GLENWOOD SPRINGS - With little of a recreational nature available to me as I continue to nurse a torn hamstring, I've taken to joining the eclectic assortment of prunish-skinned bathers in the Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood Springs.
It sounds ridiculous, and there's no aerobic benefit to it as far as I can tell, but walking in water up to my armpits must be good for something because it's not easy to make forward progress. It's like slow-motion exercise, weaving amid people of all shapes and sizes who are also meandering aimlessly in the expansive pool. Only in the lap lanes are people doing anything resembling a fitness routine.
I used to swim laps in this pool myself back when I was able-bodied and had a schedule that permitted regular visits. It's a routine unlike any other I've found for simply zoning out.
On my water walks, though, there is plenty to occupy my thoughts, and the hijinks my family engaged in here often come to mind. All the toys we used to bring are against the rules now.
The snaking, green tube of the giant water slide stands silent during the winter months, but I remember when several small slides dotted the sides of the main pool, beckoning me out of the water even if the air was cold. And I remember summoning the courage to dive off the 3-meter board in the deep end. It, too, is long gone.
I also recall my dad talking about how he and his friends engaged in log rolling in the pool when he was young. The pool of my youth was tame by his standards.
So, digressing here, on a recent weekend I walked down to the shallow end, intending to soak in the adjacent hot pool, when I spotted a gent who I'm guessing was about 70 years old wearing a thong! I mean pouch in front and butt floss in the back.
I've seen very few people at the pool with the physique for this get-up, and he certainly wasn't one of them, yet he was strutting on the deck seemingly without a shred of self-consciousness. I passed a pair of incredulous women and then a group of youngsters all having an "ewww" moment at the sight of him.
On my next visit, I absentmindedly read the do's and don'ts of swimwear as I stood in the admission line.
"Absolutely no thongs," the sign read.
Now that's a rule they should enforce.