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.)