If everyone else didnâ€™t suck, life would be easier. Ok, maybe thatâ€™s a little harsh, but sometimes the interactions I have during morning lap swim (or lap swim at any time really) can put me in a bad mood. Here is a short list of things that annoy me at the pool: (if you disagree, or feel that you may fit nicely into one of these items, please leave a comment and help me understand.)
- Being told Iâ€™m too fast for lap swim, or that I should swim slower to accommodate other people who are in the fastest lane.
- People who donâ€™t cut their toe nails and kick you as you pass.
- People who canâ€™t swim butterfly, but try.
- People who can swim butterfly, but refuse to do a single-arm stroke when they see you passing somebody in the other direction.
- Breaststrokers in the fast lane.
- Slow centerline swimmers.
- Slow swimmers with bad form in the fast lane. (slow swimmers with good form are WAY easier to deal with).
- People who swim sort of fast, but do it with such outrageously bad form that itâ€™s impossible to get by them in a crowded lane.
- Knee kickers (These are people who kick from the knee, rather than the hip, it doesnâ€™t actually propel them forward, but it does increase the likelihood of me getting kicked in a way that will draw blood (see number two).)
- Antisocial swimmers who wonâ€™t talk to you for two seconds to negotiate some lane etiquette.
- People who know youâ€™re doing a sprint set, but donâ€™t ask when youâ€™re leaving before pushing off in front of you.
- People who ask when youâ€™re leaving and then push off three seconds before you anyway.
Thatâ€™s about all I can think of right now. What spurred this on was Saturday morningâ€™s workout. I went to the Greenlake pool, where Brian Davis and I used to swim almost every morning. I havenâ€™t been there to swim in months, but I slept through the 7am lap swim I normally go to on Saturday. I brought a set that was planned to the minute, so that I would have only about 120 seconds to spare in the 90 minute lap swim session. I was in the lane marked â€œvery fastâ€, and flowing through my set when a few people tried to stop me and see if I could change the sendoffs to accommodate them. In December and January I probably would have agreed, but slowing from a 1:15 base sendoff to a 1:25 or 1:30 base sendoff would eat up my 120 seconds in no time, and take away from the purpose of the set. Itâ€™s October, and the seasonâ€™s almost over, so I really canâ€™t stray too far from my plan right now. So I said â€œnoâ€ and kept going. I guess the misunderstanding was that the group wanted the whole lane to do a workout together, and nobody wanted to do my workout. I didnâ€™t really mind, Iâ€™m used to staying out of peopleâ€™s way (or trying to) and going five seconds early or five seconds late every few intervals isnâ€™t the end of the world. I just donâ€™t understand why a group of seven swimmers wouldnâ€™t just go to the masters workout held at the same pool, where 20 other swimmers of similar ability are doing workouts that are similar to what they write for themselves. If the masters group had a lane of people going my pace and doing workouts similar to mine, I wouldnâ€™t miss it for the world.
Bottom line is, however, everyone that pays admission has the same right to be in the pool. I just donâ€™t want to hear somebody tell me I need to leave because Iâ€™m going to fast for the â€œvery fastâ€ lane.