Different Strokes

Daniella Williams and Daniella Williams

The people who use the Bakersfield College pool at night in the middle of winter are not crazy, just determined to get in their swim time.

Despite temperatures anywhere between 40 and 50 degrees, the 5:30 to 7 p.m. session of the Swim and Stay Fit class is hanging in there.

“These are the die-hards,” says Charlie Pike, the instructor for the class. He explains that the common thread for most of his swimmers is the scheduling.

“Who else would get in the pool before daylight?” he said.

As it turns out, quite a few people make use of the pool despite the chilliness of the night.

Along with the Swim and Stay Fit class, a number of local high schools use the BC pool at night.

Students from the East, Highland and Garces high school swim teams practice in the pool in the evening as well.

Mirabel Staples, a liberal studies major, commutes in from Delano.

She and a friend are taking the class to lose weight and, like the class title says, stay fit.

“It’s worth it healthwise … and you get toned,” she says.

Staples, like most others in the class, is a night swimmer because of timing.

“I love swimming … the only reason I do it at night is because of scheduling.”

Not all of the Swim and Stay Fit swimmers are regular BC students. Many have jobs in the community and come in after work to relax and work out, according to Pike.

“Many in the Swim to Stay Fit class — they are community people who sign up for the class.”

Emma Chaput has a pass to use the pool. After work, she comes to the BC pool to train for the half- mile swim segment of the triathlons she participates in.

“It’s extremely convenient for me … the timing is right,” she says.

The staff maintains that the pool is heated to a temperature above 80 degrees, but Chaput doesn’t agree.

“The water is chilly … it’s not particularly balmy.”

When asked if getting in and out of the water in the cold weather makes her regret her swim time, Staples said.

“Sometimes I don’t want to come, but it is worth it!”