Friday, July 30, 2010

I've Flipped my Lid

I don't know if it's the heat or how deep I am in my training, but I have lost my patience with the gym. I belong to Lifetime Fitness and it's the quintessential gym. You've got your meatheads, you've got your fashionistas who care more about how they look than getting in a workout, and sprinkled in there you've got people who are there to really exercise. What bothers me, though, is watching people workout and see everything they're doing wrong or not doing anything at all. It bothers me so badly to see people leaning on the treadmills and elliptical machines. Dude, you're not working anything!

For the last 9 months I have spent the majority of my time at the gym in the pool. I have seen all kinds of things happen in the pool and most of them do not involve actual swimming. Look, I have no problem if you're in the lap pool and you're doing something productive. If you are walking, walk and make it aerobic. If you are swimming, thank you! If you can share a lane, god bless you.

Yesterday two teenage boys were in the lane beside me. I should say, one teenage boy was in the lane and the other was on the deck. The one in the pool was diving to the bottom, a whopping 4 feet below, while the other one counted how long he could hold his breath. Turns out a whole 16 seconds. You're awesome! (sarcasm implied) When the other lane beside me, to my left, opened up, the yahoo on the deck jumped in that lane. So now the teenagers are in both lanes beside me. They're mirroring each other as they dive to the bottom. Me, I continue my workout. At one point, the kid on the right dives down, under the lane line, and runs into me as I swim. And it's hard enough that I cannot brush it off and continue as if nothing happens. I yell at both of them. I told them that these lanes were for swimming and if they wanted to horseplay (yeah I said that) they should be in the other pool. I continued with my set and when I came to the end of the wall they were waiting for me. Good grief. The one of my left, not the one who actually hit me, apologized for the other kid and tried to explain the situation and that they were lifeguard trained (yeah right). I told them I didn't care and that they needed to be in the other pool. I stopped listening and talking and finished my swim.

Here's the thing,'s gotten out of control in the lap pool and you're lifeguards and the swim director are too chicken to do anything about it. Here's what I suggest, with five lanes you designate one for walking (the one with the stairs), one for slow swimming, two for medium swimming, and one for fast swimming. People then have to seed themselves. And if you're walking in a lane designated for swimming and a swimmer needs that lane, you need to move over to the walking lane. I've seen this done at a community pool nearby and it's really not that hard!

Part of me is really ready for the Ironman to be over because I think I'm going to get involved with the master's swimming at the high school so I can swim with real swimmers.

Happy swimming!!!


Karen said...

Funny timing on this post, the last two times I have been to the pool at lifetime, there have been kids sitting (or flipping) on the lane lines, other people just kind of hanging out in the lane (not swimming or walking). There is a whole other pool without lane lines for that kind of activity. I don't get why the lifeguards don't monitor it a little better.

Tim Kasparek said...

wow, so the kid actually has the compassion to apologize to you and that's still not good enough!

Meredith said...

He didn't apologize. His friend apologized for him. I appreciate the apology but that's not the point. The point is, those lanes are for working out, not goofing around.

Brandon said...

haha i deal with this at the pool all the time. The guards do their best but with one lane in such a giant pool its tough sometimes to catch everyone. I use the kids or people as obstacles and swim around or sometimes even through or over them. Its kind of fun. =D

E.L.F. said...

Did you just say masters??

Big Daddy Diesel said...

The joys of the pool, it seems out of all our workouts, the one that tends to get the most interrupted is the swim, goof balls, aqua joggers, aqua aerobics, people who cant or wont share a lane, the 25'ers (those people who sprint one length and rest for 3 minutes recovering, but always tend to start when you puch off the wall and feel the need to race you)