I went to the pool early today. I had gotten in most of my sales calls, I could take a lunch break, I figured I’d get the pool to myself in the early afternoon and spend the rest of the day doing emails and phone calls. Even when I drove by the club there were maybe thirty cars. And let’s be honest, ten of those were staff.
Know the secret to afternoon at the gym? It’s empty. Except the pool. There are four lanes and everyone thought, “Let’s hit up the pool.” When I arrived, I did laps in the current pool until a lane opened up. Some guy with a bunch of tattoos and no goggles. That’s how you know he’s a bad ass. He just opens his eyes as he glides through the water. Muscle upon muscle. Square jaw. I’m totally not jealous, nor did I glare at him as he walked to the hot tub, all nonchalant. Because you can’t. You have to sprint to the lane or you’ll lose it to some guy who just walked in. But mentally I totally did.
So I have my lane. But apparently in pool culture it’s cool to share. However, I do not share my workout space well. At all. Which is why I waited fifteen minutes for a lane that I would use for thirty minutes. Tops. Because I already worked out lightly for fifteen minutes.
Now, reasons I don’t share:
First, I do breast stroke, and I have a pretty good wingspan. Why don’t I do free style? Because I lack restraint. In two laps I’m puffing and huffing and those pigs are safe in the straw house because I can barely get enough air in my lungs to make a twig jiggle, let along fall over. This is why when running I use a treadmill. I can cap myself at five or six miles per hour. Otherwise I would just run as fast as I could for five minutes before someone found me dead on the side of the nature trail. Or at the very least they’d be wondering where my inhaler was and if I was asthmatic. I’m not. I just don’t comprehend my body has limits, and the longer I go without maintaining a good workout, the lower those limits get.
Second, I do not like sharing my workout space. When I workout, it is me, my demons, my desires, my goals, and my thoughts. That is it. I do not want someone else swimming next to me, brushing up against me, apologizing that we got a little too close. Even if she was attractive. Just, no.
So I no more than hop into my lane when a big guy comes up and asks if we can share. There was a lady two lanes over hugging the wall doing stuff. To the wall. Share her lane. I sighed, “Man, I do breast stroke,” ever say that out loud to someone? It sounds ridiculous. Because it was. “I use up the width.”
With a sigh, a huff, and a “Whatever,” he went to the next one over where the lady said, “I’m just doing one more lap and then I’m out anyway.” And then he did stretches. Really weird, I feel uncomfortable seeing you underwater, stretches.
I felt embarrassed, like I wasn’t fulfilling my contractual agreement with myself to love all people, including sharing my lane. Even if it feels creepy that two chubs are in the same lame when there was a 60 year old molesting the wall in lane one. So obviously I couldn’t do the leisurely breast stroke I so often do. I was swimming faster than anyone doing free style. That should not happen. But one was old and the other guy, chubs.
After going about 150m, a woman came up to my lane because I stopped to do some stretching. I never comprehend this. In most cases, people give me a wide berth. People are a little creeped out by me. But it never ever applies to certain things, like reading books in hotel lobbies or swimming laps. When I am doing something that is expressly “Do not talk to me, I’m busy,” people always feel a need to approach me.
Anyway, she was very attractive, but still. I just want my damned lane. My own lane. Meanwhile the old woman was still feeling up the wall. For the past thirty minutes. Maybe that’s the key. If I’d just hump the wall every time I reached an end, no one would ask, “Hey, can I use this lane?” But since I’m not old, I’d likely get escorted out.
“I’m done anyway,” I said, hopping out of the pool, unable to endure the shame of saying yes to her after telling the man no, and knowing that I had to show some sort of appreciation for mankind, to show that I’m not actually the selfish bastard I revealed myself to be. So I jumped out, which was good, because I forgot my boundaries. There were little speckles of black in my sight as I walked to shower off, and when I sat in my car, I could feel cramps all the way from my calves to my gluts. Or butt. Heh. Gluts are totally your butt. I’m like six. Leave me alone.
My arms hurt, my back tingles, my legs still ache. I’m still breathing hard and it’s been like three or four hours. I also learned a lesson. Wake up at 5:30am, or kiss your chance of a guaranteed lane goodbye. Unless I like sharing. And I do not.
Note: I totally wrote this yesterday, then closed my laptop to hunt down monsters. When I looked at what I had running this morning, this was up. So when I say “Today,” I mean “Yesterday.”