Imagine the scene…
It’s a busy Saturday afternoon at a ‘fun’ pool – you know the sort, with all the slides and wave machines and screaming kids. But I still had a mile to do for the Aspire Channel Swim. Fortunately there was a regular pool next door, however there were only three lanes marked, with the other half of the pool given up to a group of kids having a lesson.
The lanes were marked for speed, so I joined the fast lane. At the shallow end was a guy, who let’s be honest didn’t look the most athletic, resting. I set off for my mile and 5 lengths in I turned and headed back to the shallow end. Swimming directly towards me, with a very slow breaststroke, was the aforementioned resting guy – heading straight towards me on my side of the lane.
“Isn’t this lane for clockwise swimming?” I asked politely.
“This is clockwise isn’t it?” he replied.
“No it isn’t. And it’s meant to be the bloody fast lane,” was what I wanted to reply. But I didn’t. I swam round him, carried on and finished my mile.
One of the things that I’ve tried to stick to throughout all of these miles is that these are not my pools and I don’t know the culture and so I’ve tried to just fit in with whatever was going on there. I’ve just tried to get my head down and get my mile done. It’s not always been easy, but I think I’ve managed.
Today’s mile, the penultimate one, was at the Ken Martin Leisure Centre in Nottingham.
I think the best I can say about it is that I’m glad I’m nearly finished. There was nothing terrible, but it just wasn’t right. The water was too warm; the lanes were marked for speed, which wasn’t adhered to; there was a queue to get in; my son was with me, but wasn’t allowed to watch pool side. It was all a bit ‘meh’.
But hey, one more mile tomorrow and then it’s done.