Welcome to Part 2 of Swimming 101: Water Etiquette
This was not originally part of my series but after an incident yesterday I decided it had to be included. I swim early in the morning, usually on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The pool is generally packed. And more often than not, lanes need to be shared. Of course, like most people, sharing a lane is not my favorite way to swim but I also know that it is inevitable if I choose to swim at a popular time. Normally everything is smooth sailing regardless of how crowded it is because it is usually the same people and we have all gotten to know each other by face. Yesterday though, was a different story, with a swimmer I hadn’t seen at the pool before:
I came into the pool and all lanes were taken. There was only one lane with only one person so I stood at the end of the lane to give the heads up to the swimmer that I would be jumping in; he would not make eye contact so I put my feet to make him aware that I was going to get in the lane. And when the guy got the the wall he looked at me like I had ten heads so I said, “hey I am going to share” and he rolled his eyes. Yeah, we were off to a good start. For the first ten minutes, I had to basically swim around him because clearly he never learned how to share in kindergarten. I was sucking it up until he smacked me in the head with his hand weight. At that point I stopped him and we had this conversation:
Me: Whoa…I thought we were sharing a lane.
Douchebag in Pool: I was here first.
Me: Right, and if there was another lane in which I could swim, I would. But there isn’t.
(I thought it was over at that point, but no…)
DIP: You know, some of us in here are training for triathlon (with a huge emphasis on triathlon) and need the pool.
Me: Yes, I understand. I am one of those people.
And then I swam off. And go figure, he got out of the pool about five minutes later. I would have…but some of us are training for triathlon!!!
So there you have it, my motivation for this post.
5 proper swim etiqette tips
Know how to share a lane. You can either “split” a lane…each swimmer on their own side, or if there are more than two swimmers, you can use the circle format. This means everyone swims counter-clockwise on the right side of the lane. And don’t hog the lane like the moron in the aformentioned story.
Know your ability. When determining which lane to enter when all lanes are full, look for swimmers who are at or about at your same ability. Don’t kid yourself about your skills.
Be pass friendly. If you need to pass someone in the lane, simply tap their foot to let them know and then go around them on the left. If your foot is tapped to be passed, DO NOT speed up in an attempt to stay ahead. Swallow your pride and let them swimmer pass.
Stop appropriately. Unless you are having an emergency, there is no reason to stop in the middle of a swim lap. All stopping should take place at the end of the lane and the stopped swimmer should tuck themselves into the corner of the lane so they do not get in the way of a turning swimmer.
Do not aqua jog when sharing a lane. Nuff Said.
And five pool pet peeves:
Don’t pee in the pool. Do I even need to elaborate on this???
Shower first. The pool is not your personal bathtub.
Don’t bring all your toys to every swim. Decide what you will work on for that swim and bring what you need. No reason to bring your whole toy box.
Don’t be a drafter. If you are sharing a lane, don’t be the rude swimmer who constantly taps the swimmers foot but then doesn’t pass.
Recognize that the gym pool is not a hang-out. It is not cute to wear your bikini to the gym pool and hang out on the steps. You look ridiculous.
Do you have any tips or pet peeves to add?
Stay tuned for Swimming 101 Part 3; pool toys and how to use them!