Sometimes we can be totally fooled …
The other evening at the pool. I take my place in my lane and crawl in the “active lane” while taking my chances with the others. The “active lane” is supposed to be an extra lane for fast swimmers. Supposed to be. Because time and again unbelievably slow swimmers mix in. They really have no place there. Really. But it seems not to disturb them. Probably they think: I am active – why should I not swim here?! That they cause, almost unbroken, long swim backups seems not to interest them. Slowly they crawl backwards down the lane, almost as if in slow motion. An elderly man, who I am not actually sure can swim, is among them. His swimming style reminds me of one who is about to drown. It amazes me that the life guard does not come running to administer first aid and to pull him out of the water. But they probably know them inside out. Other floating bodies in the active lane crawl so slowly through the water that I wonder whether an underwater snail, crawling on the bottom of the pool, would not overtake them.
Terribly annoying are these “pseudo-active” people. There is absolutely no possibility of performing an overtaking manoeuvre in the lane. If I try to overtake I will most likely get a couple of punches or kicks, because this type, with all of their mass, move across the lane and neither look forward nor sideward but seem to be trying to swim blind. Some fill the whole width of the lane with their outstretched arms – although otherwise three trained swimmers could crawl next to each other. Sometimes I am forced to make 3 stops within just one 50 meter lap. Those who have done swim training can maybe imagine what potential there is for the build-up of aggression in a short period of time. The positive side effect: all the pent up energy and, relatively more powerful, anger can be channelled into swim energy – when one eventually has a free lane …
Among these snail tempo swimmers in the active lane is a young lady with a blue swimming cap. She is beautifully tanned – probably comes from a country further south than Germany. After I overtook her and swam around her for the 36th time in about 20 minutes I used her break at the side of the pool to talk to her. Carefully I start with the facts: “You’ve been swimming here a while.” “Yes” she replies. I ask further: “And how far do you want to swim here today?” “Hm …, around 6 km in total.” Her last answer makes my jaw drop. I am speechless. 6 km!!! Amazing! I swim here my 2, sometimes also 2 ½ km. And this paddle aunty, whose crawl technique resembles that of a drowning poodle, wants to swim 6 km at a stretch?? I ask her how long she has been in the water today. She says: “Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes”. Just strike me pink! A real marathon swimmer. I ask her, who she is and where she comes from. She explains that she studies here, that she is Spanish and grew up on Majorca. There she would also swim so far in the sea. Man, a real Majorcan! A native, who maybe even personally knows Dieter Bohlen. And to add to that a sustained and well trained personality. I take all my anger back and give this small personality my respect. Because one has to first succeed – to move oneself for around 3 hours without stopping in an indoor swimming pool – also when the accompanying speed leaves something to be desired. But that is definitely sporty. I forgive her today for using the active lane. Someone who swims so long in one go is really active. I will recognise this blue swim cap and in the future not get upset about these slow motion swimmers. At least not as much.What conclusions can I arrive at from this swimming experience:
- 1. First impressions can be powerfully deceptive.
- 2. Do not underestimate the inconspicuous swimmer in the blue swimming cap.
- 3. In Majorca people do not just bathe, they also do swim training in the sea.
- 4. Life holds amusing surprises for me.
- 5. Actually when doing sports it should not always be about fast times and good performance. Actually.
- 6. The life guards show no interest in who ultimately uses the active lane.
- 7. At my next visit I will just have to try out the “blind swimming” – and then go immediately and unerringly on a collision course with certain swimmers (potentially).
© Encourager68 (August 2014)