“Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before…” (Part 4)

Posted: June 5, 2015 in In Transition, Swim
Tags: ,

(Disclaimer: This was written purely out of sarcasm.  I have no ill feelings towards anyone referred to or mentioned in this post, especially Kyle.  I’m just taking some “creative liberties” here for the sake of telling of what I hope is a pretty funny story.  As least that’s how I’m choosing to see it anyway).

My training is pretty routine now, as it is for most triathletes I guess; eat, shit, hydrate, train, recover, repeat.  On designated swim days I’m typically up three minutes before my alarm at 5:17am to make it to the pool for 6:25am to wage Mortal Combat with all the old fogies over who gets into what lane.  Sometimes I win out and get the fast lane, other times I’m stuck in No Man’s Land doing kicking drills with the floating log with arms.   But what can you do?

I have mentioned before to the pool staff my sentiments about rearranging the swim lanes to be more accessible by moving the slow lanes to the outside of the pool and the faster lanes to the center, but these suggestions have typically been received with nothing more than a yawn and a blank, bleary-eyed look that tells me “yeah, yeah, I hear you dude, but it’s 6:30am in the morning and I’m stuck here watching old people swim for minimum wage – so I don’t really care about your piddley ass pool problems, mkay?”

Okay, fine.  Mortal Combat it is.  And so it has been for about the past two years that I have been training at my YMCA.

Luckily for me, with a little patience, eventually all the old folks (especially the three graying grizzly bears in Speedo’s who insist on doing their “dead man’s formation” in the fast lane come hell or high water) bail after about 20 to 30 minutes to go about their normal days of tending the weeds in the garden, tinkering in the garage or sipping tea in their backyard gazebo, or whatever is it that retiree’s do to pass their days besides bobbing in the fast lane, so I typically will do my drills in the slow lane until then before I switch to a faster lane and get on with my main set.   Rarely does the 90 minutes or so pass by with me ever having to say a anything to anyone, much less the lifeguard; except that all changed a few weeks ago.

One day I was going about my usual routine and was just moving into a faster lane when another guy entered the pool area, a sleek-looking, V-shaped bullet of a guy in a pair of Triathlon Canada Speedo’s.  He proceeded to get in the lane with me (quite properly I might add) and, quite literally, proceeded to swim circles around me.  Dude was fast!  I tried to hold pace with him and I could for, say, 100-200m or so, but then I had to let him go before my heart exploded inside my chest. By comparison, he was just cruising…easily.

At first I was like, “The fuck! Who is this guy?”

While he was vaguely familiar to me, I was more concerned with my suddenly being punk in my own pool.  Suddenly I wasn’t the “fast guy” any more and my ego had taken a bit of a hit; I confess.  So for the remainder of the workout he lapped me over and over and over again and despite my attempts to keep up, or rival him in either speed or form, I basically ended up looking like a retarded and dying sea lion.  Oh well.

It wasn’t until later on when it was announced to me at the front desk that the speedy, skinny guy was in fact, Kyle Jones, an up-and-coming Canadian Olympic triathlete on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit and our next big Olympic hopeful.

“Did you see that guy? That’s Kyle Jones”, the girl explained excitedly.


What’ya know?

“Yeah, he kicked my ass alright”.

I then remembered that’s why he seemed so familiar to me as I have seen him several times in my monthly Triathlon Canada magazines.

“He’s training for the Pan Am Games you know”, she continued.


Now it beats me why he suddenly ended up swimming in our little community pool out here in the middle of BF Idaho, but there he was – large and in charge.  Apparently, he is in the process of recovering after a crash in New Zealand and the subsequent surgery afterwards and all the while preparing for the Pan American Games that are being held at the end of this month in Toronto, Ontario. Cool, right?  I’m swimming with one of Canada’s best triathletes! I even forgave myself a little for looking like such a slow ass chump alongside him.  After all, the guy is an Olympian!

