My Pool Friends

My favorite is the 12 year old (maybe she’s 14) whose mother sleeps in the car while she swims in my lane. Always, when I’m there, she is in my lane. I wonder where she swims when I’m gone? She is the most considerate, always letting faster people pass but staying aggressive in her pace throughout her workout. I know nothing other than that she goes to private school and didn’t want to loose fitness over the holidays, but I feel like we’re friends. Probably because her work ethic reminds me of myself.

I like to eavesdrop on the blond European women who hop in the fast lane about half way through the session. They deserve to be in that lane, for certain. But some days they probably only swim 500 yards in their 45 minutes there. I’m sort of jealous of them, because with so much gabbing and so little swimming I just can’t understand how they’re that fast!

There are a few slow guys who wait until later to show up. Theres two or three of them but I swear they’re the same person – they’re certainly the same swimmer – and I’m grateful that they start their swim late so there’s less dodging to be done.

There’s snorkle guy, who I avoid at all costs. He is the only person that will make me swim in lane that’s too fast and inconvenience the faster swimmers. You’d think that without rolling sideways to breathe you’d have to extra energy to focus on following the black straight line, but apparently it doesn’t work that way.

Blue fin women who swims about 489732580435743849 yards all with a pull-buoy (and who brings her own blue fins), everyday. She does everything possible to make sure that she’s swimming in front of me, be it waiting until I’m almost at the wall to start or hurriedly jumping in front of me before I choose to go.  Really it’s fine, because she swims the exact pace that I do so I don’t have to focus on maintaining when she’s there.

The agro dudes start their workout like normal people but end up trying to recruit everyone in their lane (and sometimes neighboring ones) to join in their sets in the last 15-20 minutes. Usually they get a few additional guys in on the fun and some attention from the lifeguards, but they don’t let anyone else steal the show. It’s cool, dudes, I’m just there to swim.

Theres the lady who has no concept of personal space in the dressing room. The woman who awkwardly talks to everyone in the showers. The two girls who never shower before or after their swim. And a couple of women who appear to be fellow triathletes but we haven’t all acknowledged it yet.

I recognize these people, they recognize me, we say “hi” and we swim. I make up little stories about them in my mind, as I’m sure they do me, and I’m sort of relieved to see them on Monday’s and Friday’s knowing that the crew is at work. I realized all this when I was the lone Mon/Fri-er on Thursday and had noone to knowingly glance at, but it made me happy that I’ll see them Monday, and it made me realize that I’m happy to finally feel like I’m swimming as a swimmer rather than runner.


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