Staying Active: Swimming at the 5Cs

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It’s getting colder in Claremont, but I surprisingly haven’t had any issues keeping up with my Asynchronous Swim Conditioning PE course this semester. All Mudd students are required to do three semesters of PE, and I chose to sign up for a swim course for the fall semester. The course is super flexible, I get to schedule my own swims and just need to keep a record that’s verified by a lifeguard. There’s no pool at Mudd though, so I had to spend some time trying to figure out how I’d complete the course requirements towards the beginning of the semester.

As a Mudder, I have access to the Mudd, Claremont McKenna, and Scripps sports facilities. While I personally really like the gym at Mudd because of the convenience (and also just vibes), the two swimming pools I can use are at CMC and Scripps.

A large swimming pool with diving boards and bleachers to one side

The Axelrood Pool at Claremont McKenna! Photo credit: CMS Athletics

The first time I went to the CMC pool, there was a team water polo practice going on, and I definitely felt a bit awkward trying to complete my PE requirement while actually qualified athletes were practicing on the other side of the pool. After that first session though, I started to really enjoy swimming at CMC. There’s always plenty of space for everyone and someone is usually playing music I like, so that’s a really nice bonus! I particularly really like the CMC pool because of the clocks that are at either end of the pool. Although I’ve never been a competitive swimmer, having the clocks is a great way to measure my progress and push my limits.

The Scripps pool! Photo credit: Scripps College

The CMC pool is great for when I’m in the mood to improve my speed or just for a more tiring swim, but I usually try to go to Scripps when I just want to have a more relaxed session. The pool is smaller, but there are also generally fewer people, so it immediately just feels like a lower-pressure environment.

As someone who feels cold as soon as the temperature drops below 70F, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to meet my PE requirements once the weather became cooler. Nevertheless, even though both pools are outdoors, the water is temperature-controlled. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s sometimes warmer in the water than it is outside! Suffice to say, both pools are great all year round.

Taking a swim PE course is probably one of my favorite parts of the semester. It forces me to do something unrelated to classwork at least a few times every week, and I really enjoy not having to use my brain for 45-minute segments every so often.

This blog was written by: Aanya Pratapneni. Intended major: computer science. Bangalore, India