I love the water. I love sitting beside it. If it’s the sea, I love watching the tide rush in and out. If a river, the current pushing against the grasses below. Water cascades, undulates, swirls and pools. It creates caves and arches, eddies and streams. It constantly changes, catching light and creating mirrors and rainbows.
Even better than sitting beside the water, is immersing myself in it. I’ll dive into the deepest river, splash in the smallest puddle, and float in the calmest bay. Is it because millennia ago, I came from water? Or decades ago, from my mother’s womb? Did my March birth ordain that I would be a fish?
It is no surprise then, that I have always wanted a swimming pool. We had one when I was a girl, and I remember pleasant days floating with a book in hand. When our kids were little, we had an above ground pool that held the water with a plastic liner. It was difficult to keep clean and more than once had to be repaired when a child jumped in and tore the liner. Glen was eager to dismantle it and swore we’d never have another. Still, I dreamed of a real pool.
My retirement goal, in addition to travelling, was to have a pool, but the two seemed mutually exclusive. Who would keep the pool clean for months at a time while we were gone? How to keep it from turning green during rainy season? Glen reminded me of a friend’s pool that sprouted tadpoles after a hurricane knocked out the electricity for weeks.
Then, I discovered swim spas. About the size of three (or more) hot tubs, the swim spa has a space for relaxing like a hot tub, but also has strong jets that allow you to swim in place. Unlike an inground pool, they don’t require a deep hole, but the sides are fiberglass so don’t tear or leak. They can be drained, disconnected, and covered when not in use allowing the flexibility of travel. And they are heated and jetted to relax old, tired muscles after a day of gardening or working in the garage.
Glen said, “We’ll see,” and we went to a local spa manufacturer who advertised swim ready spas “direct from the factory” for a guaranteed price. We not only found them cheaply made but the low advertised rate was only available twice a year and for the basic model. I was ready to give up, but surprisingly, Glen suggested we go to a “spa show” in a neighboring city.
We arrived on the first day at the opening hour but were astounded to see that of about forty hot tubs and three swim spas, almost all were already marked sold. Perhaps it was a clever marketing device as the salesmen told us that people were lining up to get in four hours earlier and that due to Covid and shipping delays, hot tubs and spas now had a six month wait. Unless we were willing to take a floor model.
With only two swim spas left for sale and one being much larger than we needed, we made the hasty decision to spend twice as much as we had planned for a floor model that could be delivered in five days. Which meant we committed to do a lot of site work to prepare for delivery, not to mention some rapid rearranging of money between bank accounts.
To say that we experienced buyers’ remorse for those five days would be an understatement. As we cleared space for its location, hauled shell to stabilize its base, installed new electrical circuits, and debated the height of a ladder for access, our brains were occupied with the alarming thought, “What Have We Done?” But, the check cleared, the ground was ready, and the spa delivered on time by four pleasant young men who assured us we had made the right decision. As they rolled it off the truck, we prayed they were right.
And they were. The swim spa is everything I hoped it would be. I can exercise for longer periods of time than if I were walking or jogging on land. I swim, stretch, do aerobics, and tread water three or four times per week. I feel like I am getting stronger, and my hips and lower back don’t hurt like they did. Glen enjoys soaking in the warm water at the end of the day. An added benefit that we didn’t count on is that we are spending more time together as we usually go out after supper to end the day with time in the spa.
The swim spa is well made, the jets work as advertised and it is just the right depth for our needs. Delivery was excellent although they did not bring the cover as promised and had to make a second trip with for it. Though it has only been a few weeks, it was well worth the money we spent. Especially on a 40-degree night with steam coming off the water and a full moon overhead! We’ve even seen some shooting stairs, but I already got my wish!