Chaotic swim lanes? How do you cope?


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I hear this a lot: ‘the swim lanes were too busy, so I got out’. I don’t.

Why not?

There are things to be learned from every single thing that happens to you. Let me tell you a story. I am not going to talk about ‘budgie smuggler man’ or ‘Bermuda shorts man’ this week I have met a whole new breed of entertainment.

The swim lanes have in fact been ridiculously chaotic this week. I usually see the same group of people and know what to expect, but didn’t expect to be passing a very large man dressed in shorts and T shirt, who was in turn passing a very thin man swimming very slowly: in the FAST LANE!

Equally I did not expect to be shouted at, elbowed and kicked, simply for swimming fast, in the fast lane! (It seems!) it has become a joke amongst my friends: ‘tch, you haven’t been swimming fast in the fast lane again have you?’ My husband thinks I should rock up in the GB suit! I haven’t found the bottle for that yet, but I am very tempted!

How do I remain so calm?

I treat each session as a learning opportunity.

When I was not allowed to use legs, due to the knee op rehab, I made it my mission to ‘chick’ as many men as I could, while only using my arms! Its a great sport!

When I wound up sharing a lane with little and large, neither could swim all that well, and one was doing breast stroke (badly) – in fact the lane had about 8 people like this in it. I decided that I would treat that day as a slalom open water ‘find a clear line’ practice. Is a major issue in ever open water swim start if you want to be competitive, therefore you must learn to not let any unexpected things faze you, and be able to deal with it and carry on regardless.

When I ended up being shouted at, it was because regardless of the crowds of irritating people standing around at the shallow end, I still carried on at pace, touched a tiny bit of wall I could reach, turned and carried on. This particular man didn’t like that much. (I don’t know why, I didn’t touch him at all!). He proceeded to ‘race me’ (badly) and each time I passed him (which I frequently did) he would kick, stick elbows out, swim down the centre, you name it. No matter, I thought. I am an open water swimmer, a triathlete in fact, I am made of strong stuff. It is just like a race, buddy. I fact, until you smack me on the head and dunk me under, perhaps kick my googles off my face, this is all tame stuff, and you will get bored long before I will.

Now, next time you are faced with a busy lane, what new skill will you practice? 😉 

One Comment on “Chaotic swim lanes? How do you cope?

  1. Patience of a saint! I get much too angry at these people. I had a man doing what can only be described as drowning in the fast lane whilst me and a mate were doing a proper set. all the other lanes only had one person in them. Plus half the pool was open. I can only assume his reading was as good as his swimming

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