Since writing about the fitness side of Greenbelt Aquatic and Fitness Center I’ve wanted to learn more about the other part – all things aquatic – and now it’s hot enough to dive into that topic, too.
Outdoors Aquatic Events/Activities
Outdoors, the pools seem to always be busy with an assortment of activities, starting with the swim team practice at 6:30 every morning for the oldest of the bunch – 13 to 18-year-olds – and continuing until the pool opens for the public at 11 (on weekdays). As many as 100 of the city’s summer camp-goers have free swim time there most weekdays from 1 to 3, and I’m told that adults who are regulars tend to avoid those hours. No matter what, there are always lap lanes open, and 15 minutes of every hour are for adults only in all lanes.
Just three Saturdays a year the outdoor pool hosts swimming meets, so it doesn’t open to members until 1. (Separate blog story about the team coming soon.)
My favorite times at the pool are the special events, like the regular Family Nights on Fridays from 8-10 pm after regular closing. The first one of the season drew an estimated 18-19 families, and the next one is July 18. Around Easter the pool hosted an Underwater Egg Hunt and on December 31, the famous Polar Plunge (and the video of it was shown on NBC4!)
I’m told there have been Cardboard Boat Regattas, which may more accurately be dubbed the Sinking of the Cardboard Boats. Anyway, the pool provided cardboard and duct tape, and it was fun.
Some of my best childhood memories are of games at the local pool, like the greased watermelon contest, water polo, underwater swim duration contests, and messy dryland contests like watermelon-eating. Pool manager Stephen Parks always seems to enjoy fun events, so I nudged him about hosting more of them.
After hours, the pool is sometimes rented out to Greenbelt groups, including the swim team, baseball team, and various schools.
Indoor Aquatic Events/Activities
Indoors the pools are just as busy if not more so, with swim lessons and an assortment of aquatic fitness classes for adults. Aquacize and Deep Water Aerobics have long been popular, and I’m told the classes can be very social, with get-togethers there at the pool or at local restaurants and homes. Even without a current instructor, daytime deep-water classes continue to meet. Deep water is a great zero-impact work-out, especially good for people with foot and knee issues.
But there’s more. Aqua Zumba, described as a “pool party” in the official activity guide, involves “splashing, stretching, twisting, even shouting, laughing, hooting and hollering.” That one I’ve got to try. And new this year is Gretchen Schock’s Bee Yoga Fusion Water Yoga.
They make it easy to try these classes by allowing drop-ins for $6-7 per class. So, no long-term commitment or losing money while on vacation.
To find out more about aquatic fitness classes I was directed to Li’l Dan Celdran. Click here to see what she had to say about them.
Another class I noticed on my recent visit is Aqua Tots for ages 2-4 and one adult per child. Notice anything interesting about the random Aqua Tot photo above? All men!
The indoor pool is also the site of some serious lap-swimmers, judging by ones I noticed. Curious as to why they choose indoors over outdoors, I’m told that some swimmers just prefer staying out of the sun.
Hot Tub, Anyone?
One unanswered question I have about the indoor facility is – who uses the hot tub and why? And is there a social scene centered around it? Inquiring minds want to know, and this one haven’t found anyone with the answer yet.