11 February 2013

Swimming Wars.



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.

Thank you to those of you who have nominated me in the Best Family Life Blog and Best Blog categories in the MAD Blog Awards.  It's sincerely appreciated and voting is open until 18th.  It means a lot that you read.  None of this would have any point to it without you!

42 comments:

  1. That made me laugh - I struggle now I'm not a member of a health club - the lanes, but also the communal showers! You cannot shower properly whilst wearing a swimsuit!

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    1. I completely agree. You said you like this side of me!

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  2. *shudders*

    I bloody hate swimming, I do. Well, not swimming itself. If I lived in the Caribbean and I could swim in a warm clear sea every morning I'd love it. But I do hate swimming pools with a passion. Good luck with your return to the water, but you haven't encouraged me to join in! xx

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  3. Well having been with you once, I can see what you get from it. I stayed in the learning pool with Aaron. To do a length I'd need a float.

    Well done you on getting your swimming mojo back.

    xx

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  4. Good for you. Though it's those other swimmers who put me off too. (One of many excuses)

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  5. This made me laugh - and it's so true. Try to do lengths in a swimming pool and you're splashed, elbowed and kicked by the various characters you find there. I'm not a fast swimmer, and I'm either frustrated by the gossip girls who aren't really serious about the exercise - or the REALLY serious swimmers who sigh and overtake, pushing me subtly out of the way.
    Oh to live in a hot country where I could have my own swimming pool.

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    1. *sigh* Wouldn't that be lovely? I'd settle for my own swimming pool in this country to be honest!

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  6. Totally with you there! Teenage daughter and I stopped going at our usual time becasue creepy old man kept brushing up against her and was always ready to climb the steps out right behind her! We mentioned to the staff and they were completely uninterested!

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    1. That's AWFUL! Shouldn't be allowed. That is enough to put you right off.

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  7. I'm not sure it's much better at the health club! I particularly hate being in the fast lane (sometimes I can do it, especially if the medium lane is crowded with slow people) and swimming practically under the rope barrier one way, only to be pushed up against the wall on the return because the other people refuse to extend the same courtesy. It's their pool, then, is it!? Also hate people who refuse to let me overtake at the ends. They only need to break stroke for 5 or 10 seconds but they don't, they just paddle on oblivious to everyone else. "Oh", they seem to be saying "is there really any one else in the world but me? How quaint!". Grr.

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    1. That's right - one of your hands is consistently bashed on the wall or you're almost strangled by the rope. I would let you pass and even smile. I always knew we'd get on. xx

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  8. You have perfectly desribed why I would never dream of entering a swimming pool.

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  9. 40 lengths - that's impressive. I don't know how you do it - well I do know how you do it but what I don't get is how do you keep track? I'm not a natural 'swimmer' and it's not my exercise of choice. Whenever I do go I get to about to 2 lengths and have already got sidetracked. By the time I get out I've got no idea if I've swam 30 or 10. Tell me your secret.
    Love the bit about chatting to a school Dad. They just don't feel the bareness of it all, do they? Even worse when you know you've got a few 'sprouts' sticking out your bottoms! Congrats on the nominations too. Well deserved. xx

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    1. Perhaps I only do about 16 really - never thought to question it? Time is a good way of counting - just swim for 30-40 minutes and the number of lengths is irrelevant. 'Sprouts?' Hadn't really thought of that either! So glad I can't see back there. Thank you for your congrats xx

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  10. I really hate swimming with my little one because there is only a communal changing room so after his lesson there are six women and their under 2's all trying to get changed without elbowing each other in the face. I long to swim on my own, go for it!

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    1. I have longed for it since my eldest was born. Now the youngest is at nursery. Your time will come!

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  11. Fabulous post - this really made me laugh. I'm so with you on swimming etiquette - and I totally avoid the fast lanes unless it's empty. I haven't been swimming for ages, I really miss it, it's so relaxing. They'd better watch out in your local pool though ;o). X.

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    1. I have missed it too and it's not as relaxing as I have liked to think it is. It's not me they need to watch out for - it's all the others! ;)

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  12. That's funny, Toy Story towel? I'm usually the one with Harry Potter towel!Swimming is the only thing I do for myself, once a week for half an hour; that's all but it's enough. We have a local timeshare pool, sometimes I'm with friends, head above water & a bit of chatting, most weeks alone doing lengths, either way I feel so much better for it.

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    1. Yes - it's the only thing I do for myself too - and it's starting to give me back my sanity!

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  13. Why oh why are swimmers so competitive..I had elderly ladies in pears (literally) tut at my father and I last year when we tried to join their lanes. Nice!

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    1. I don't know - it's not a lovely health club where I might expect it more - but more like the over 50s!

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  14. I am totally with you. I have started swimming again, and we have two lanes at our local pool, one for fast swimmers, then the one for slower ones. I am currently in the slow lane, because I am terribly unfit, but it drives me BONKERS that the slow lane seems to be the stop and chat, re-arrange your swimming costume, flirt with the spotty 17 year old lifeguard lane. The fast lane seems to be more organised, and actually used for swimming. I can't wait to be fast enough to get in that lane!

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    1. BONKERS! Indeed! And when you get there - it won't change!

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  15. Sorry but that did make me laugh

    YOU WILL NOT WIN -- I love that!

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  16. haha. So get this. I used to swim in my late 20.s before my neck fused and it was stressful knowing which lane to go into. After a few months I was pretty fast but there was always some dick who wanted to be faster. After being overtaken (and at the same time crashed into) by the same guy I eventually lashed out and punched him in the back as he passed (accidentally on purpose). WE both kept swimming as if nothing had happened. I realised my restful past time needed to be packed in....it had become way too competitive.

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    1. I completely understand the punching - LOL - but what a shame you had to pack it in? xx

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  17. sorry this made me chuckle :-)

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  18. Brilliant... Made me laugh. I go swimming twice a week, and have been met with many of the above types on a regular basis. I mean why not just have a chat over a coffee instead of in the pool? Or is their weekly wash or something (yuk!)... I was actually screached at the other day by a woman who said I had splashed her hair (well at least I think that's what she said, I don't understand all German). I did point out that she was in a pool, and getting wet is part of the deal (not sure she understood all of my English!)... :D

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    1. Glad you identified with it and enjoyed it. Good for you for going twice a week :)

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  19. Hilarious! I braved the local leisure centre really and it was very funny watching the wars in the fast lane. I stuck to the 'open water' where there are no rules...kind of swimmer I am (yes, rubbish ;-) )... but I was still given death stares by the regulars. I think it was the non regulation swim suit (not Speedo) and the fact I missed the note that we are all meant to bring water bottles now and plonk at the end of lane...keep on going, reclaim the water for swim lovers!

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    1. You 'stuck to the open water?' - you're a braver woman than I am. You end up having to swim around everybody and it gets right on my nerves! The wars in the lanes really do go on, don't they? Gotta be a Speedo sorry, but the water bottles are new to me - will pay more attention next time I'm reclaiming, thank you :)

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  20. I absolutely love swimming but I resent sharing the pool with anyone else. This is why I do the lottery because, one of these days, I WILL have a house with an indoor pool!!

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    1. You WILL I hope - can I come? That has t be the absolute dream and I feel exactly the same. *rushes out to buy a lottery ticket* :)

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  21. Oh, man, I'm so sorry it was such a drag! After seven years, you definitely deserve a better experience "popping your cherry" or "re-popping" it! I hope it gets better.

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    1. Ah, thank you - it's always been the same, I had just forgotten and it certainly doesn't stop me going!

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