Swimming laps. I love swimming laps. I love the mindlessness of it. The back and forth. The feel of the water slipping by.
A woman alone with her thoughts and her own swimming lane.
But not today.
I swim at the Community Center. That means that other people also swim at the Community Center. How rude! People in my lane. Monday-Wednesday-Friday are not days that I like to swim because everyone else goes,
You know, I think I will swim on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
They are very crowded days.
But Tuesdays and Thursdays have generally been days when there is a very small crowd…..That is until it is swim team season.
I come toodling into the pool area on Tuesday, expecting to have the pick of lanes and come to a screeching halt.
What the heck?? All the lanes are full and most are “double booked”. Barb, the head lifeguard, explained that the swim team uses two of the lanes, on Tuesdays only, from 5:30a – 6:30a. And this proved to be correct. They were out and in the showers (presumably) at around 6:30a and I had a lane to myself to swim, the next lane over now being occupied by the swim coach who avails himself of the pool after he makes all those high schoolers swim until their arms fall off. I tried not to be conscious of the fact that the swim coach was in the next lane. I am a very proficient but slow swimmer.
Barb the lifeguard also assured me that Thursday would be dead as usual.
Barb the lifeguard was obviously mistaken.
I come toodling into the pool area this morning, uber cool (NOT) Speedo swim cap molded to my head, goggles in hand and as much of my ample exterior covered by a towel as I can manage….
And come to a screeching halt as I see that all of the lanes are full and several are double booked.
Well for EVERY LOVING PETE! Why are all these people in my pool. Barb the incorrect head life guard, who is also the lane referee, suggested that if I was willing to share a lane (which I was) that I could go over to Lane 1. It is actually the widest lane and there should be no problem with swimming collisions. She went to check with the guy already occupying Lane 1 to let him know that I was going to share.
And as I was adjusting to the always pleasant temperature of the pool, Barb said,
You shouldn’t have a problem with him straying into your part of the lane. He is the swim coach for the high school.
Oh please don’t let him have swim goggles on. Oh please don’t let him have swim goggles on.
Swim goggles = you can actually see under water.
Actually seeing under water = he can actually see my undulating flesh as I thrash through the water.
The swim gods would not be so cruel.
Oh yes they would.
He had swim goggles on. And all I could think of was Moby Dick and Ahab and “Thar she blows! The white whale! Lower the boats and get the harpoons!”
And then all I could think about was hugging the edge of the pool and not getting in his way as he lapped me 3,456 times in the space of 15 minutes, which was all I had to actually endure before he was done. But in that 15 minutes I nearly drowned because of the wake he was kicking up as he would go by. And I managed to hit him at least once with one of my flailing arm appendages.
Oh I love swimming. But please don’t make me share a lane with the swim coach again. I don’t think my performance anxiety issues can take it.