I have (more than) my fair share of awkward swimming stories. I’ve been an avid swimmer for years, to the point where, when my lawyer sister tried to buy me a nice professional suit as a gift, we discovered that my shoulders were three sizes wider than my hips.
Your body on swimming: V
When the pool is crowded, I often get kicked or punched by other swimmers sharing my lane or even under the lane dividers (or even awkwardly stroked). For a while, the pool I swam in was so crowded and I was getting kicked so frequently that I was convinced I would end up like one of those Thai kickboxers with solid rib cages. Why do I subject myself to this punishment? I don’t know what to tell you other than water has some sort of innate magic which brings me peace.
In the pool I swim in at the moment, there is a woman who seems to hate me (though she often chooses to share my lane). Though I’ve been swimming peacefully for 50 minutes by the time she gets in, she’ll often shout at me or give a loud HARRUMPH! when I pass her. Because that is her main issue…I’m a lot faster than her and I have to periodically pass her in the lane. Once she shouted, “This is NOT the fast lane!” at me when I passed.
Another time, as I passed her at the end of a lap, she reached out and smacked me on the leg. I want to ask her why she is so angry…there seems to be no reason why we can’t peacefully share a lane in spite of our different speeds.
There’s also a woman who tells me every time we swim together how highly she regards me as a swim partner…”You swim so smooth and quiet!” she exclaims. I have no idea how to reconcile these two contrasting opinions.
But my friend’s favourite swim story of recent past is that of a girl with whom I was sharing a lane, who happened to be precisely the same speed as me. We had split the lane, and as we swam back and forth, we were neck in neck. Lap after lap we kept pace, smoothly gliding across the pool and back. The only hiccup in this was that my turning style, being self-taught, is somewhat eccentric. Thus, at the end of every lap, as we turned, our hips very gently bumped each other.
If this had happened once, it would have been nothing to remark on, but we were both too stubborn to stop and let the other get ahead, so lap after lap we bumped against each other at the end. I had to be very careful not to laugh out loud, as I didn’t want to choke or otherwise catch the attention of the life guard.
Now, whenever I am about to go for a swim, my friend says, “May your swim be full of butt-bumpers and not leg smackers!”