But I have to say that over the years, I have noticed a few funny things about public pools and the kinds of people they draw in...
- The Serious Swimmers. Location: Fast Lane. These guys are often decked out in flippers, special snorkels (yes different to regular ocean ones), and generally an 'out of my way' attitude. The benefit if this though is that every one who qualifies for this lane understands THE RULES - i.e. overtaking, letting others overtake, lap consistency etc. If you don't know the rules, then get outta this lane.
- The Mixed Bag Swimmers. Location: Medium Lane. Still a clued-in lot, this lane has a mixture of freestylers and breaststrokers usually and most people know the rules. Sometimes there is the odd person who is way too fast and getting frustrated with the medium pace, but for some reason are not in the Fast Lane. Weird.
- The Gary Larson Swimmers. Location: Slow Lane. Ok, so Gary Larson (The Far Side) might be a bit mean, but honestly, this lane is home to the weirdest, slowest, most 'lane-drifty' swimmers known to society. And I have to say it, there are often people in there who are not just slow in pace, if you get my drift. Swimming in this lane (if you can swim) is infuriating. Not recommended for anyone who did swim school as a 6 year old. Even if you haven't swum since primary school, you still probably qualify for Medium Lane. Having said all that though, good on these peeps for actually getting in the pool.You can tell a lot of them are very new to swimming and it can be really terrifying. So, props for that.
We could go on the discuss the Psychology of the Public Pool Change Room, but I try to get in and out as quick as possible so as not to hover too long around the 'old-lady-nudity' and 'screaming shampoo-soaked kids' groups. Let's not dwell on this. Just get out there and swim. Generally there are no excuses as most pools are heated to some degree. Swimming loosens tight muscles, is great for anyone with an injury and still gets your heart-rate going.
The other great thing about local pools is all the different shapes and sizes of bodies. I have seen pregnant ladies, tiny babies, the very large, the very skinny, the wrinkly oldies, and the gangly teens... you name it, they're there. So no matter how bad you think you look in swimmers, I say get out there and swim.