Remember going to the lake in the back of a pickup truck with the wind blowing in your hair? Or reaching the lake in record time and being the first one to jump off the rock? The next weekend the group would get together to visit the local pool with the same anxious attempt to be the first one in the water. Running at the lake was fine, but at the local pool, it often put you in the penalty box for 15 minutes. This helped remind us where we were and that we had rules to follow.
The lake is a carefree place where running and jumping is encouraged, and if something happens we rely on our friends and family to help strap a stick on a leg or provide a breath of air. Then we go back to the public pool, and gain a better understanding and appreciation of the rules and why the lifeguard has a penalty box.
Public pools have come a long way in providing safety and aquatic access for everyone, but lifeguards still need to have a penalty box. It’s also nice the public pool doesn’t need to go look for a good stick and they’re always prepared to offer a breath of air.
There are kids of all ages at the local pool — we were all one of them at one point. Some of us knew the penalty box well and others even got kicked out for getting caught placing a candy bar in the pool. The lifeguard’s penalty box gives a chance to learn the lesson of the rules without being kicked out. It just meant no pool time for 15 minutes — not a terrible thing, but being unable to partake in the fun for 15 minutes can help us reflect on the reasons for rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules of the pool is a first time for someone, but if they know the lifeguard has a penalty box, they probably won’t do it again. It’s always easy to enjoy the lake with a little more carelessness, but as we get older, we find ourselves following the rules of the pool at the lake. Either way, getting into the water and going for a swim makes for a great day, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.