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  • Katie Palavecino

My Quarantine Diary: The Garage Pool

Updated: Apr 17

my last post pre-quarantine...


  • I am a swimmer and I will always be. I am a triathlete and I will always be. It will always be there. But racing needs to stop for TBD. For me this fitness thing is not a workout...it is a lifestyle...I will keep crushing dreams in some form or other. For now I got some Peloton goals. And...just. keep. swimming. That is where the magic happens...


That is right...swimming...that is where the magic happens. The only place I can go and turn the world off.


After my college swimming career bust I could not go near a natatorium for about 4 years without feeling I might throw up. Then in grad school a professor of mine convinced me to go swim with him. Sure ok. The fabulous outdoor swimming pool at Penn State got me hooked again. Next thing I was swimming 7 days a week and with the masters group. And I have not stopped since. Aside from 3 - 6 week breaks (2 pregnancies and a hamstring surgery).


So when things started to shut down I got ANXIOUS. I stood in the bathroom at 5am one Friday morning trying to decide if I should go to masters swimming. This Coronavirus hit our area and I was scared the virus would get me...but the pool was still open. I played it safe and got on my Peloton. That next Monday the pools shut down as suspected. My mind started to figure out what I would do about this. I had a Vasa swim trainer when I had my hamstring surgery but then sold it because I was able to hit the pool again. And then the Vasa factory shut down. No Vasa for me. Matias and I had a call with Endless pools. 30K seemed a bit extreme for what was hopefully a temporary solution. Matias, the engineer, that he is figured it out. And Next thing you know Fed Ex ships us a $390 Walmart pool. And Amazon the rest of the supplies (an immersion heating element for $39.99, chlorine tablets, a dispenser, and test kit). The bungee belt was something we already had. 12 hours later we had a 20,000 gallon 63 degree pool. It then it only took about 5 days to reach 80 degrees.


Matias has it down. He submerged an old bathroom mirror on the pool’s floor for form checks and rigged the bungee to the garage door, which attach to the belt around his waist to provide tension as he swims in place. He also brought our Amazon Alexa into the garage, to provide background music and help with timing his workouts. He can get a good workout for about an hour! I on the other hand, have not taken to it yet. I have my Peloworld...I am learning to zone out there for now. The kids love it. It provides for a great evening exercise before bed for them.



The Creative Ways Triathletes are Training and Racing at Home


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