Friday, March 2, 2012
Outwit, Outplay, Outlast
I'm not sure why there is ownership of those lanes for non-swimmers, but there is. And snagging a lane for lap swimming can be intense on some days--some of those old guys don't want to let go of their lane.....not even to share it.
The pool is divided--3 lanes for lap swimmers, 2 or 3 are open for what I call the "bob-and-blab"--which is the old ladies floating on noodles and yakking. They think they are "working out", but in essence, they are really just bobbin' and blabbin'--hence the name.
And while that is a very nice social outing for the senior gals, they sorta plug up that part of the pool for the water-walkers--the people who don their gym shoes in the pool and walk back and forth. Or do weird things like jumping jacks in the pool or other mysterious under-water-limb-thingies.
I think that makes the old guys nuts, so they gravitate to the lap lanes, which are reserved for lap swimming, but they like to do their "laps" all floaty-like or with made-up swim strokes--strokes that I call "survival swimming".
Survival swimming is just that--it's when you are stranded out in the ocean because you fell off a cruise ship or your snokeling cruise left you stranded. So, you do what you have to keep afloat--like lying on your back, kicking your feet a bit and waving your arms every now and then--but not too much, or it will attract sharks. This type of swimming also includes the sidestroke, elementary backstroke, and the ever-popular dead-man's float. (Which is not a good idea when you are 87 because people think you are really dead in Lane 3.) I'm not sure why, but there is a lot of "survival swimming" going on over at the Golden Acres Rec Center. Maybe there is a message there...
I sigh deeply (and probably loudly) when I grab my kickboard and pull-buoy and stand at the end of one of those lanes and try to figure out how best to move in. It's never easy and never quick because you have to wait until the old guy gets to the shallow end to say "Hey, mind if I share your lane?" They are usually really, really slow floaters/swimmers, and I have found that the majority of them can't hear me--or they don't want to. Ugh. And I don't want to just jump in--they get really mad at that.
It's a fine line I walk--do I just jump in and share? Or do I gently slink into the water and ask my new lane buddy to share? Either way, they always get miffy because I actually "swim" and then they skeedaddle out of the pool altogether--which makes me feel guilty. It's a no-win, I tell you. I feel like an old-guy bully--which I'm not. Really. Why can't we all just get along??
I tried the "ask" approach yesterday--to which I was completely ignored. I asked again--no answer. I finally did the "slink-in" and swim--which is the "okay, I asked nicely, you big wienie, now I'm gonna just swim in your lane anyway" approach. On my return trip, I noticed my pal had in ear plugs. Sigh.
They don't fight fair, these senior swimmers.
**If you ever wonder if the cats fall into the pond ......yes. But only once. (see photo)