I mentioned before that it’s been many, many years since I’ve belonged to a gym, but I don’t think I told you that I’ve never (as in never, EVER) been in a gym lap pool before. In fact, I can probably count the number of times I’ve ever been in a public pool in my lifetime on one hand. I’m not really a swim-in-front-of-other-people sort of girl. Until now, of course, what with me getting my booty to the pool four days a week for the last five weeks.
So, I was sort of unprepared for the…oh, let’s call them “interesting”… folks who hang out at my gym pool:
There’s the guy who appears to be sleeping on one of the benches every time I’m there.
Or the guy who swims just two laps every morning. One freestyle, one backstroke and then he’s out of the pool. That hardly seems worth putting on a swimsuit.
There are the two old ladies – Fat Old Lady and Skinny Old Lady – who outlast me in the pool every time I see them. (And before you yell at me for their monikers, let me explain that they appear to be the same age, they have the same color swimsuit, the same sort of goggles and they both wear Crocs in the pool. How else can I tell them apart??) Man, those old girls put in some serious lane time. I’ve never seen them out of the water.
Crocodile Lady wears a floatation belt and skims through the pool with just her nose and eyes above water. Does that really count as exercise?
Slappy Man probably weighs in the neighborhood of 400 pounds and swims with a T-shirt and shorts on. He swims even slower than me and his left hand glides into the water nicely, but his right hand hits the pool like he’s swatting a fly. *whap*……..…*whap*………..*whap* It’s like the world’s slowest helicopter.
There’s the guy who looks really fit but spends 90% of his pool time standing at the end of his lane and fiddling with his goggles. He’ll swim a lap really fast (usually starting at the exact same time I’m starting a lap in the lane next to him – I can’t tell if he’s being competitive or what. Congratulations, dude, you beat the slow girl!), stand around for four or five minutes, then swim another lap really fast…then stand around… He probably only swims about 100 yards total, but he’s in the pool for 20 minutes or more.
The Bouncing Betties are two really big girls who do a combination walking/bouncing/swimming-with-the-floaty-dumbbells thing. I end up sharing a lane with one or the other of them quite a lot and they’re both pretty friendly.
Where I’m going with the mental picture I’m painting for you is that on any given day I am significantly younger and waaaaaaaaaaaay faster than almost anybody else in the pool. Yep, I just said I’m faster than other swimmers. And since I average a high two minutes per hundred pace, it’s fair to imagine that everybody else is pretty much standing still in the water.
All that changed today. It was busy this morning at the pool – all of us 5 AMers were there at once, so it was Lane Sharing City. I started off with one of the Bouncing Betties, but she left me when I was a little over halfway done. I swam a few more laps and then noticed a kid (it’s true – I’m so old that anybody in their 20s is now referred to as a “kid”) sort of hanging out on one of the benches. He was obviously waiting for a lane, but too polite to just bust in on someone, so I told him I was almost done and he could share with me. I was at the other end of the lane by the time he got his goggles on and got in the water, so we started from opposite ends at just about the same time.
Holy crap, I kid you not, I was maybe three strokes into my lap when he swam past me. All I could think was, “Jon??? Is that you??” This kid was FLYING through the water! I’ve never had an underwater view of a fast swimmer like that, and I just couldn’t help but admire his form (and totally not in a Mary Kay Latourneau way!) His feet kicked like hummingbird wings, his hips were rotating like a fricken corkscrew, and his pull was just a thing of beauty. I was more than a little embarrassed at what he must have been thinking about my huge, splashing, lumbering pass through the water. *sigh*
No matter. I finished up with a pretty decent time (for me) and 5000 “mards” for the week, so I’m feeling mighty happy. On tap for the weekend is an OUTSIDE bike ride – yay! – and hopefully another good mile on my feet. Good stuff, my friends.