Wednesday, I went down to da poo’ for a splashy-splash. It’s been pretty much like forEVAH since I last went to the pool for anything more strenuous than a casual dippy dip and a little sunbathing. But I thought maybe I’d swim back and forth. Chase the black line, make sure it was still there.
I put on my little suity and stuffed my hairs into the cap, which always feels like putting a balloon over my head, and tied on my newly assembled goggles. On swim team, all the cool kids get Swedes. (As a side note, it’s nice that wiki gives assembly instructions. Because, um, it’s like hard and stuff.) The really cool kids mix and match. Blue on the right, green on the left, and whathaveyou. Just avoid the yellow ones. There, now you can’t say you never learned anything useful here at the Lint Trap. No yellow swedes. (Unless you have to race in a really really dark indoor poo’ Then, you’ll be rocking the yellows and desperately trying to ignore the unfortunate effect they have on your surroundings. Better that than wacking into the wall.) Anyway, since I’m not cool, my Swedes are blue on both sides.
I tippy toed across the deck, found myself some swim toys – no, no, pull your mind out of the gutter, toys are the little bouy for the leggies and the little kick board for the kicking – and headed over to a lane. Helpful descriptions labelled each lane: Slow, Medium, Fast, Very Fast, and Kick. Choose your own Adventure. I headed toward the slow lane. Because I was feeling slow and maybe not quite totally committed.
I hopped in the water, and splashed around. This poo’ is set up 50 meter. Long course stylie. It has always felt like a very very long way from one end to the other in a 50 meter pool. Short course? Way mo’ easier, because there’s walls to bounce off. I’m all about bouncing off the walls. 50 meters? Not so many walls. Anywho, I cruised back and forth a little, getting a feel for the joint.
On about my second trip back to the start where all the little lane signs were, I looked up to find the Pool Nazi staring me down. I’m thinking, what di’ do? Has some new etiquette rule been enacted since I last jumped in a poo’? I’m just splashing around here, watching the sun make those little patterns on the bottom.
“Do you know you’re in the SLOW lane?” she asked, in the tone of voice that seemed to imply that I was in fact very slow indeed.
“Well, you’re in the wrong lane. You need to move to the Fast Lane. Or better yet, the Very Fast Lane.”
“But, I mean, I haven’t been in the pool in years,” I argue.
But the Pool Nazi was not swayed. She fixed me with her Pool Nazi Stare.
“You need to move.”
“Uh, ok,” I mumble.
No Slow lane for you.
So, under her watchful eye, I gathered up my toys and shuffled over to the Fast Lane. No way, no how was I getting in the Very Fast Lane. Shit, I can’t remember the last time I felt Very Fast in a pool. I can’t even remember Sorta Fast, Maybe a Little Fast, or Not Quite Fast. I’m long retired from Fast.
Fast means pace clocks and qualifying times and more intervals than any human being should ever endure. Fast means stroke drills that make you sink, turn practice that makes you dizzy, breathing exercises that make the world go dim around the edges. Fast means chasing the black line hour after hour, doomed never to catch it. Fast means layering on three ugly swimsuits faded and torn. Fast means really bad hair.
I’m not looking for fast. I just want to splash around in the water, get a little exercise, and maybe work on my tan.
In the end, just as I suspected, the Pool Nazi was wrong. I definitely wasn’t Very Fast.
How do I know?
My bikini stayed on.