I've been swimming before work recently. I know, I know, hold your applause. I've swam? swum? swimmed? laps off and on since I was on the ole' Cheverly Dolphins Swim Team back in the day. They say it's great exercise.
I like it because it's one of the rare times I allow quiet in my brain. I'm usually listening to a podcast or spotify or I'm at work watching footage or I'm at home and my dang kids are jibber jabberin'. Even when I go to bed I'm "podding." But under the water it's eerily silent, in a good way, and I get my think on.
The pool I go to doesn't have many lap lanes. In fact, on some mornings there are only two lanes for swimmin', the rest of the pool devoted to water-obics, led by an older gentlewoman with a somehow-not-dangerous Britney Spears microphone attached to her face. Every time I walk up to the pool there is a calculation. How many lanes? How many people per lane? Who's swimming laps? Who's doing a weird psuedo-exercise move on the ladder at the far end of the pool? Why is he doing that? Why is he not being dragged out of here?
All that to say, I want to find a good lane where I won't either be holding up the next Michael Phelps with my non-Olympic stroke speed OR I'm not running into the back of anyone's legs because I'm, not to brag, better-than-average at swimming.
Yesterday (or maybe the day before the day before, who cares?) as I was walking into the facility there was a hefty older fella slowly making his way towards the locker room. I went around him because every morning I'm on a very tight timeline so that I can: drop my baby off at daycare, swim some laps, then get home to get ready for work so that I can sit on the 101 for an hour.
I walked into the natatorium (look it up, great word) and saw that there was (heavenly choir awww sound) an open lane! I slid into that sucker and began to swim. The joy of an open lane, must be like what the very eagle soaring upon yonder gale of wind betwixt the clouds and heav'n must feel. Freedom. America. Third thing.
But then (organ music) the hefty fella from earlier splooshed into my lane. I thought "Oh jeez louise" because it's tough to share a lane under the best circumstances, and this guy looked like he spilled over the lane line with his girth. I was relatively bummed. I mean, not devastated because I get to swim on a weekday morning, that's pretty sweet, but still it's not the ideal swim sitch'.
As soon as the guy started swimming my tune changed. This guy was quick! He may move like a turtle on land, but he moved like a SEA turtle in the water. He was even doing flip turns at the end of each lane. I don't do flip turns, I do the thing where you just get to the wall, turn around, and push off. But this guy was serious!
It ended up being one of my best sessions at the pool because I never had to wait for him or slow my stride. A couple times I hastened my own booty because I felt like I might be in his way. Basically, me and this guy has great swim chemistry, or "swim-istry" as I will forever call it from now on now matter how many groans it induces. And I relearned a tale as old as time, never judge a book by its cover. Unless of course it's my book The Happenstances... and in that case judge the cover because it's awesome and so is the book. In summation: buy my book. Oh, and I won't be a jerk to people based on my preconceived notions. I will now happily share a lane with anyone as long as it's not the guy doing the weird ladder exercises who makes me nervous.