I've always loved swimming, ever since I was quite small. At my Sussex Prep' School we were thrown in, and someone shouted "SWIM". If you didn't, somebody might have dived in to rescue you; but mostly boys did as they were advised.
The pool at my Prep' School was quite large, but it was fed by a natural spring, and was not chlorinated or cleaned in any way. The water was permanently green, and there were often snakes, or ducks in it. It was always freezing, but we didn't care.
I've just come out of our pool as I write this. I've been very busy all morning, and a refreshing pre-lunch swim was perfect. I always do the same thing; 12 lengths, which is just over 100 metres. I usually do this 3 times a day.
I cannot understand people who fail to learn to swim. Out here in the countryside it is quite common to find such people; surely, swimming is one of life's great pleasures.
One of my best swimming memories was from around 1959/60 in Puerto Soller, Majorca. Our hotel had a wonderful beach/pool/garden man. He was a man of 'small stature' (I'm not sure what we're supposed to call that these days), and would swim out into the bay, returning with half a dozen Octopi stuffed into his swim trunks. He was a wonderful man, and I used to love early morning swims in the pool whilst he swept tidied and gardened. I think his name was Emanuel.
These days my daily swims are for refreshment and exercise; mostly the latter. They do say it's one of the best forms of exercise; using all muscles. I don't really mind if the water is cold. Anything above 20C, and as long as there is sunshine, I'm in there splashing about.
What we DO NOT do is smother ourselves in sun cream, lounge about on the 'layabouts' drinking iced Pimm's through a Flamingo shaped straw, whilst wearing Hawaiian shirts. Nor do we scream when entering ice cold water!
For us, the pool is not a luxury item; it's essential. If one thinks of it as an extra room, and calculates the value of any extra room, a pool is a very good asset.