Other People's Pools - Get your Swim On!
Times are tough - finding a good pool to crash can be difficut these days. Budget cuts have been severe, and many public pools in the U.S. have had their seasons shortened, or have chosen not to open their pools.
But there's hope, if you play the game right, you can enjoy some free swimming - there's lots of opportunities here to help your kids learn to swim, or shake off some of that excess midsection.
But first, you have to get in the right frame of mind. Swimming is meant to be shared - repeat this mantra 10 times, with deep breaths before you begin to plan your swim.
1. Do a Google Maps search to find all the pools in your neighborhood. Ignore the ones that look small or ... green.
2. Do a search online for - Swimming Pools Ft. Worth, or wherever you live. Search Query Modifiers (lol) like Free or YMCA or Public or Hotel can help you zero in on a suitable oasis.
3. Post on your facebook wall or Tweet a leading question. Keep it simple and direct, like - Who has a Pool I can use!?!
4. Put all friends and co-workers who have pools into a database (spreadsheet). Make a rotating request wheel - so that you can space out all of your swims, so as to avoid that stare that means - dude, you're using my pool too much. Don't be that dude, instead - be helpful! Some pool owners will allow you to work off your visit - by lending a hand with a skimmer net or pool vacuum.
5. Find a local club pool or HOA pool. Ask the front desk staff (lifeguards) if the members can bring in guests, and if there is a guest fee. Then hang out in the parking lot, with the cash in hand. Ask incoming members "Can I be your guest today? I have the fees!" It helps to have some very sad eyed kids in tow, faces sprayed with water to make them look miserably hot ;-).
6. Stake-Out a quiet Hotel pool, indoors or outdoors. Call the front desk and ask if they allow non-guests to pay a pool usage fee. If they are unsure, but they don't say No...head out to the lifeguard, and ask the same question. Sometimes a nice tip to the lifeguards is all you need. If no one objects, or if they seem not to know, maybe you can take a little dip! But be careful about dipping too often, and make sure that you are not violating hotel rules or trespassing.
Of course, always be respectful of your friend's pool, never leave it a mess, and leave it cleaner than when you arrived. Be safe and use all equipment properly, and don't forget to shut the gate(s) as you exit. If you want to get your kids more acclimated to water - and pass onto them a lifetime of joy in and on the water - take them pool crashing!