[M.A.P.L.E. V-30] Chlorine

This post is finally written from home, but it is another short one. Mobile Style is usually a sufficient condition for a short post, but is by no means a necessary condition too.

Thus, I want to talk about chlorine… and in some sense, my recent history with swimming pools!

When I was younger (i.e. living in Fort Dodge or during elementary and middle school years), summer days at the swimming pool (whether the Fort Dodge Country Club, Hillcrest Country Club, or a municipal Lincoln pool) were common activities for my family. Obviously, I had no real control over not going to these. I didn’t dislike these days, but just wanted to mention that, as it will come up later in the post.

After I exited and dried off, I always seemed to like the chlorine smell that remained on my skin if I would lick said skin and smell the wet part of the skin. (That sounds so wrong, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one who liked the residual chlorine smell.)

Additionally, when I was younger, Mom and Dad would either pack or remind me to pack a swimsuit whenever we would go on vacation, whether it was an obvious time to take a swimsuit (e.g. the Carnival cruise in 2001) or an incidental possibility (e.g. weekend trips to Hastings or Ames for siblings’ swim or gymnastics meets). And those pools were all chlorinated too!

However, the summer after my tenth and eleventh grade years, I had my own autonomy with transportation. And for whatever reason, this frequently involved convenient forgetting of my swimsuit when I was out and about. Thus, the pool was not as common in my summer social life. I still took my swimming suit in my suitcase whenever we went on vacation or weekend trips, however.

But, come the summer after my senior year, I spent more times at the pool, because of the new water basketball game that I made. Thus, I was less likely to forget the swimsuit since I wanted to have enough games to get a reasonable number of fixtures in the season!

Fast forward to 2009. We cancelled our membership to Hillcrest, because we had built a pool in our back yard. Unfortunately, it was not ready for use until nearly July, so I had a “very” condensed basketball season, where I would often play on consecutive days or even twice in a day!

And our pool uses copper shocks instead of chlorine as its anti-microbes, so that there was no chlorine smell on me after finishing a dip or a basketball game. The convenience was right there, so that I didn’t have to worry about forgetting a swimsuit. Sometimes, I would even jump in wearing my bike shorts or basketball shorts immediately after a bike ride!

Once I moved away from Lincoln that summer, wearing a swimsuit became very few and far between. I never went to a swimming pool or water park during my six years in Evanston, and only went to the beach once during that time. Despite many travel situations, the only time that I remembered to pack a swimsuit was 2011 (Indianapolis, and then Birthright), and 2015 (Labor Day weekend). But in the two latter cases, it was specifically prompted.

The reason I didn’t wear a swimsuit was obviously not self-shame of my body (I don’t care what people think about my body!). Rather, it was that I chose to do other summer activities like bike riding. And the Chicago beaches, though they sounded like fun, would have been more fun with friends, or if the water were warmer. (Of course, I could rue the fact that I never went swimming or never suggested it as an activity, but I’d rather enjoy what I DID do!)

This weekend, when I went to the Twin Cities, since I knew we were staying at the Embassy Suites, I had a feeling that we might go swimming or enjoying the spa.  And so I packed my swimsuit without a prompt, and it was a good choice.

And thus, for only the second time since 2009, I enjoyed the smell of chlorine on my skin after I dried off!

Yeah, I know that the smell is probably slightly toxic, but I’ve never gotten sick after being in a swimming pool!


Today is the thirtieth day of the fifth round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes four weeks and two days.

היום שבעה ושלושים יום-שהם חמישה שבועות ושני ימים לעומר

Kenosha West: 2 days.

Host Time: 4 days.

Twenty-Nine: 34 days.


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