PT needs return of The Life Aquatic | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 11/5/20

Let’s go off the deep end today. Even though I’m generally the shallow type ... who likes bad metaphors. 

We need our Mountain View pool back. 

And by “we” I …

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PT needs return of The Life Aquatic | Mann Overboard

Posted

Let’s go off the deep end today. Even though I’m generally the shallow type ... who likes bad metaphors. 

We need our Mountain View pool back. 

And by “we” I mean the many local swimmers who made an eye-popping 36,000 visits to our pool last year. The use of the pool has “skyrocketed” the past few years, says one city employee. 

In a community with this many seniors, a public pool is a valuable resource. 

Both Sequim and Port Angeles have reopened their pools, following Gov. Inslee’s detailed, science-based guidelines for doing so safely — requiring reservations, limiting capacity and physical distance, carefully monitoring locker rooms. 

And once you have jumped through all those state hoops and finally do get wet, the best parts: exercise, and chlorine kills COVID. It’s my favorite halogen! 

The pool here is much more than a recreational facility. Recreational swimming is only a small part of it.

Look into the pool, any day, and you’ll see exercise classes (mostly female) with up to 50 people in the deep end. Therapy sessions every morning in the other end draw 12 to 20 people, mostly seniors, to gentler classes. 

For many people here, myself included, the pool is the only cardio exercise option. 

I had polio, and it came back. It’s called Post Polio Syndrome (yes, it’s a thing). 

(As I mentioned here once, every time I hobble into the pool, one wiseguy swimmer pal yells out “Marco!) and I yell back “Polio!”) 

I swim laps. It’s almost as boring as watching painting shows on PBS, but my health dictates I gotta do it. 

FDR’s polio was famously eased by his swimming at Warm Springs. He once remarked, “The marvelous thing about getting in a pool is it reduces gravity.” 

There has been much discussion here lately about the golf course — as well there should be — but there are far more swimmers here than golfers. A lot more. (I spent too many years on the links.) 

In the past five years alone, use of our Mountain View pool has doubled. Many times I have a hard time finding a parking spot there, even with a disabled placard. 

Half the pools in this state have now reopened under the governor’s prudent guidelines. 

Jefferson Healthcare has expressed interest about teaming up with the city and using the pool in its rehab program. 

Lest we forget, the pool is not used only by seniors. The Port Townsend High swim team is based there, as is another local youth swim team, 

In the summer, the pool is filled with youngsters taking swim lessons. In the mornings all year round, you can see parents with infants and toddlers at the pool happily having family fun at designated times. This place is for all ages. 

“We really want to get the doors open,” says city recreation manager Alex Wisniewski. “But first we have to get the facility back up and running and get our lifeguards recertified.” That could happen this month, if he gets the city’s OK.

Yes, the pool will need funding (although I’ve done a small part by paying $500 for a one-year pass that’s sitting well, dead in the water). 

And many swimmers, I’m told, would be all too glad to pay even more to use it — for health reasons. 

Our city council will be giving careful consideration to Port Townsend’s strained budget in the next few weeks. I trust they do the right thing here. In early December, there’ll be a second reading of the city’s budget plans. 

Please let our public officials know how important reopening the pool is to so many Port Townsend residents. It will enable hundreds of us to stay healthier. 

Let’s show a little civic pride here. 

If Sequim (which also, of course, has many seniors) and Port Angeles (which has a remodeled pool) can get their pools reopened, so can Port Townsend. Let’s beseech the city to reopen our pool. It will help so many of us get through the long winter healthier and happier.

(Leader columnist Bill Mann has been forced to restrict his aquatic activities for the past few months to playing with his Rubber Ducky. Newsmann9@gmail.com) 

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