Swim Types

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

I don’t know why I didn’t jump on this bandwagon sooner, especially since I’ve already made posts in the past about particular ‘Yogi Types’, and ‘Gym Types’.  And now that the off-season training is back upon us, I am giving more notice to another branch of unique weirdoes that, for whatever reason, have escaped my attention (or my cocked eyebrow)…until now that is.  Specifically, I’m speaking about the specific group of total aquatic wackjobs that frequent your local YMCA pool; the ‘Swim Nuts’ as I like to call them.

They will exist at every YMCA pool in the world, particularly if there’s a regularly scheduled lane swim or free time being offered.  I know this, because I’ve swam at more YMCA’s than I could name.  It’s the perfect vehicle to slip in quick workouts when you’re traveling for work.  When I arrive in a new town, I like to hunt out the local YMCA, call for the lane swim times (which usually tend to be in the morning and evenings), and check it out after work before I go home.  I have therefore been plenty exposed to some real Lu-Lu’s, let me tell you.

Sometimes they are very frustrating, as I’ve indicated before (chick HERE), but at other times they’re actually amusing and will help to pass the time in the water (click HERE), whatever, it is practically guaranteed that they will always be there no matter what.  They are as ubiquitous to swimming as pull buoys and kickboards.  So without further ado, I give you my complete list of ‘Swim Nuts’.

The Slapper – You will probably hear the Slapper way before you actually see them swimming in your lane; they don’t swim so much as they attempt to pound the water into submission with their hands.  It’s often painful, like watching a barbarian beat its dinner to death.  There will inevitably be lots of slashing and loud ‘slapping’ noises echoing along the water, hence the name.  They will offer you little problem however and will usually be all on board for the whole circle swim etiquette, but you may have to be a little cautious when you try to pass them in the lane unless you like to be publically spanked by a Baby Boomer.

The Albatross – I named this swimmer for their elongated wing span across the entire lane as they swim.  It’s like they’re trying to collectively ward off other swimmers as they swing their enormous arms across the water’s surface like an albatross trying to take off.  God help you if they’re wearing a watch and swimming at you from the opposite direction as you’ll be taking your life in your hands should they clunk you in the head with it.  I try to avoid swimming with Albatrosses like it was a life passion.

The Endless Breaststroker – The person is the bane of my aquatic life as it seems there are many in this particular swimmer type category and they usually all end up in my lane.  I shit you not.  I won’t be swimming for three minutes and, as if on cue, a breaststroker will jump on my lane and passively move down the middle of the lane like a drowning sea lion.  Let’s face it, it’s doesn’t really matter if you’re sticking to your side of the lane or not, you may as well be stroking down the lane center with that huge ass kick taking up the entire lane anyway.  Unfortunately, the Endless Breaststroker is also a creature of habit and will be loath to change their routine and use any other stroke other than breaststroke.  Let’s not even discuss what happens should the breaststroker have not trimmed their toe nails in a while either.  You may as well do your laps in a bathtub of daggers.

The Endless Kicker – Similar to the Endless Breaststroker, the Endless kicker does only that…kicks…usually in the similar Breaststroke whip kick fashion.  It is my opinion that these two are in cahoots with one another to muscle out the rest of us in the pool.  Anyway, one really has to wonder if the Endless Kicker could even swim at all if you were to ever take the kickboard away.  If an Endless Kicker has ever actually pulled a single stroke through the water with their upper bodies, I haven’t seen it.

The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – This swimmer is, well, odd.  They are the swimmers that like to push off the wall and glide along the pool bottom for as long as possible like they were the ‘Nautilus’ or something.  It freaks me out.  Particularly when I’m about to pass you and you come back at me like a launched torpedo threatening to surface.  Apart from the 5 to 10 feet they actually surface long enough in the middle to do a few strokes, they spend the majority of their time underwater.

The Seizure – Who knows what the fuck is going on with this swimmer’s stroke other than it’s amazing they actually make it to the other side.  It’s like they’re having a full blown epileptic seizure up and down the down the lane.  No matter how you try to figure it out, you’ll never completely wrap your head around their stroke.  But, hey, who am I to judge?  Usually, the Seizure swimmer will know they are a bit slower than others and keep to themselves in the Slow Lane.  Never count the Seizure out in an endurance workout though, for their most likely able to spasm and jerk through the water all day long.

The Bobbers – I simply don’t understand this particular pool goer.  They stand (or float) at the end of the pool and just…bob…up and down…over and over.  It’s almost, like, they were meditating over it.  I equate them to those spinning hippie dancers at Phish concerts.  For whatever reason, Bobbers tend to be of Asian descent; beats me why.  Is ‘Bobbing’ a national past time overseas or something?  I find the they type of swimmer annoying because they tend to hog the ends of the lane – obviously lost in their bobbing trace  – making flip turns practically impossible.

The Floater – The Floater is a curious pool patron.  They don’t swim, they float as you might in your backyard pool, or bathtub.  I remember very well what my Uncle Ernie would most likely be doing if you were ever to see him stretched out on back floating in the pool with a huge shit-eating grin on his face and, believe me, you steered clear for a while. Maybe this is why, although I have no issues with the Floaters, I still can’t help but be a little anxious that one of them is going to forget where they are and unconsciously let loose with a full stream of urine that I proceed to swim through, a few hundred times.  For this reason, I try to keep to the other side of the pool if possible.  Be careful though, Floaters in some cases will actually turn out to be a 97-year-old lady who has probably been doing laps since Moses parted the Red Sea.

The Analyzer – This is the person who turns up at the end of the pool with all the newest gadgets and not a single clue on how to use any of it.  They will be happy to discuss all the latest swim techniques they saw on ‘Swim Smooth’, break your stroke down piece by piece, or review their newest coaching schedule with you but, really, the chances are pretty good they won’t do much swimming.  They may race you once or twice to the opposite end and back, but then they’ll have a near heart attack before deciding to go bob by themselves in the deep end and loudly declare it as ‘breathe work’.  I avoid this swim type like the plague.

The ‘I’m Just Here to Look Good in My Speedo’s’ – I think these pool types are the best.  Why?  Because they never actually get in the pool!  For some weird reason, they just like to stroll around in their Speedo’s, sunglasses and designer flip-flops as if they were on vacation.  I figure they are doing just that – in their heads – enjoying themselves on some white sandy beach somewhere, and even though they’re just standing on the deck at their YMCA pool, in their head they’re all like:  ‘Honey, I’m just going to wander down to the Tiki Bar and see if anyone’s seen my coconut suntan lotion.’  For all I know they’ve just escaped the psych ward.

  1. Hey, you didn’t mention Snorkel Guy. Or the lady with the impeccable hair-do who gets upset if you splash water , she also wears a halo of perfume (try breathing 3/3 in that!). Or the guy built like a tank who won’t let you pass..

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