Monday, April 12, 2010

Mollie Rant: Pools

Get ready.
Get set.
I apologize in advance,
This is another Mollie-rant

The source of my fiery rage this particular morning is the pool. More specifically, the people in the pool. Nothing makes me hate humanity like shared space when I'm working out (remember the sidewalks?). 

I realize that most of my pool-rage is completely unreasonable. For example, I hate getting splashed. Now I know that a pool is a large space full of water, designed for wet activities...but that doesn't mean I have to like it! 
Most of my annoyance stems from the fact that I am never in a pool by choice. I would always rather be running.

(Currently, I'm on week 3 of my I-don't-want-to-be-injured-anymore hamstring-mandated hiatus from running. I started with a week off completely, then a week of yoga, and now I'm in my week of pool-running.)

So splashing, yes, that's annoying. The butterfly is the worst stroke in the world - I'd really rather my face not get wet. And the way people breathe! Splashing is one thing, but getting a whale-blow-hole-style splatter of air and water in my face is just gross.

But I can't entirely blame the sport, sometimes it's the swimmers who bother me (I know, I know, unreasonable). But really, some people are super-inconsiderate and take up far too much space. Just because I'm not moving that quickly doesn't mean you get to swim down the middle of the lane!

Let me illustrate my point with a real-life example from last night. I went to pool-run at the YMCA after work - i.e. the perfect storm of Mollie-rage-inducing-ness. Like any pool at 6:30 pm it was crowded, but no biggie - I hopped in a lane knowing that I had to share it with a swimmer - whatev's. 

So there I was pool-running my heart out, day-dreaming about racing and making a conscious effort not to get annoyed with the flailing splashy-splashersons on either side of me. 
I hate that pool-runners are always relegated to the slow lane with the flailers. It is so much better to share a lane with someone who knows how to swim and stay in their own space. 

And then at 7, Master's Swim started, and the instructor informed me that I would have to change lanes. Whatev's - Masters gotta swim, I get that. So I hopped out of the pool, and walked to the slow lane on the other end. There were already two swimmers in that lane, but it was my only option. 

As I was about to get in, this guy (we'll call him InstructorJerk) was like Umm, hey, we're kind of using this lane.
Me: Oh, can I not use it?
InstructorJerk: Well you can, but I'm teaching a lesson here, so you can't get in their way...we'll probably be done by 7:15. 

Well, what was I supposed to do? I sure as hell wasn't going to twiddle my thumbs on the side of the pool for 15 minutes mid-run! And only two people in the lane? I know what a crowded pool is, and I know that 2 swimmers does not a full lane make!

Me: OK, well I'll just stay out of their way! 

I hopped in and started running. And then InstructorJerk thought it'd be cool to send his kid to start a lap at the exact same moment the other swimmer started (coincidence? I think not.).

I was stuck, faced with flailing arms and gasping guppy faces coming at me in a great wall of wettness. What's a pool runner to do? I hoisted myself out of the pool, let the two titans pass, then jumped back in with a splash! UGH-ARG-BAH!!! (This is my annoyed face.)

I spent the rest of my workout swerving from side to side, narrowly avoiding these two horrible swimmers. 

I'm sure many of you out there are swimmers. And I don't hate you (mostly I hate the fact that I'm in the pool), all I ask is that you try to be considerate to your fellow pool users. And if you're in the DC area, the YMCA has a free 7-day trial week, so that's kind of cool. You just have to print out this form and bring it in. (Don't say I never gave you anything - you're welcome. Just don't get in my lane.)


  1. You would get along well with Himself. The two of you could rant all day about fellow pool users. One of his pet peeves when he goes it that people are swimming before having cleaned their teeth. As though it is not bad enough that the idiots are splashing and butterflying and puffing and panting - they are doing it with MORNING BREATH!!!!

    It is no wonder that the British are seen as a national of dirty yellow rotten toothed people. I dispair of my fellow Islanders.....

  2. Lol that is AWFUL! I have never noticed a fellow-pooler's breath...but I can imagine! The pool really does kill me - I can't wait to get back to running!

  3. Oh Mollie. I again hear your rant. I love that you put words to my thoughts. hahaha.

    All i can say is I was ranting about the same splashing issues to a friend of mine who is a swimmer and as a swimmer myself I understand. But, here is what she said, "No one likes to get splashed regardless. It's like being spit on."

    Flailing arms, or water fighters or the old men who like to slap the water and have horrible strokes so the water gets sprayed across the freakin' pool on you. ugh. and ymca pools mostly are so HOT! ugh again! it's like a germ bath. ugh! I love pools, i love swimming, but there are lines.

    sigh. no offense taken and there are some considerate swimmers out there. i always try to aim to find a lane with a breaststroker - less likely i'll get mowed over with water waves. not to mention that face splashing etc. takes your focus off your workout and i find i don't workout as well or as hard...sooo hey! I'm trying to workout here too and my selfish mind thinks, and it's probably a heck of a lot harder than you! arg.

    oh mollie...even us swimmers get annoyed with fellow swimmers :P
    case in point, last summer i wanted to smack a good number of people in the pool...and even out of it.

    hope your hamstring is feeling better!!

  5. I feel your pain! Pools make me angry just to think about...

  6. You see now why I only swim in the sea. :-)

  7. Thanks for your comments! I'm so glad we're all on the same page with this one!

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