I don't know about you, but I grew up swimming in anything that was wet. Strip mine? Yes. Lake? Don't mind if I do! Public pool, drainage ditch (no lie), river, ocean or inflatable pool? Absolutely. They all sounded like heaven to me. I loved to swim.
I still love to swim, but I've noticed as I get older that I grow more and more leery of my habitat. That childhood drainage ditch that used to flood when it rained hard now sounds as if it most likely carries hundreds (if not thousands!) of diseases that could kill me or, worse yet, maim me beyond recognition with a terrible virus. Lakes are filled with snakes and bugs. People drown in strip mines all the time (according to my parents when I was younger, anyway). Oceans are filled with any manner of things that will try and eat me if given half the chance. I'm pretty sure the only sanitary solution would be to build my own private pool where at least the germs would be confined to a few known entities, but, alas, it is not to be.
This leaves me with the public pool. We have one in our neighborhood and spend at least half of our summer days splashing around there. The problem, of course, is that so does the rest of the neighborhood. This means that on any given visit to the pool I am likely to be assaulted by 10-15 snot-dripping kids (including my own). A Baindaid floats up to me at least once a week. There are myriad bugs floating hither and tither, waiting to go into my hair or my daughter's mouth (because I no longer get my mouth near public pool water it poses less of a risk unless it flies into my mouth). We recently visited the pool after a rain and, though it was hot and I really wanted to swim, I couldn't let myself relax in the water because there were so. many. bugs. I spent 45 minutes sweeping bugs into the filters of the pool before I was even comfortable sitting on the steps. Ugh. And I can never push away the thought that a bunch of strangers (questionably cleaned) naughty bits are just a thin layer of fabric away and swimming in the same soup as me.
No, the relaxation factor has swum out of my swimming. It makes me sad that I am no longer the carefree child who swam happily in anyplace she could. It also grosses me out to watch my daughter be the carefree child who swallows a gallon of who-knows-what at each pool session. I know the value of it, though, so we go and I mostly sit on the step and splash myself off to keep cool. I suppose it won't be long until I become one of those parents who doesn't swim at all when I bring my kid to the pool but just sits on the side sunning and reading a book, a behavior I could never understand when I was younger.
I guess what I'm saying is that I will happily accept donations to my pool fund.