Wierdo in Lane 3


Ok, first let me say that really all I feel like doing is swimming. Well, that is not true. In the realm of exercise, all I want to do is swim. All I really want to do in ‘real life’ is sleep, read, or eat. Preferably with my Ladyfriend close by.

That being said. Men, boys… WTF??? I say this not because I think men are bad. I say this because it is always ONLY men doing wierd things in the pool. Some past examples are:
1). Swimming underwater: This is not just swimming underwater to see how far you can go before needing to take a breath. Or practicing breath control. This is just plain doing your full lap under water. For no clear reason. Perhaps saving space? Like a double-decker lane of sorts.
2). Cannonballs: Yes, actual cannonballs as a method of entry in to the lap pool. Enough said.
3). Water Murderer: Dude, harder is not better. You are splashing people 3 lanes away. Knock it off. You are scaring me. Find a better avenue for your rage. The water is your friend. Really. It goes much easier if you don’t trying to mutilate it.
4). Equipment Overload: Hey you… yeah, you with the hand paddles AND fins. Just swim already. What are you actually trying to do? Looks like compensation to me. Just saying…
5). Testosterone Guy: Yes, I swim faster than you. With less effort. Get over it. I am on to you and all the ways you try to look tougher than me. It isn’t working. If you’d spend less time resting on the wall trying to look like you’ve swum hard and more time actually swimming maybe you’d catch me. But with that stroke, unlikely. I’m still gonna out swim you day after day. And when I’m done… I’ll move on along to my real workout for the day.
6). “I don’t see you” Guy: Listen pal. You don’t own the pool. Or even your lane. I get that as a white guy you get to go through the world as if you own it… but this pool here is the equalizer. And when I walk up to split the lane I expect you to do something other than pretend to not see me. Such as move over so I can get on to the business of outswimming you.

As you can tell… swimming is not for the faint of heart. One of my favorite parts of our new gym is that, while I still contend with the above, I don’t have to also have 5-6 people to a lane… most of which don’t know how to swim or what lane to be in. (i.e. “hey you side-stroking with dry hair… get OUT of the fast lane.” Or, “deep water bobbing is NOT part of lap swim pal.”). I generally have a lane all to myself and if I don’t, I only have to share with one other swimmer. This truly is a swimmer’s dream lap swim. So, I’m really not complaining. Much.

But, yesterday a guy might have just topped it. Well, maybe not the cannonball… that was truly a once in a lifetime event, but this was certainly one for the books. The Ladyfriend despises the breaststrokers. Now, I kind of think some of that is because she isn’t a particularly proficient breaststroker herself. I happen to like the breaststroke. Though, I admit, when sharing a lane with someone who is breastroking you invariably get kicked. Not good lane manners. However, this isn’t her peeve. Her peeve is more with men breaststroking and more specifically men in small suits breaststroking. Really, no one needs to be swimming behind that. I usually just snort to myself a bitchy sounding “aw, come on man” and let it go and advert my eyes.

However, yesterday a guy gets in my lane. No problem. I was a bit skeeved out by his middle age paunch and longish curly greasy hair, but put it aside. We split the lane. I let it slide when he was doing breaststroke. At least he didn’t kick me I said to myself. It could be worse. Far worse. If this swim was a Lifetime Original Movie there would be some significant foreshadowing music of what *might* come. I saw him at the other end of the pool stretching and ignored it. Lots of people stretch – no problem. And then things start to unravel.

As I’m approaching the wall (I’m swimming on the right), I see him, on the left, facing the wall and stretching his leg. By putting his left foot on the edge of the pool and hunkering over and stretching his?? Hamstring?? I don’t know. Holy crap…this man, in his little shorts, is spreading his leg against my wall in my lane. Why? Why is this necessary? But, being the Ironmama that I am, I manage to let this go because I’m just *sure* common decency will win out and he won’t decide to stretch my direction. A few more laps done and he is still stretching that same side and looking quite awkward. Is he stuck? And why is he stretching so long in this cold pool anyway? Has he forgotten that a hot tub is mere yards away from him? And that heat is better for stretching? And then… yes, you guessed it… I’m motoring in and he begins to stretch – his right leg. Up on the side of the pool. Toes encroached on my half. Which means he is spread-eagle, in his short shorts, facing me. Why? WHY? WHY? would he think this is ok???

So, men, boys… seriously? Get it together in the pool. Quit doing such wierd and bizarre stuff. And move aside… there is an Ironmama passing you by.


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