11 February 2013
Well it's been almost eight years since I've been swimming without any kids. There's always one hanging off me.
Anyway, I've done it, broken the (rubber) duck. And nothing has changed. It's still war in the fast lane. Or the medium one. There doesn't seem to be a slow lane anymore though - is that politically incorrect now?
If it's not a seventy year old man feeling up my thigh as he 'swims' past, it's a massive whale type with a tsunami wake trying to drown the rest of us!
What has happened to manners? Oh that's right, there never were any.
No longer a member of a luxury Health Club, but finding the facilities of our local leisure centre perfectly adequate, that real sense of freedom that comes from swimming forty lengths has been calling me.
Obviously I had to start at twenty and work my way up again, but it only took a couple of times over a couple of weeks. That was the easy part.
Realising a Toy Story towel is not ideal in the communal showers when your children are nowhere to be seen was worse. As was being asked out on a kids' playdate by one of the local dads whilst both of us are stood next to each other in next to nothing. Far too intimate.
The whole scenario is blighted by the other swimmers. I don't care about the ladies who hog the shallow end for their idle chat or do their gentle bit of breast stroke up and down before another one, or the gentlemen who gallantly keep them and their still perfectly coiffured hair company - the swimming lanes are for people like me who want to be entirely unsociable, get the business over and done with and emerge afterwards feeling entitled to a large latte, or as it happens, like the other day, a hot ham and cheese croissant.
But the lanes is where social etiquette butterflies out of the window. OK, so you're faster than me - you can pass me at the other end or overtake. I have to do backstroke - I need a knee operation. If you insist on putting your face so near my feet for so long you'll be amazed at how much splashing they can create just for it. And if you insist on touching me that bit too often when we go in opposite directions it will make me want to insist on accidentally kicking you on the returns.
Don't take me on. I've got two children. I'm here for the peace, not the war. I get enough of that at home.
It's been eight years. You will not win.
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