The Art of Not Sharing

It’s never easy to enter a swimming pool when the lanes are full.  It’s like being the new kid and walking into a school cafeteria for the first time.  When this happens to me my swim is pretty much automatically off to a rocky start.  I feel like a horrible intruder to the other swimmers’ “quality time” because I personally hate it when others interrupt me.    Nevertheless I scope out the “Weakest Link Swimmer” and choose to encroach on their swim time (regretfully so.)  The said, “Weakest Link Swimmer” is the one who lacks enthusiasm and appears the least engaged.  Often a girl, sporting a two-piece, they are likely doggy paddling back and forth slowly looking for an excuse to quit early anyway.

I’ll be their excuse.

I crouch down, “Mind if we share?” said in my sweetest voice?  It’s never easy, I feel their pain, and trust me…I hate it more than they do.

I steer clear of the “Go-Getter” type swimmers.  The said, “Go-Getters” can be identified by their shiny rubber swim caps, unwavering aquatic speed, and determined facial expressions.  The combination of their speed and lap-end flip-turns make it nearly impossible to get their attention when asking to share their lane.  They are either too in-the-zone or, like me, avoid being confronted altogether.

Exasperation is probably detected through my forced enthusiasm when someone asks.  Yet, I can’t NOT give my consent.  “Yea sure, ” I answer as I push away from the wall quickly, grumble underwater, and begin another lap.

I’m stingy when I swim.  I’m aware.  You may say, “Molly-from-LifesLemons it’s truly not the end of the world to share a lane.”  Yes, but what happens when all of the sudden I get the urge to throw out a single wide-leg-frog-kick during my freestyle lap?  I’d surely injure the other person.  What happens when I get a wild hair up my ass and want to swim as fast as possible at a moment’s notice; engaging every fiber in my body, pushing back at the water’s resistance with all my might, and test my spur-of-the-moment lung capacity?  What happens then?!  I reeeally don’t want to crane my neck to look ahead first and see if the human bottle of Axe is chugging towards me anytime soon.  (It’s unreal how keen one’s sense of smell is during the brief breaths of air taken in while swimming.)

I’ve got an internal locus of control and feel that I am responsible for my own destiny.  If I don’t want to share a lane, there are things that I can do to reduce my chances of having to do so.  For example, I could pretend to be deaf/blind/mute in attempt to ignore lane sharing requests.  I could appear intimidatingly “Go-Getterish” and “Pro” by mastering an underwater turnabout and avoid the awkward eye contact that says, “Yea I saw you walk in, yea I’m aware that all other lanes are taken, yea I guess you can share my lane.”   Or I could camp out at the pool, note the high-volume swimming times, report my data to Weston, and have him code a computer program that uses an advanced logarithm to predict the best times for me to swim.  The kinks haven’t been worked out yet but ideally this program would take into account the time, day of the week, and peak swimming hours (with a miniscule margin of error)  to forecast times that I can potentially enter the pool without having to share.

Recently, I’ve mastered the underwater flip-turn and it worked like a charm.  When finally I emerged from the pool, the other three lanes had two swimmers a piece.

Nice meeting you Paige.  It was bound to happen sooner or later and thanks for the shout out.

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2 Responses to The Art of Not Sharing

  1. Pingback: Cross-Training; Day #3 | Life's Lemons

  2. Pingback: Cheap Therapy Part II; Becoming Consumed | Life's Lemons

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