Aquatics center to offer slacklining this fall

Aquatics center to offer slacklining this fall

Between finding a mouse nesting in his desk and having his pool converted into a 100-degree hot tub, aquatics manager Greg Schmidt had plenty to deal with this summer. The mouse has since been caught, the pool has returned to a comfortable temperature and Schmidt has found humor in the whole ordeal. “I’ve never had a 100-degree pool before, so that was pretty funny,” he said.

The aquatics center shut down from Aug. 10 to Sept. 3 for maintenance work. Schmidt wanted to correct what he referred to as “Eagle Lake,” the water ponds around the pool deck. Other maintenance included painting the walls around the pool, purchasing new mats for the locker rooms and draining the pool to get rid of the stains and re-caulk the inlets.

Schmidt was very proud of all the work that was done. “I want to give a lot of kudos to the maintenance guys,” he said.

Despite all this work, Schmidt still hopes to make more changes. The diving boards are currently closed because of rust around the bottom of the towers. “I’ve had more interest in diving than I’ve ever had.” Schmidt said.

Those interested in visiting the pool can still find something to do besides diving. This fall the aquatics center partnered with the climbing club to bring slacklining to the pool. Slacklining involves walking across a thin piece of flexible nylon webbing that is attached between two points.

Junior Jakin Fung has been slacklining for two years now. “It’s a relaxed atmosphere and a mental state that you get into. It’s you and the line and nothing else,” he said.

According to Fung, slacklining over a pool adds an exciting aspect. “Doing it over a pool adds a little fun to it. Instead of just landing on the ground, you can dive in if you really want to,” he said. Schmidt also liked this aspect because he felt it made the activity safer.

However, Fung also admitted that the pool adds a challenging aspect because of the slippery conditions. “Personally, I feel it’s harder over the water.”

Both Fung and Schmidt found that the two inch webbing was best for use over the pool. Schmidt said discovering this required some trial and error during the first time the event was held on Sept. 28.

Fifteen people came to slackline on Sept. 28, including people who were new, as well as some who have slacklined before. “I think we’re just in the experimental stages. I want to get a lot more people out here. It’s a lot of fun,” Fung said.

Now that school has started again, Schmidt is expecting to see more people in the pool. “There’s a steady stream of athletes during the school year,” he said. This includes pole vaulters, who use the pool to practice their landings. “It’s a very clever idea.” Schmidt said.

This year Schmidt also hopes to clear up misconceptions people have about pools, including chlorine turning swimmer’s eyes red and the myth of pools having dyes that indicate when swimmers urinate.