Younger me would be very proud of the amount of time I’ve put into my swim training for the Austin 70.3 in October. Just last week I swam six times in seven days, including the longest swim of my life! All this was made possible by Austin’s free public pools. Case in point: there’s a pool just 2.5 blocks from my house and another less than a mile from my office, so the logistics of my tri training have been a non-issue.
Well, all that’s a-changing. Starting now the pools are closing
for the season. And by season I mean the entire year until next summer. Maybe it’s because the weather here in Central Texas gets too cold to be outside after mid-August. Or maybe it’s because everyone who had enjoyed swimming all summer have suddenly and in unison decided they don’t want to swim anymore. No, it ultimately comes down to budget. The city only budgets for the pools to be open a certain number of hours, and once the money is gone, the gates are locked. Only two pools remain open year-round, neither of which are near my house nor my office. Alas, some early morning commutes to the pool are likely in my future.
I can think of some ways these pools could stay open longer. For one, charge an admission fee to use the pool to make each pool self-sustaining. I mean, who closes public pools when it’s still 100*+ every day, and will be for the next month?