I normally swim at a city of Calgary pool; Killarney pool more specifically. It's not REALLY that close to my house, but it's close enough, it's cheap, there is a gym if I feel like a change of scenery, and that's just where I go. It's not the nicest pool around, but it will do. One of my issues is the schedule, since there are very few hours for lane swim after 9:00 am, and even though I set my alarm almost every day so that I can get up and swim, it's rare that I actually get there. Also, I don't LOVE the other people who swim there. Now, I have no problems whatsoever with people going to the pool who aren't great swimmers. That was me one year ago. It's just that I never know where I fit in with these people. On Monday nights during swim conditioning class, I am a definite SLOW laner. Everyone is faster than I am. During lane swim, however, the slow lane is full of people who are just walking back and forth in the pool, so I go to the medium lane. This is where it gets tricky. I'm not fast. Not at all. But I swim with my face in the water and I do a real stroke. Sometimes, there are the "I'm just going to hop in the pool for a change but I don't want to get my hair wet" people in the medium lane. They're faster than the walkers, but they aren't medium. Over in the fast lane, people are one second away from qualifying for the olympics, so where do I go? I usually suck it up, go in the medium lane and just pass people (which isn't terrible for the ego for a second).
Last night I went to the Talisman Centre for a change. These issues don't really exist there. There are WAY more lanes, the people are generally a lot more "serious", and I can get away with slow, maybe medium, with no issues at all. Also, if you go in the last 90 minutes, it's only a 5$ drop in fee, which is the same as the city of Calgary pools. Last night, I psyched myself up for a great swim, and when I got there, I realized that their main pools were under renovation. SO, in the last remaining pool I found two water polo teams, three lanes of swimming, and a lot of people with dry hair. I felt foiled! I didn't give up, but I spent my time passing people and getting hit in the face by crazy sporadic arms. Hey, on the bright side, it simulated the tri race experience!