The Secret Life of Swimmers

Amazing! I was at the lake for our annual family reunion for just one week and managed to pack on five pounds. Five pounds! Sure, we lounged about in the sunshine and ate well and constantly. But, we also went for kayak rides, swam, and danced. Apparently, not enough to burn off all the extra calories. Indulge me for a moment as I reminisce about morning pancakes, frittata, and bacon; the pork loin we had one night and the lobster feast we had the next; homemade lasagna, spicy chili, and pizzas on the grill; Mexican meatballs and cilantro salsa; gallons of ice cream. What a delicious week!

Swim, swim, swim
So, now it’s payback time. What am I doing about it? I’m swimming. I am fortunate to live just minutes away from the Alfond Center at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. It has a fabulous pool and offers lap and open swims, swimming lessons, water safety instruction, and AquaFitness classes. I did AquaFitness three times this week and laps this morning. I can’t say enough about how great I feel.

I didn’t learn to swim until my late 30s, after my second daughter was born. The Portland YWCA offered adult lessons. I decided it would be a good thing to finally know how to swim, plus it would help me get back in shape. It worked so well that after I returned to work I swam three mornings a week for more than a year. Gotta pat myself on the back for that one because with two little kids and a full-time job, I don’t know how I managed to fit in going to the pool as well.

Unfortunately, the YWCA was torn down a few years ago. But, if you are also inspired to swim, and don’t mind paying what is usually a nominal fee to use a community pool, you still have plenty of choices.

Community pools in and around Portland, Maine

Alfond Center at St. Joseph’s College
278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish
(207) 893-6669 or SJCAquatics@sjcme.edu

Casco Bay Regional YMCA (branch of Cumberland County YMCA)
14 Old South Freeport Road, Freeport
(207) 865-9600

Davan Pool, Wescott Junior High School
426 Bridge Street, Westbrook
(207) 854-0834

Greater Portland YMCA (branch of Cumberland County YMCA)
70 Forest Avenue, Portland
(207) 874-1111

Greely High School Pool
303 Main Street, Cumberland
(207) 829-2208

Harold Paulson Pool – Riverton Community Center
1600 Forest Avenue, Portland
(207) 874-8456

Pineland YMCA (branch of Cumberland County YMCA)
25 Campus Drive, Suite 100, New Gloucester
(207) 688-2255

Reiche Community Pool
166 Brackett Street, Portland
(207) 874-8874

Richards Pool
345 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth
(207) 799-3184

South Portland Municipal Pool
21 Nelson Road, South Portland
(207) 767-7650 or pmcardle@southportland.org

Judy Starkman/The Secret Life of Swimmers 


The Secret Life of Swimmers

Judy Starkman, from Culver City, California, is passionate about photography and swimming. She created a public art project called The Secret Life of Swimmers, which documents the diverse lives of her fellow swimmers. My daughter, Katharine, who is indirectly responsible for my learning to swim 25 years ago, discovered Judy’s project online. We are sharing it with you because we think it is an awesome project.