Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Repsol/Talisman/Lindsay Park shout out

And yes, I sometimes think of it as Lindsay Park, since that's what it was called when I started swimming there many years ago.

My regular readers know I'm in there several times a week, mostly swimming. The hot tub too, of course. (I'm sad when it's out of service, and there's some days I've nearly cried.) I sometimes run on the track when it's crappy or icy outside. A quick look will show it to be level or essentially so, though my various devices have some interesting numbers for elevation changes. Much more rarely I'm also onto a treadmill, though I don't much like them. I don't run well enough to be comfortable on a treadmill. One of my buddies is (rightfully) on my case about doing more core (Hi KF!) work in the gym, but well, you know. I see lots of people pushing weights, and I don't know how they do it without losing their minds with boredom. Different strokes, I guess.

For a while I worked at Talisman the oil and gas company. It made for some careful conversations sometimes to keep the office job distinct from the facility.

I know some of the staff well enough to chat with them along the way, but lately I've been looking at all the other staff that makes a place like this work. The lifeguards and trainers are perhaps the most obvious people. I feel for the lifeguards some days. Most of the swimmers aren't just good, they are excellent. The odds of someone needing to be hauled out of the pool are very small.

The people that get overlooked the most are the ones that have the most important jobs, keeping the place clean, and all the mechanical equipment working properly. Hundreds of people with their outside shoes and their sweaty bodies come through the facility every day, so keeping it clean is a big task. As for getting the bodies clean before they go in the pool, my modest suggestion is for Repsol to look at modifying those high pressure car washing machines and install it at the doorway from the locker room to the pool.

I've been downstairs during an Open Doors YYC tour, and it's a maze of boilers, heaters, tanks, filters, pumps, valves and the instrumentation that makes it all work. The facility opened September 1983, 35 years ago, so maintenance is an essential ongoing activity, even if it sometimes restricts the availability of the facilities. Some of the maintenance, like the recent roof work or floor tile replacement is probably contracted out.

There's the admin staff at the front desk and behind the scenes making sure all the paperwork happens. There are various managers and organizers for all the different activities that take place, working out of offices tucked into nooks and crannies. For years I've seen the guy working in the parking lot and he always has a smile and a wave. There are people working there as coaches and serving food that don't work for the facility, but they are a big part of making it a functional space. (I sure hope I haven't missed anyone.)

But it's more than just a functional space. It's a nice place to be. I like the vibe, and the sounds of people swimming makes me happy. If I lived closer I would probably drop in and use the one lounge as a writing space.

I love seeing all the different people there, working towards all their different goals. Some of the people are the very best in the world at their activities and it's amazing to watch them. Some are training to get to that level and they're just as amazing. Some are training to win their age group. Most are working their fitness plan or playing with buddies, trying to stay active and healthy. Some are recovering from an injury or a medical adventure, and are working to expand their limits. They might barely be able to get around the track once without needing to rest, but they are working just as hard as the Olympic contenders.

There's times I've had the whole 50 m pool to myself, and times all the water is a gong show of activity. I would imagine trying to schedule all the clubs while leaving space for the general public gets challenging sometimes, especially if there's a problem with one of the pools. Things change, and the staff are always helpful about dealing with it.

So a small bouquet of roses to the staff at Repsol! These are not some delicate dainty pretty roses from a green house. These are badass, tough roses that survived the big dump of snow last week.

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