YMCA Values Resuscitated
“I see there’s a third person joining your lane.” Mole Man gives PP a toothy grin as she pauses at the wall to turn around, spying the ‘third’ waving at her from the other side of the pool.
PP probably frowned. At least she thought a frown. MM picked up on this, Mr. Intuitive that he is. “I tell you what, you can have my lane here and I’ll just move over and swim with the third in your lane.”
Gaping in astonishment, PP’s mouth drops open. Is he for real? He’d give up his split own lane for her circle swim one?
“You’re a Good Swimmer,” he continues, nodding and grinning. “I really admire Good Swimmers. So you should have your own lane to get a good workout in.”
Dumbfounded, PP smiles in massive appreciation, “Wow, that’s so nice of you! You sure?”
“Yeah, my pleasure,” and before PP can thank him again, he’s ducked under the lane line to allow her to trade with him.
Swimming in MM’s lane, PP shakes her head underwater. (Well, not really, but you know what she means.) The wonder of it all. That someone would actually Care enough about her, a total stranger, albeit a Pool Stranger, to give up his lane for pure unselfish reasons.
Wow! PP thinks, the YMCA values are alive and well here in the pool after all, embodied in the Magnanimous Mole Man. They don’t need to be written up on the wall. These Values are swimming in the pool, ripe for the taking, invisible yet oh so tangible. Who needs them painted up on the wall?
Certainly not MMM! And while Admiration might not be a usual value at the Y, it led to sharing which is of course, caring, and so, PP muses, who needs these boring mundane old values repainted up on that glaringly white wall?
Hey! Since the values don’t need to be painted for all to see, couldn’t the YMCA do something more aesthetically pleasing than just the boring white wall? Why not paint some little underwater scenes of yellow striped Zebra fish, and bright orange puffer fish, and blue angel fish swimming in amongst green wavy seaweed, with a giant sea tortoise to liven up the wall? Then little swimming cats floating in inner tubes, trying in vain delight to catch the too fast little fishes? And on the ceiling, she thinks as she turns on her back, kicking kicking kicking, why not a blue blue sky with white puffy clouds and some lovely sea birds flying overhead or a cute V of ducks?
This would make the Pool experience so artistically pleasing and display some much needed Aesthetic Values that would make one’s workout a more multi-layered, visual experience.
PP grins and waves at MMM as he chats up a Pretty Chinese Girl hanging out at the wall. That MMM, spreading his version of the YMCA values all around the pool.
Wonder what his Aesthetic Sensibilities might be? PP thinks to herself as she pauses to grab a kickboard, the Pretty Chinese Girl’s giggle echoing in the chloriney air.
Smiling to herself, PP shakes her head. Judging from his engagement of such a specimen in PCG, his Aesthetic Values are right up there with his Caring ones.
Or are they the same thing?
Watching MMM climb out of the pool, his rolly poly self heaving up the ladder, the large brown moles covering his bare wet back, stopping to whisper one final comment to PCG, who responds with appropriately tinkling giggles, PP thinks Yup, MMM has his Values intact.
And so does the YMCA, PP decides as she turns around and starts kicking toward the Giant Sea Tortoise she imagines swimming toward her on a aqua green wall, with dozens of darting colorful fishes eluding a large white cat floating on his tuna shaped sea raft.