Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Elusive Hotel Pool

A hotel lap pool with palm trees overlooking Oriole Park. Really?
Someday I am going to look back on this and laugh. You see, two weeks ago I fell in a shower. As falls go it was mostly unremarkable and left me with a few bruised ribs and a cautionary tale to tell. To their great credit, my family and close friends have been nothing but supportive, with only a few mentions of my middle name (Grace) and an acknowledgment that it's just really painful. But as I heal I fully expect for things to get back to normal (read: someone sending me the YouTube video of the 'falling and can't get up' lady). The truth is that I feel so fortunate that it was not worse, and I will heal.

Yet it turns out that there are things you can and can't do with bruised ribs. You can, with enough pain medication, help officiate a wedding, attend a conference, and drink wine (not with the medication though, kids!). You can't, even with pain relief, swim, sleep, belly laugh (at least in the first week) or be cheerful all the time. All of that is temporary and no big deal. But it was a bit tortuous to find that my conference hotel, the Hilton in Baltimore, had an actual two-lane 25 yard pool. Yes, this hotel had a real, live, lap pool. With a lifeguard! When does this ever happen? Never! We swimmers are always searching for the nearest pool or nearest master's practice, but it's never on the 4th floor of the building you are staying in. So, just like I did when I was a kid, I sought out the pool when I arrived (old habits die hard I'm afraid, injury or not). What a mistake. Not only was it a real pool (where you can swim swim, as swimmers say), it was nice. And did I mention you can see Camden Yards out the window? I ruminated about it the whole conference. I'm even planning a return trip to see the Red Sox play the Orioles just so I can swim there. My lessons learned are twofold: 1) don't fall in the shower; and 2), if you are a swimmer and going to Baltimore on business, stay at the Hilton.