Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Monument to Lynn Kubasek

Cathi informed me recently, "We should name your pool, you spend so much time in it.  What should we name it?"  I'm not into naming objects, as it just doesn't make sense to me.  Pets, fine. Non living objects?  Not so much.

But in the process of thinking of forcing myself to come up with names, I remembered Lynn Kubasek and the kind of person she was.  I first heard of Lynn via Steven Munatones' openwatersource.com video in April 2011.  Here's the original experience.

Here's the full interview that captured my attention:

When I watched her tell her story and love for swimming, I fell in love with that down to earth sweet personality and had to meet her in person.  I was quite star-struck when I attended Jamie Patrick's swim camp and was able to swim along side her and spend the week at swim camp with her and many other open water legends.

Lynn came out to Salt Lake and raced the Antelope Island to Blackrock races in 2014, and shared in the adventure of swimming an open water marathon distance in the Great Salt Lake!

Then when my time came to swim Catalina, she made an effort to be my observer, which she did.  Her presence there was very reassuring and comforting. And when I finished the swim and got back to the boat she was there to hand me a burrito and make sure that I was comfortable and cared for.

She compiled her own video log of that swim she observed: https://youtu.be/BuJd1Gvz2Dg

When I heard of her cancer diagnosis it was only a few weeks until I heard that she had passed away. My father died of the same type of cancer.
Some of the dearest people in the world are taken far too early from this disease!

When Kelly Gneiting made his Anacapa attempt, Lynn also was the observer for that swim and I was able to spend time with her on that trip as well.

One thing she did during swim camp was bring a Wilson volleyball and put goggles on it and take pictures of it in the open water at some of her swims. Her Facebook page often had other pics of Wilson at various open water locations. It was pretty entertaining to me.

So I'm happy to now have a monument dedicated to her to permanently in my endless pool, to float alongside me in the current & eddies and every time it bumps into me it will push me to keep on going.  Love you Lynn!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

2019 GSLOW race

This morning, Lucy, Sam and I went paddling for the swimmers in the 1 mile in the GSLOW race.

It was a little breezy at 7:30 when we got there but by 8 it calmed down pretty good.  It was a nice day for a swim.

Senthil and his daughter helped bring up the rear with the last swimmer. 
Sam is such a good sport. He doesn't complain at this age when I ask him to help me do stuff like this.  What a good kid.  He was a great paddler!
Sam posing from a distance!

Utah Open Water legend, Jim Hubbard rounds the final buoy.
Three young girls did the 1 mile.  That's some hardcore swimmers there. 

Anna-Marie Forest won her category (assisted). She's always up for these open water adventures!

I got my crusty salt fix for the day all over my pants and boots.  Felt good to come home and jump in the hot tub.  I'm ready for a nap and I didn't even swim!  I'm excited to get my own swim in the evening.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Summary of May

Today was my last swim of the month. This month has been fraught with pool leak issues, rainy weather, and tasks with the back yard.

Total Time In Endless in hours
Total Estimated Distance
 in miles
DateTime Spent in minutesEstimated Distance in Yards
This month I helped 3 up and coming sprint triathletes with some swim technique advice, and helped Oliver, Sam and Isaac as well. So it's been a great month!

Go Pro suction cupped to the floor mirror.

Most of the swims were in sets of 15 minutes, but I had a few that were sprint/distance reps that were programmed into the Fit@Home app.  Here's a summary listing of the various workouts I've got programmed:

Tomorrow morning I head to the GSL to help Josh and Chad with the race.  I have some friends from work coming. Hopefully we get every kayak filled and the race is successful.  Good luck swimmers!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ferris Bueller - "I Can't Swim"

I remember watching this movie as a kid: Wargames. It was one of my favorites as I was fascinated with computers, and I also appreciated that it included a swimming reference:

It makes me happy to help people get to the point where they feel safe in the water.  And even more when they take their drive beyond into real competence and skilled!

If you, or someone you know would like some lessons and practice time swimming, let me know!  I don't charge anything. Just encourage membership in the Salt Lake Open Water Swim club.