Shortly afterwards, as I was walking out to the parking lot with him (coincidentally, I swear!), he mentioned how odd it was that the pool was arranged with the fast lanes on the outside edges of the pool and the slow lanes on the inside, opposite of what you’d typically expect in most other pools that offer similar lane swims.  I agreed quickly and related my frustrations at having expressed that concern already in the past to no avail.

“Maybe I’ll mention something too”, he said casually.

“Go for it”, I encouraged.  I might have rolled my eyes a little too.

I missed the next morning’s workout, but when I returned two days later, I discovered (albeit happily) that the lanes had been rearranged with the fast lanes in the middle and the slow lanes on the outside to provide easier access for the slower swimmers to their appropriated lanes – just as I had described.

The fuck?

The lifeguard was still quietly dozing, or mediating, or whatever it is she does quietly in the corner by herself and all the usual fogies are jumping into their usual lanes, be it fast or not, and we all commence with our Mortal Combat.  Except this time, the fast lane that I normally gave up to the grizzly bears was now appropriately designated as the slow lane and my slow lane was now actually the fast lane.  Score.

Booyah, the system works bitches!

Later, when Kyle walked on deck for his own workout I expressed my pleasure at finally having the pool organized more logically as we had discussed.  I had taken this whole lane switcheroo business as a major victory in my two year quest to bring both rhyme and reason to community pools everywhere.  Surely he, a fellow swimmer, could understand the magnitude of my accomplishment.

“Yeah, I mentioned something too”, he said flatly.

“Like, yesterday?” I stammered.

“Yeah”, he replied.

I swear, I just about shit in the pool then and there.

You mean after nearly two years of bitching and nobody gives a rat’s ass, but suddenly one bona fide athlete shows up and it’s “hold up, we got this shit all wrong!” , and the entire pool is instantly reorganized?


But whatever, progress is progress and I’m happy it finally got sorted out.  I’d like to think that I still played some minor role in all.  Sure I’m a little bitter that you apparently have to be a cute Olympian for anyone to take you seriously but, hey, it got done.

So for the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying the sweet life of being able to finally swim in the fast lane, except (interpret that as:  every day) whenever a slower swimmer happens to jump in the lane unaware of the newly designated lanes – not that the lifeguard cares mind you – and it’s Mortal Combat all over again.

C’est la vie.

But the big slap in the puss came only this morning.

There I was, waging my usual Mortal Combat with a breast-stroking grandma and the log with arms in the appropriated fast lane and it was pretty much business as usual.   Soon they both had to leave and I could proceed with the rest of my workout.  About 45 minutes later and Kyle shows up just as I’m warming down and swimming easy in my fast lane.  There is at least one person in every lane at this point except the medium lane; the next best thing to having the pool (or a lane) to yourself.

When I stop at the end the first thing I heard echoing from the opposite side of the pool is:

“Hi Kyle!”


I’ve been swimming here for years and I’m lucky to get yawned at in the morning and here the lifeguard is already on a first name basis with the new guy.


But then she takes it a step further and says: “should I get that guy to move over into another lane?”

Like, out loud…so the whole  world could hear.  It actually echoed around the pool and I’m pretty sure it was heard in, like, Madagascar.  Surely she’s shitting me, right?  Or maybe she’s talking about somebody else?

I looked around hopefully…


She definitely meant me; the fat, slow guy obstructing the fast lane.

I was mortified.

I definitely think I shat a little in the water.

Now, to Kyle’s credit, he motioned back to her shyly that everything was just fine and he jumped in the available lane and bid me a jaunty good morning just as I was leaving and everything was just hunky dory but, the lifeguard?

She can bite me.

She doesn’t give a flying fig newton when the old fogies do their breast-stroking down the middle of the fast lane while I’m trying to do intervals, but suddenly when the OLYMPIAN  shows up, it’s “Hey, fat guy! Get out of the pool! The real swimmer is here.”

Uh huh.

I see how it is.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s