Sasabol Recreation Center at Sasin

February 12, 2013

Doing an MBA can come at a high cost, especially when you make long days filled with lectures, sit with your nose in the books till the sun goes down, and party all night long. To make sure most students survive those 2 hard years, Sasin has a recreation center on the premises where you can go for a workout every now and then.

The pool around noon: totally empty. It looks exactly the same in the morning and late afternoon, only the lightfall from the sun will change.

The pool around noon: totally empty. It looks exactly the same in the morning and late afternoon, only the lightfall from the sun will change.

Sasin is one of the few universities where they have a private pool for the MBA and EMBA class, and the climate in Thailand invites for a refreshing dive in the water at least two times a day. So you would expect lots of people in the water at every hour: in the early morning for a wake-up swim and in the afternoon to cool down after a heated debate in the classroom about management styles or economics.

Nothing is further from the truth though; at the beginning of the year I used to go for a swim in the early morning, before class starts, and that was a relatively busy time with a total of about 3 people swimming at the same time. Later on I became too lazy to get up that early, and my stamina increased enough to be able to swim longer than 30 minutes, so I decided to move my swimming time to the afternoon so I could stay in for an hour without being in a hurry. And I am always the sole occupant of the pool at that time.

One morning I arrived at 7AM and was not the first one in the pool; a cute little frog just jumped in when I wanted to jump in. But normally you can have the pool for yourself.

One morning I arrived at 7AM and was not the first one in the pool; a cute little frog just jumped in when I wanted to jump in. But normally you can have the pool for yourself.

I guess there are four reasons why not many people make use of the pool at Sasin: first of all not everybody is willing to be less than fully clothed in front of other people they might not know so well. Second, not everybody is interested in exercising. With average temperatures of above 25 degrees all day and night long exercise might result in sweating and that is not everybody’s cup of tea. Thirdly, most people have parents so rich that if they want to do some sports they don’t have to do it at Sasin; they just build their own pool or gym and hire a private trainer. Finally, the pool is getting exposure to the sun during the day meaning you might get a dark skin if you spent a lot of time in the pool. While I don’t mind my back getting darker every week while my ass stays white as milk – it is not allowed to go in without trunks on – the average Thai probably would mind.

Here you can lift weights and make as much noise as you want when doing it, you will not disturb anyone.

Here you can lift weights and make as much noise as you want when doing it, you will not disturb anyone.

Running with a nice view over the empty swimming pool.

Running with a nice view over the empty swimming pool.

Also the small gym, which can be used for the mere cost of only 30 baht, the same price as the pool (you will get a towel for that money to use), is normally totally abandoned. But I must say that the gym does not really invite for a good workout, especially not when there are large, brand spanking new, well-cooled, and well maintained gyms available all around Bangkok. The one thing that is up to par at the Sasin recreation center, besides the swimming pool, is the sauna. Unlike the lousy sauna I used to use when I trained at the gym in Nakhon Ratchasima, this sauna is able to reach such a heat that it is not necessary to do squats in the sauna while wearing a sauna-suit to get the sweat going.

For when Thailand is not hot enough for you yet.

For when Thailand is not hot enough for you yet.

The only thing they forgot when building this sauna is that a sauna should be a complete relaxing experience, and not just a little wooding cabin with a heater. The sauna itself is perfect: hot, large, and relaxing, but there is no cold shower available to cool down after 15 minutes of Finnish hell, nor is there a place to sit down and relax before going in for a second round. So here I normally improvise by taking a luke-warm shower right after the sauna after which I try to get to the Sasin library as soon as possible to relax, since it is always nice and cold there.

So far I manage at this not-perfect recreation center. My goals is still to reach the end of this MBA in 2 years and walking out healthier than when I walked in on the first day. You can therefore find me in the pool about two to three times a week.

Btw, I hope this article does not invite others to also start making use of the Sasabol Recreation Center because I like it to have the pool to myself.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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