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Pool is complete!

I finished the insulation and skirting around the pool.  The temperature control display is embedded into the front panel. I assembled a lifetime shed for all the pool cleaning gear.  I bought the pavers for the outside edge of the patio.  But the pool itself is 100% Except for the issue with the lights not running while the pool is operating.  Need to follow up on that one.

So far, I've put in 4 1/2 hours swimming in the pool and each time I'm thrilled with the experience.  I just watched this video clip about the amount of pee in the typical community pool.  It's scary.

One thing I don't have to deal with.  I definitely don't pee in MY pool.  I admit when I was in a lap pool, I didn't care. I guess it's a bit of a reflection on socialism. "It really isn't my pool, it's shared, so I don't give a crap." But with my pool, I'm obsessive about it's cleanliness and upkeep, so if I have to pee I'll get out.  I've reminded my kids with the hot tub to do the same. No guarantees with the kids, but at least they know that if they get caught Hell will follow.

Here is a quick time lapse of this morning's 30 minute swim (2 sets of 15 minute swims at 1:30 pace), wrapped up into one minute:

Gonna take the weekend off, to let my shoulders rest. Then Monday I'm gonna go for an hour swim (2 miles). Which will be a new PR for the year.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

SLOW Service project and skirting the endless

Today I met Chad, Josh, Gustavo at the marina with their various family members for a trash pickup.  It was rainy this morning, but just overcast for the cleanup.  Which meant the mosquitos came out and they were out for blood.  I had some grabbers which made it easier to get down into the cracks of the big rocks.

It was fun to catch up with Chad a bit.

When I got home I started working on the skirting of the pool and got quite a bit done.  Got about 1/2 the pool skirting completed.  Can't wait to have it completed!

We put round up on the back yard cause we are starting over with fresh sod.  When the backyard is done it'll look profesh!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Boats and Pools

You know what they say about boats right?

Boats are a money pit

Well what is the inverse of a boat?  A Pool

Instead of keeping water out, we're trying to keep water in.  Well this past week I've been dealing with water leaks.  Fortunately I haven't spent a ton of money on figuring it out, but I did get to the bottom of it.

What happened is the installed motor system is attached to the edge of the pool through the liner "above the water line".  Well I took off the shell of the motor system, and sure enough the screws holding it all to the edge of the pool is actually BELOW the water line.  So the installer told me to keep the water line too high.  The water depth needs to be below the top of the system.

At any rate, I've figured out what's causing the leak, so I got everything reassembled and went for swim tonight, keeping the water depth lower than the screws.  More later on how I can prevent water from still making its way through those points in the liner.

But tonight's swim was kinda tough.  I'm definitely not in swimming shape.  I set up a workout on the app where I did 4 sets of 800 with 1 minute rest between each.

Estimated distance: @3000 yards with 49 minutes of swimming

Looking forward to consistent workouts now that I have a functional pool.

Monday, May 6, 2019

My first recorded swim

I'm keeping record of all my endless pools in a separate tab on my recorded swims.  They can't really account for actual mileage since it's just an estimate. But I can record the time spent, and the estimated distance as a separate metric.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

My first impressions of Endless Pool


  • The full length mirror bottom is awesome. The test pool I swam in didn't have that and my vision of what mine would be like was spot on.  The best upgrade by far.
  • The swim current feels natural and I was glad I got the upgraded High Performance version. It boasts a max pace of :56/100yds.  Plenty fast for me.  
  • I can control the pool with my phone using fit@home app.  
  • I can monitor and raise the temp of the pool from anywhere using my Gecko in.touch app.  
  • The programmable features of the fit@Home app is pretty wimpy.  It doesn't allow me to export/import from XML, which would be sweet! I have to use the app itself to create workouts, and the app doesn't allow me to create "set groups" for me to copy and alter. I have to create every single set from scratch. 
  • The endless controller reminds me of a very simple 8th grade electronics student experiment. On/Off and Up and Down buttons.  That's it.  But with me using my phone instead, it doesn't really matter.  But it's not a great first impression looking at that controller.
  • The security cover is definitely not a source of significant heat retention.  If the overnight low is below 60, you're better off putting a layer of poly foam to retain the heat.  The heater for the pool isn't super fast.  It takes a while for it raise that temperature.  If I were to do this purchase over, I would have gotten a hard top cover that includes insulation, similar to what I have for my hot tub.
  • I'm worried that the middle of summer, the sun will heat the pool too much and it'll be too hot to swim in.  The pool includes a heater, not a cooler.  So I need to get a sun tent to keep the sun off it in the middle of the day, PRONTO!  As you can see, I keep the pool at an ideal 74 (for now), and it's at 79 degrees.  

