In my last column, I described our initial adventures as we embarked into the aquatic world of going swimming two or three times a week first thing in the morning. I’m happy to report that we are hanging on the pool edge way less after each length and energy levels are a lot higher on those days. The maintenance staff also loves me more because now that I am floating around staring at the building, I tend to ask more questions to them like, “Can you fix that?” and “Could you have a look at…?” Maybe I am misinterpreting their fixed smiles…
Another thing you discover as you chat with the various patrons in the mornings is that there are a lot of inspirational stories out there. Not only do you meet ones that have shed a pile of weight or improved their cardio, thus lowering risk of heart attack and a myriad of other health issues, there are the ones that have shortened rehabilitation times by half or avoided things like joint replacements simply by getting into a workout pattern in the pool. This is a small example of the stuff that we rarely saw in the outdoor pool and but which now forms part of the foundation of what the community complex represents to the community. It also continues on into the fitness area as we hear from people who had seldom come to the old complex but now comment how their quality of life has improved since they started using the place.
So, because you can use the facility all day when you buy a pass, we decided to get into some sort of fitness regimen and go to the fitness gym after work on the days we go swimming. A bit daunting at first — even though I have been in the track area hundreds of times, to actually get on a machine, properly set it and try and look cool like you know what you’re doing, well, it didn’t go like I had pictured it in my mind. Enter Tia and Michelle, our very knowledgeable fitness technicians, who quickly and painlessly showed us how to set things up and what kinds of weights to use for maximum benefit and safety. I also asked them to advise me when I was bulking up too much as I didn’t want to have to change out all my shirts, much like I have had to update my pants because of waist shrinkage due to hot water washing.
All the stuff in the fitness track area is pretty straightforward once you are shown and it’s great to see a fair number of seniors using the equipment alongside students — pretty much the full range of ages depending on the time of day. The other day when we started, just looking through the fitness track windows onto the pool and hot tub as the afternoon sun angled in on kids playing and adults relaxing, it was a kind of an On Golden Pond moment. A silver haired lady on the next machine remarked, “We sure are lucky to have this place.” I would agree in part, although it wasn’t luck; it was through the dedication and perseverance of a number of individuals and groups over the years followed by the commitment and continuing support of the residents of the valley.
Speaking of support, hats off to Tim Hortons, which is sponsoring a free community swim from 6-8 p.m. on March 19. Watch for further details in upcoming issues of the Creston Valley Advance.
Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.