Attack of the Swim Doofi (Part 2): The Doofus Returns

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Swim
Tags: , ,

Well, it seems like I’ve found myself a pool groupie; and not the good kind of groupie either.  There’s no big hair, no back room “favors”, just a whole lotta Speedos and aggravation.

It all started a few weeks ago when a new swimmer started showing up at my usual lane swim times.  Inevitably, as all aspiring swim doofus’ do, he jumped into the Fast Lane and proceeded to fuck up my swim workout by whip-kicking down the middle of the lane at the same rate as your average aquatic octogenarian sporting ankle weights (i.e. damn slow).  However, he seemed eager to learn and so I remained patient and allowed him to do his thing which, for the record, was very little.  Typically, he occupied the space at the wall and quizzed other swimmers on how to get better and faster.  I even offered him a few basic suggestions between sets on specific drills to do to improve his form but he didn’t seem very keen to really practice or perfect anything, but rather just be able to talk the talk, but, whatever, just move over and let me swim, dude.

Each day he watched me like a hawk and, occasionally, he would push off the wall at the same time and do his best to keep pace with me.  I assume he was trying to mimic what I was doing in the water as he would have a zillion questions after my workout.  Mostly, I just found it annoying.  He’d swim all out for about 50m then sit there occupying the wall for the next 15 minutes or so discussing swim technique with the bored-looking lifeguard who were about as interested in him as I was.  But, hey, let’s get something straight, I wasn’t trying to be all “too cool for you” or anything, it’s just that I only have a certain time frame to actually workout in the pool and therefore I need to actually swim and not spend an hour discussing form with you and, besides, whenever I did offer him some tidbit of advice, he seemed to immediately discard it for whatever the next suggestion happened to be from anyone else who happened to be in the pool at the time.    So being as it was, I mostly left him to his own devices to flounder away 50m at a time like an epileptic sea lion.

Then one day he turned up in a new Speedo similar to mine and told me that he’d read somewhere that it was more aero-dynamic in the water and this was probably a major reason why I was so fast while he was, well, slow.  Okay, whatever, I just had to giggle at the guy, right?  Again he tried to keep pace with me for 50m and I left him in my wake.  Sorry.  If you don’t put in the prerequisite time working on your form and technique, I don’t give a shit what you’re swimming in, you’re probably not going to make much improvement and this guy was just validating my point.  I tried once again to explain this to him but, again, his eyes glazed over and he made his way into another lane to play ‘Twenty Questions’ with someone else.  I, of course, kept swimming.

The next week he showed up with his own copy of Swim Workouts in a Binder for Triathletes’, the very same that I use in the pool.  Well, color me shocked.  Maybe I was finally getting through to him.  Maybe he was finally going to forget about his overall pace and actually focusing on doing more than 50m at a time, just maybe, but…no.  He never ever opened it.  It just sat there on the pool wall soaking in the chlorine.  He was always curious to see which workout I was doing but he never actually tried to emulate any of it to my knowledge.  Instead, he just gabbed away about how wonderful it was before trying to race to the deep end and back.  In fact, what few laps I did see him do were actually worse than when I first noticed him flipping and flopping away in my Fast Lane weeks ago.  This guy was like the Benjamin Button of swimming.

Last week, he showed up with his own mesh swim bag containing flippers, paddles, kick board, etc.  Good grief.  Obviously, he had been gathering information from all the other swimmers about which equipment he should be using.  But did he use any of it?  No.  Of course not!  He talked about it all at great length with anyone who would listen but for the most part, everyone else was swimming so he didn’t have a very large audience.  Go figure.

I was actually beginning to feel sorry for the guy.  Then, today, he crossed the line.

He was already in the Fast Lane when I arrived and was leaning back on the wall, obviously exhausted from his last 50m a half hour ago or so.  I jumped in as per usual and began my planned workout while he stood there ogling me as was usually our routine.  When I stopped after a few 100m’s to get a sip of water before beginning my main set, he offered me the following chestnut:

“You might want to consider working on your reach a bit…”

Umm, did he just give ME advice?  I was dumbfounded.  He who can barely splash down to the opposite end of the pool and back before quitting is giving me tips on how to improve MY swim technique?  Seriously, the way this guy windmills through the water would make Don Quixote more than a little anxious.  He doesn’t stroke through the water so much as he beats it into submission.  Surely he was kidding, right?  ‘fraid not.  He continued to look at me thoughtfully before adding:

“I saw on a Swim Smooth video that you should extend your arm out in front of you.  You could probably reach a little further to go faster.”

Sensing my pending meltdown the lifeguard on duty decided to walk down to the other end of the pool to check on the lane ropes or something.  Smart.  Unfortunately, I had no such other responsibility to tend to so I continued to gape back at this moron as he waited patiently for my response.  Did he really think I was going to appreciate his poignant insight?  I was stymied over how to react.  My first instinct was to bludgeon him with my kickboard but, I also need to keep my membership in good standing so I can continue using the YMCA pool so I opted for the better part of valor, thanked him (albeit distantly), and started swimming.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no Michael Phelps.  I get it.  In fact, I like and appreciate getting feedback from people who either swim themselves, know swimming, or, you know, get their information from anywhere else but an internet video.  What I’m not about to do is simply take advice from just anyone.  Certainly not some moolyak who swims a couple laps before turning himself into a wall flower at the end of the lane for the rest of the ‘workout’; if you want to call it that.  YouTube-ing a few swimming videos does not immediately turn you into a swim form expert.  Where did he get off?

As I swam, I could sense him continuing to scrutinize me.  It was more than I could bear.  I admit it.  So after my last set (making sure to finish each 500m at the other end of the pool), I quickly packed up my shit and split lest I should have to continue hearing more of his crap.  God help me if he decides to comment on my kicking next time otherwise he’ll be on the receiving end of a liberal dose of profanity the likes of which would make even the most worldly of sailors blush.  Specifically, I’d tell him that if he feels the urge to offer up the swim tips, he will have to learn how to complete more than 50m while not looking like a drowning orangutan.   And, for the record, even the old ladies in the slow lane would lap you.  So there!

Good for you for having all the toys n’ shit but, dude, seriously… USE THEM!

  1. Jan says:

    Terry you are losin it! Especially if you are seeing “epileptic sea lions” and “drowning orangutans” while swimming. Suggest you take a pill, maybe three before you go to swimming next time. But seriously, that was really hillarious. Wish I’d been there to watch!!

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