Paul Summers

Yes, thats me with an inflateable unicorn!

Swimming was a big part of my early teens. I swam for a local club called Triple-S (Now merged with once arch rivals Perry Beaches), training four nights a week and the occasional 6:30am Sunday morning session, with regular Saturday night swimming galas.

Being part of a swimming club was great fun; hard work but very rewarding; I made great friends, travelled a bit and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it… But then life happened, and for nearly 20 years, I left (serious) swimming behind.

Mid-30s arrived, and I needed to do something to stay active and healthy – I also enjoy food, so a hobby that burns extra calories daily is a bonus.

Why the 1,000 pool challenge?

I often travel for work, and being away from my home pool for days or weeks can be a real struggle to get back in the swing of my regular 12 – 16km over 4 or 5 sessions per week routine. I decided to build swimming into my travel – I like prompts to keep me proactive, so researching great pools, revisiting past favourites and writing about them I figure will keep me motivated – If you’re reading this and the last new pool was years ago, please do feel free to contact me with encouragement and mild abuse!

I hit on the idea and started the journey whilst planning a work trip to the US and researching pools along the route as I travelled from New York City to Washington, DC, then Philadelphia.

I only wish I’d started counting years ago; I reckon I’ve already covered more than 40 pools over the years, but rules are rules, so if I want to include them, then I’m going to need to revisit some of my favourite (and not so favourite) pools of my past!

Pool Rules!

To keep things in order and ensure I’m not recording every puddle and pond, each recorded pool and swim must meet the following criteria:

  • The pool must be a known, measured length of at least 20 metres
  • The swim session must be at least 1,000 meters in total
  • The pool has some form of a recognisable lane or lap format

How long will it take?

I reckon the first 50 pools will come quite quickly. I’ve already researched and planned trips to quite a few, but soon enough, I will start to exhaust the easily accessible pools, and progress will slow. I will also continue swimming in my usual home pools for my daily workouts.

Realistically, I think this will take more than 30 years to complete – but I like the sound of that, and if I do manage to achieve my goal of 1,000 pools, I will be a happy guy - and there will be tears!

My Swim Kit

People do often ask about my watch… I use a Garmin Swim. It’s a great bit of kit and has transformed my attitude to my swimming - and suits my competitive nature!

I synchronise my swims with the Garmin Connect app and to keep the element of competition alive!

In the good old club swimming days, I had a coach yelling at me from the pool deck, stopwatch in hand, counting every lap whilst hurling endless swim sets on ever shorter intervals! I still wake in the night hearing ‘Bi-lateral Summers’! Now it’s just me and the watch!