Pool Etiquette

Well what a difference a day makes, I’ve had a strange old week and yesterday I had probably my worst swim of the training regime so far. I arrived at the pool at what I’ve usually found to be a reasonably quiet time, so I was disappointed to find it actually rather busy. The fast lane was occupied by two ladies who were swimming side by side chatting as they went while the medium lane was occupied by one old gent. Decision made in with the old guy. Well not sure what he was up to but it varied between thrashing up and down at warp speed, no lane discipline, tumble turns and ploughing back straight towards me through to some sort of floating on his back meandering up and down. A bit irritating but nothing a bit of slalom on my part wouldn’t sort.

Then Wham!!! I’d just turned at the end of a length, I knew he was at the other end so what was it that had hit me? Oh, I know a new swimmer who decided to swim under the rope and across the lane before joining us and swimming even slower. So time to migrate into the fast lane with the ladies that lunch club. After a few lengths they got the hint and left me to do my last few lengths before calling it a day. Recounting the story later that evening I was telling someone (clearly not a swimmer) about lane rage and I got the “you cannot be serious” look. I think he was going away to google it, wonder what he will find.

But today different story completely. Lanes both occupied when I arrived, ladies that lunch in the medium lane, solitary old boy in the fast lane, decision made in with the old guy. I decided against the technique that had been demonstrated to me yesterday of just barging in sideways and so I waited at the shallow end with my legs dangling in the water while he returned from the deep end, just so he wasn’t taken by surprise. However it was me who got surprised. He paused and suggested that rather than swim in rotation (like the signs say) why didn’t we just stick to straight up and down. I havent tried that before but I was getting into his lane so it seemed a reasonable request. Wow what a difference, so much more relaxed than that whole following someone around bit. The second surprise that I got was that he was a bit quicker than me and so lapped me a couple of times but it was so much more relaxed without the whole circling rigmarole. Then he started doing different strokes and routines and he slowed down but again without the circling thing it was no problem and I lapped him a few times. I really enjoyed my swim, he was still in when I got out and he stopped so I thanked him for his suggestion said I’d preferred it and he admitted that he didn’t really like the whole rotation thing which was why he had suggested it. We had a short chat (I don’t usually do that either I’m not really that sociable in the pool) and then it was time to go.

So thank you anonymous old boy it was a real pleasure today, what a difference a day makes!

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