I didn’t need to look at the photo I took yesterday. It told its own bleak story. A photo snapped as I pulled into our local YMCA. The parking lot was nearly empty for a weekday. In normal times (will we ever see “normal” again?) the lot would be packed. Delmar residents, with their gym bags and yoga mats would be bustling in and out. On one hand, it seemed somewhat surprising given so many people are still working remotely and could easily take a break to work out. Yet, not so surprising if you consider the risks of being in a gym, surrounded by sweaty people. I remember back to the good ol’ days, a phrase I now find myself using with more regularity, when I used to frequent the Y. The gym rats weren’t all that fastidious about wiping down the equipment. But back then, when the world was normal, relatively speaking, it wasn’t such a big deal. What were you really going to catch? Maybe everyone’s being more careful, but I’m not ready to take any chances.
I thought the pool might be a safer bet. Here, at least, you’re in the water and the virus isn’t fond of swimming. Or so they say. I considered returning to the Y just to be in a pool again. I love the water, the easy way it glides over my body, easing my joints. I didn’t even have that down in Florida last winter. Almost as soon as the temperature turned “pool weather” which for me, meant the high 70’s and sunny, the virus, along with a panic, hit South Florida. Masks were not yet available. People stopped going to restaurants. Shops were nearly deserted. The beaches and parks closed as did most of the community pools. We gave up our lease and, in late March, headed home.
I didn’t swim this summer either, as our community pool never opened. We joined the Albany JCC pool but it was often hard to get a reservation when we wanted it as spaces were limited. You had to call three days prior to the day you wanted to go, and at the exact time you wanted. Even so, that did not guarantee you a reservation. And when we did get in, the pool was crowded with families. It was more of a hassle than it was worth.
While I miss swimming, our Y allows only 30 minutes from the time you sign in to the time you leave. And getting undressed/dressed in the poorly vented locker room presents another risk that I’m unwilling to take. All for a short swim. And judging by the parking lot, I’m not alone in my hesitation.
I pulled out of the lot and headed home to use our new substitute for the Y. With a certain amount of foresight, several weeks ago, I ordered a recumbent bike with an upper body feature. That bike, combined with our weight bench and weights, will serve, for the time being, as our personal gym. Risk free, germ free. And no time restraints.
It’s not the “Y” and no, I still can’t swim and my husband won’t be playing his beloved pickleball there in the near future, but at least it will prevent the “Freshman 15” from morphing into the “Covid-19.” And as Martha Stewart is fond of saying, “It’s a good thing.” At least, it’s the best I can do.