Annoying Pool Rules


This short rant brought to you by the Amarillo Town Club – a place to work out, and not the pool in the above picture. For whatever reason I don’t actually have a picture of the ATC pool.

Normally, this place gets rave reviews. The pool manages to not hit my biggest pet peeves about pools: they get the temperature for training right! Not only that, they have a little training pool for old people and children that’s kept at the right temperature for them.

That in my opinion is extraordinary praise.

They even get the hours right. 5 am till 9 pm.

Seriously, that is pretty awesome as well. It’s a pool that is kept in the right condition and with the right times for people to actually train swimming well.

Most pools don’t do that. They keep the pool at 84 which is near the cut off for having a Master’s Swimming Open Water event – a temperature set because of the risk of heat stroke. The ATC doesn’t do that.

Unfortunately, I now have a complaint that is founded on several problems that are probably more about me than about the pool. These are the foundations of my grievance: 1) They offer no lessons for children under the age of 5; 2) There is not a swim team in town that allows kids under the age of 7; 3) They do not host swim meets; 4) The offer no masters swimming.

All of these would be nothing except they will not let me use the starting blocks for training or for teaching unless I am an employee. They wont even let me use the training blocks for training if I am an employee.

And the head guy Mr. Doug’s response: “Well surely with your experience you don’t need to practice your dive anymore.” Or something like that.

Unfortunately, there’s no where else to go. There are no other training pools in this region – Pampa (45 minutes away), Canyon (40 minutes away), Dumas (1 hour 10 minutes away) all keep there pools too hot. While I can uses the long course pool owned by the city it closes early in the fall and the staff absolutely refuses to leave lane lines in for lap swimmers.

I don’t mind splash or waves, but I don’t want to run into a kid while I’m swimming.

So, for now, I can neither work and teach my daughter how to dive off blocks, nor can I get lessons for her, nor can I practice my dives. Seriously, it’s just a dive off the blocks, why is it such a problem for them to let me use the pool. I have been way too spoiled by the teams which I have been on in which the sort of “anything not idiotic goes” is the norm.

ATC, you have one unfriendly rule to people who want to train competitively. Please change it.


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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