A couple of unresolved issues as of now.  I will mark these as completed, once I get them fixed:
  1. There is a leak. I'm losing about 1/2" of water over 24 hours.  I suspect the lights, but I'll need to troubleshoot this further.  Good thing though is I have an extended warranty, so worst case scenario I get a new liner free of charge.
  2. The lights don't work the same time as the current.  What's the point of having lights if I can't swim with them on, only have them on when the current is off?  I called DC, and he claimed I needed a whole new electrical line to operate the heater/light system at the same time as the current.  A call to endless customer support revealed that isn't true.  They asked me to send a picture of the electrical connections and they'll help me get them up and running.  We'll see....

What if...
  • Endless Pools should get an Amazon Alexa App integration, so I can yell out "Alexa, tell Endless to slow down!" which I can configure to mean to slow the pace by 5 seconds per 100.
  • Apple produced a waterproof version of an iPad.  My phone is waterproof, but iPads currently are not.  I'd love to be able to position an iPad to the edge of the pool for me to see the stats. Get with the program apple! Get those iPads waterproof and I'll get one. Until then, I'm stuck using my waterproof iPhone8 as the controller.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Introducing Grid Squid Coaching

With the Endless Pool installation completed (minus some cosmetic paneling around the outside), I am now ready to proceed with my dream:

To swim at my convenience at home, and to offer coaching to those who need help.  The thing is, I don't want to mess with insurance, a business license, etc...  So this will be FREE coaching, as long as I get a signed waiver.  The only thing I ask is that folks who feel the session was of value to them, that they become a member of Salt Lake Open Water (a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization).  

If you're interested in getting some coaching, whether it be for simply learning how to survive in water, or to make your stroke more efficient and faster, I can be of some help.

What you'll get:
  • Individualized analysis of your stroke, in the endless pool, including video analysis that you will get a copy of.
  • Review of your current training program in relation to your goals.
  • Some actionable tasks for you to work on with a follow up visit if you like.

Some of my qualifications:
  • Level 2 USMS Certified Coach
  • I was a coach a few years ago for a USA Swimming club (Syracuse Rush Bluefins)
  • Experienced open water swimmer
  • I was WSI Certified and taught swimming lessons to kids from 5 to 15 when when I was in high-school and college.
  • CPR/First-Aid certified, with an AED on premises. 😟

If you're interested, email me at: ggridley@gordongridley.us

Saturday, April 27, 2019

DC Installs the liner

This morning at 7am DC arrived with his boy and they worked together all day. They worked hard and got an amazing amount of work done.  We filled up the pool to the level of the hydraulic hoses.  Finally he installed the security cover.

Tomorrow he comes early to install the hoses, and pipes and finalizing all the functional part.  He will show me how to do the insulation and skirting. I'm hoping that I'll be able to swim first thing Monday morning.

Even at 10 minutes, the time lapse of today is a bit long....

Saturday, April 13, 2019

In comes DC to save the project

After having to undo/redo several parts of the wall construction due to various missed steps, I knew I was in big trouble with this thing. The wall construction is probably the easiest part and yet here I was having issues.  I found the DVD, and that is what made me actually find where I was doing things wrong.  So if you're stuck, check out the DVD, cause it actually shows you what to do.

