Back at the Y

Since I was around 14 years old I’ve had a membership at the YMCA. That membership included an “Away” status that allowed me global access to Ys. On Thursday, I renewed my Y membership in Elizabeth City, NC.

YMCA Elizabeth City, NC

The move from Easton, MD to New Hope, NC meant saying goodbye to one of the best Ys in the world. I’d been going to the Y in Easton for nearly a decade. They had two pools – one of my main reasons for going.

I do lift weights, but only for muscle maintenance – not bulking up. As a triathlete, bulk means more body weight to carry. That is tough while running and worse when going uphill on a bicycle.

Swimming, however, is a different story for me. I am a horrible swimmer. Growing up in South Georgia, swimming was an activity associated with some floatation device and a 6-pack of beer tethered to that float. Competitive swimming is a totally other activity. I’ve spent many years working to finish in the middle of the pack during the swim leg of a triathlon. Despite the effort there were races where claiming a mid-pack finish was generous.

Working through a 2.4 mile swim

The Y in Elizabeth City has a nice pool. Before joining that Y I used my “Away” membership to train there and never needed to wait for a lane. In fact, using that “Away” membership I have swam at Ys from San Diego to Jerusalem. The Y in Jerusalem is particularly cool.

YMCA Jerusalem, Israel

While I have no burning desire to do another triathlon, I know the day will come when I am compelled to race. Having a pool in which to do laps means I can at least maintain my slow pace – maybe even improve a little. It also means year round swimming and getting out of river for a break. The water in the river here has been near 90°F throughout the summer. That is really hot for a long swim.

I’m looking forward to heading to the Y for a swim. The shoulder work may even prove beneficial over the long haul in archery.