Thursday, May 22, 2008

i got your hand signal right here, pal...

Up pre-dawn this morning, I decided to be productive and go swim some laps. The pool opens at 6:30 which is fine by me. I figure that the only people who will show up to a community pool at 6:30am are little old ladies and assholes who take fitness really seriously. So I threw boxers and a sweatshirt over my new Speedo and flip flopped myself down there.
Conveniently our lifeguard was not the standard 17 year old boy, who tends to look exactly like the sort that frightened me with great frequency in high school. It was my friend Katy who is very in charge and officious and upon seeing me rub my chlorinated eyes at the end of every lap, threw me some mercy goggles.
I was off, powering through the water and I could see under there! I watched my hands dive in front of me, pushing the water out of my way with this pretty little trail of bubbles.
I’ve written about my early morning swims before, detailing the complex rules regarding lane sharing. I guess I never fully understood it, but if there’re two people in a lane, you each stick to your half of the lane. If a third joins you, everyone kind of goes in a circle, which means y’all need to swim at relatively the same speed. The thing is, if I’m in a lane with one other person, sticking to my side like there’s no tomorrow, I’m in the zone. I’m not looking around to see if I’m supposed to suddenly change the whole scheme of my lap swim.
So finally, at the far end of the pool (by the waterslide!), I look up to see my lane mate giving me this bizarre hand jive. What the fuck? It was like baseball signals, and I think it’s safe to assume I don’t know any of those, only this was related to recreational swimming. So I’m standing in 5 feet of water, hair stuck to my face, squinting down the lane at this air traffic controller and his angry signals.
It’s not that far, so I dared to speak. “What are you trying to express to me? I don’t know what your hand signals mean.”
Katy came over to explain it to me, when I noticed someone else in our lane.
Oh shit, we’re a three! We need to be circling! And I’m betting, now that I’ve made myself completely look like an idiot, that circling has some sort of hand jive.
Jesus!
Why is this so fucking difficult? Do any of you have a pool? Seriously. Do any of you have a pool? I’ll gladly net leaves out of it and lounge around telling little anecdotes. Ideally, I’d prefer it if you weren’t there, but at this point, as long as I don’t have do the hokey pokey every goddamn time I need to share a lane, I’d be forever grateful…

9 comments:

Molly Crosland said...

I feel your pain Beth! It's one of the few things I hate about swimming as a form of exercise! It's a real turnoff.

greg said...

omg....so my friend who has been talking about the same thing in Paris is not alone...it's a world wide phenom...

Clair said...

But the fault lies with the person who wants to be the third in the lane and invariably neglects to wait for the other swimmers to get to the end of the lane - where they can SEE him - before he jumps in and starts barreling towards the unsuspecting swimmers. Or maybe this is just my problem, because I'm blind without my glasses.

Anonymous said...

We do not have this problem at Ala Moana Beach Park. Just saying.

Becky said...

This is why I use the treadmill. One person at a time thank you!

vansmack said...

Actually Becky, treadmills are much more fun with a group...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI

alex said...

maybe if you took Sign Language like me, you wouldn't have this problem.

Mousqueton said...

Maybe this can help. Rgds

Endless Pool

seany said...

You could swim in the ocean. Then you wouldn't have to worry about this. Instead, you'd have to worry about hypothermia, rip tides, and ol' Whitey.