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16 October 2008 @ 02:01 pm
critiques & swimming  

So I’m working on critiques, which is by its nature slow-going. And I found myself thinking, “Man, I’m going to be here til I’m 35.”

Then I realized I *am* thirty-five. DOOM! Or, er, something. :)

I would like to point out some common swimming pool protocols to the people in my lane this morning:

1. If someone is obviously faster than you are, as I really very clearly am, do not start your next lap as I’m doing my flip turn. Wait five more seconds and follow me.

2. Also do not stop and stand or hang in front of the giant cross at the end of the lane. I will need this space to do my turn in. The only reason I am not doing a flip turn off your chest or kidneys is because I am being *extremely* polite to you; I have been known to do them off the chests of people on the swim team, when they are dumb enough to hang out in front of the cross.

3. If there are 3 or more people in the lane and we are swimming circles (up on one side, down on the other), actually swim up one side and down the other. This does not mean align your inside shoulder with the outer edge, or in fact the middle, of the black line on the pool floor. It means your entire body, shoulders included, should be off the line, which can guide you just as well if it’s ten inches to your left. This will prevent you from smashing your wrist into mine FIVE TIMES in TWENTY MINUTES, a feat which, in the hundreds of hours I have logged in a pool, has never been even close to emulated.

4. If you’re going to be in one of the cordoned lanes, for pity’s sake, *swim*. Do not do one lap and then spend ten minutes standing around talking to the guy in the lane next to you. It doesn’t count, and you’re in my way.

5. If you cannot follow even one of these simple rules, get the hell into the other lane. It doesn’t matter if there are twelve people in it, which there never are. We are all going to be happier if we are not smashing wrists, and I’m going to be unspeakably happier if I don’t have to swerve and duck around you to do my damned laps.

I will, in fairness, say that the person with the extremely round stroke who kept smashing her wrist into mine at least *swam*. She was slow, but she didn’t stand around. She kept doing laps. But Jesus God, I wanted to stop her and explain how you improve your stroke by bringing your arm all the way back so your fingers brush your thigh, instead of lifting it out of the water when you’ve pulled back as far as the ribs. This not only improves your stroke, but it leaves you without bruised wrists.

ytd miles swum: 28.3

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
Trent the Uncatchableknappenp on October 16th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's time to join the team. Then the other people there will be swimming with a purpose too. :)
kitmizkit on October 16th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
There's not an adult team. :)
Alix (Tersa): Arnold--contemplative (tersa)tersa on October 16th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Aigh! Too late! :D

Also, I suck at sharing lanes protocol. So thank you for posting that list. I encountered it for the first time yesterday (a fourth guy showed up when there were three of us in the lanes already). I don't think I'm going to share well.

(I think I need a swimming icon. Will it be bad if it's one of the Olympic swimmers? :)
kit: swimmingmizkit on October 16th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
To be fair, probably most people who don't have team experience don't have any reason to know lane protocol. I just get frothy. :)

Swimming circles can actually accommodate 6 swimmers in a lane quite easily. The problem is the *speed* of the swimmers. Everybody needs to be approximately the same speed for it to work. Ideally if somebody's noticeably faster, the actual middle of the lane, where the line properly is, can be used as a passing zone, but *everybody* has to understand the rules for that to work.

Many pools will have posted speed lanes: slowest on the outside lanes, medium in the next inner lanes, fastest in the innermost. If you're on a team that's pretty much always how it'll be ranked, and a lot of pools will have, when they cordon a couple of lanes off for lap swim, some kind of indication of speed. If the whole pool is cordoned people pay some kind of attention to the lane speeds, but if it's only two lanes, nobody ever does, which is desperately frustrating.

I don't know where my swimming icon is from. :) I think I nabbed it from stock photography somewhere. :)
Alix (Tersa): SiP - Feeling good (mizkit)tersa on October 16th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
Ah ha. Suddenly other stuff I've seen becomes clear. Thanks for that explanation (and that 'six per lane'? Good stuff.)

And yeah. No swim team experience. And no rules posted at all about sharing. But it's just a 24 Hour Fitness, I bet they don't expect people with real swimming aspirations to be there instead of an actual club pool. :)
Beshterbeshter on October 16th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
See I admire the fact you swim, cause I can't even get off my rear to walk around the block.
Autopopeautopope on October 16th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
You missed rule 6 (a pet peeve of mine):

If there are three lanes, and they are labelled "slow", "medium", and "fast", use the right lane. Do not sprint at high speed in the slow lane, or slowly breast-stroke up and down the fast lane. Even if there's nobody else about when you get to the pool, swim in the correct bloody lane (for the benefit of those folks who turn up later).
kitmizkit on October 16th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)