My good friend Zach is really into the minimalism movement. You know concepts like; less is more, buy one article of clothing and get of rid two and love people/experiences not things. I have even attended a minimalism lecture with him. It’s beginning to rub off on me.
When you think about it swimming is the ultimate minimalistic sport. All you need is a body of water and a swim suit and goggles, if you so desire.
This week I brought my swimming back to the bare minimum with my first open water swim of season in Boston Harbor. Some consumption oriented people that don’t adhere to a spartan mind freeing lifestyle join fancy health clubs like Equinox for their fitness needs. I have gone the other way and have gone back to the basics by joining the Curley Community Center aka the L Street Bath House in South Boston. The Community Center serves a very authentic Southie clientele not necessarily the young Equinox type professionals working in the Seaport or Financial District’s.
The Bath House is an large older build that sits on Dorchester Bay . It has basic weight rooms and cardio rooms and even a boxing sparring room. It is also divided by the men’s side and the women’s side. Some areas of fitness facilities are for single sex use only. The impetus for me to join was that the locker rooms open up to the beach for easy open water swimming access and have steam and sauna rooms to warm up after a chilly swim. There is a men’s beach and a women’s beach.
As it was my first time at the club I was a bit more observant than usual and noticed that exiting from the men’s locker room to the beach that the “old timers” were let’s say a bit immodest with their swimming togs if any, at all. Interesting.
The water was a tepid 55 degrees. It took me a bit of time to ease into the water but nevertheless-I persisted. Once I got in and started swimming I felt just fine. I stayed in the water for about 25 minutes. I didn’t swim far but that was ok as this was more of a “mental” challenge than an actual workout.
I took a quick steam which felt great and went about my Southie day. Shannon, Zach and I had brunch at Local 149 and then Zach and I had a beer at a very minimalistic Shannon’s Tavern next to Zach’s new uncluttered home.
Looking forward to more open water swimming time at the L Street Bath House this summer.
Was Whitey Bulger was an open water swimmer as I’m quite sure he frequented the Bath House?