A mile. By definition it's an English unit of length equal to 5,280 feet, 1760 yards and I don't know how many perimeter laps inside a swimming pool.

The reason I say I don't know is because in the summer of 1969 while I was at Boy Scout camp at the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, just outside of Osceola, I swam the necessary laps inside a swimming pool to get my certification stating that I had swam a mile. (I also don't remember if there was a merit badge that was included or not.)

You may think this would be an easy task but at the time I don't remember that being the case. I was a pretty good swimmer as I had taken swimming lessons in previous years at the public swimming pool in Butler, MO. I still have the certifications to prove it. But swimming a mile in a pool brought on one big problem. You couldn't touch the bottom the whole time you were swimming.

Now in a larger body of water, such as a pond or lake, you have deeper areas thus you have the chance to stretch out your body into the depths without worrying about touching the bottom. Now with a swimming pool, you have the deep end (usually at least 10-15 feet) and the shallow end which normally is three feet. There lies the problem.

Swimming laps around the perimeter of a pool wasn't the problem, per say, but it was fairly difficult to keep your feet off the bottom of the pool in that three-foot area. I can't remember if I accidently touched the bottom of the pool once or twice but I did conquer the feat. I swam the required mile in (Fill in the blank) laps.

Oh by the way, there was one problem that some had to deal with after getting out of the pool. Once you were out you were dizzy from basically swimming in circles.

If you want to tackle this venture on your own in an area pool be prepared. You've been duly warned of the obstacles.

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