Granted, I still had some room in my budget to have a professional help me.  So I called DC (Dave Christensen) and he came out to check out the pool parts and the configuration I had with the location of where it was going.  He seemed kind of excited to put it together which was encouraging.  He's a certified installer with Endless so he knows what he is doing. He's done this many times before.

His number is 801-347-0194. Here's some background on DC on the endlesspools website.

Anyway, this morning he came out and got started.  It rained quite a bit last night, so he just anchored the structure and did the coping.  He found that the shipment was missing a couple corners, so he's going to get in touch with them and get them to rush the missing parts so he can resume next week.  It's kind of like having a Real Estate Agent when you're desperate to find a home.  Can you find a home without an agent, Yes, but it's a major pain in the ass.

Having this guy take care of all the hard work for me already is worth it!

Here's some time lapse of the work he did this morning....

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Endless Pool Shipment and skeleton installation

Last week the Endless Pool shipment came from ABF who where the freight company that transported it.  The main crate had some apparent damage and was strapped together to prevent further damage.

After taking the straps off and removing the side panel that was bowing out to look inside, everything looked intact and undamaged. The guy who unloaded also took pictures and marked the shipment as damaged just in case there was real damage to it.  He took the straps and I resumed removing the panels and exposing all the boxes inside.

I'd say that base is a little uneven.  All the supporting
bases need to be the same height, and distributed evenly.
And the forklift base I think should be as wide as
 the entire crate to avoid damage.
We then broke down the panel crate and started putting the skeleton together.
Notice the fat side down.  WRONG!

After we got all four corners put together I realized we had the thing upside down. So we took an hour to disassemble the panels and turn everything right side up.  Small side down, fat side up!

Then I realized that I missed putting in the California braces, so then I had to loosen things up a bit to get that in there.  At this point I found the manual in amongst the boxes in the original crate.  I was operating off of instructions that were emailed to me.  The binder in the crate is the way to go.  Don't bother with downloading and printing out instructions. Everything is in that nice binder and in the right order.

After completing full inventory of the damaged crate I discovered one of the turning vane assemblies had a broken part.

I called Endless Pools and they were very quick to respond and get a replacement part shipped out.

However the first day of assembling things, made me realize this is a bit over my head.  So I asked Cathi to get in touch with Tom, the guy who allowed me to do my test swim, and find out who helped him assemble his pool.

She found out he is a factory trained Endless Pool installer.  His name is DC (Dave Christensen).  He is coming over this afternoon to look at what we've got and see if we can make a deal.

The easiest part was the stairs going up on the outside of the pool. It looked like something Lifetime would make. It was super easy to install.

Anyway, I'm hopeful that with DC, I'll be able to get this thing put together sooner rather than later. But that will come at a price. And I'm hoping the price is something I can handle. Cause the pool itself was insanely expensive.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Coming out of retirement soon - Endless Pool purchase

After years of dreaming and coaxing Cathi, we finally made the jump and purchased the Endless Pool that I've been configuring, designing, and refining until it was just what we wanted.  It also took several years of saving, and investing to be able to get the funds to buy this thing with cash.

Some consolations I had to make with Cathi in order to proceed was:

  • No more gun purchases (except ammo)
  • No more long-distance table tennis competitions (US Nationals and US Open)
  • I had to commit to a training program, with milestone swims leading up to a 2022 English Channel swim attempt, when I turn 50 and will make the English Channel Half Century Club (More on that in a future post)

For those that are considering an endless pool, here are the details of what I ordered:

I'm expecting that it will take approximately 4-6 weeks for them to assemble all these items into a shipping crate, and ship it. Which is fine.

I have lots of friends who are willing to come over and help me put this thing together. Which is good cause I'm not the best mechanic and when I get hot and frustrated, I get nasty, end up breaking stuff and my language eventually isn't very clean. So it's good to get some help and some peer-pressure to keep things family friendly in the back yard.

I'll be sure to post some time-lapse video of the pool assembly and some explanations in case someone needs it as a reference for their own pool.

Stay tuned....