved it? I want to like it- it is just so hard to motivate myself to go. When I love something- I make it a priority. I want to love swimming. Any tips???
    Jill recently posted..Finding Evidence

    1. Unfortunately I think it’s something you either love or hate. I always loved swimming–even as a kid. So it was a natural choice when I decided I needed to workout. It wasn’t a miserable experience for me. It was definitely HARD in the beginning because I was so out of shape, but I loved every minute of it.

    1. Oh I wouldn’t hate you! I used to be a slow swimmer too. It just takes lots of practice. I could in theory get up super early and go to the pool on my way to work to avoid the crowds but…..it’s so early!

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