A question for any swimmers out there

I have recently started swimming laps in the gym pool.  I decided I was in a rut and I needed to shake things up a bit.  I have only been swimming three or four times, and I will admit that I might not have all the swimming and lane etiquette down yet.

There is a water aerobics class early in the morning, and lap swimming begins when that ends.  Conveniently, that happens to be just after I drop the C-man off at school and drive over there.

So today after they put the lane markers back up, there was somebody swimming in three of the four lanes.  In lane number four two of the women from the water aerobics class were standing in the water chatting.  Now, at our pool, you don’t double up in lanes until every lane is full.

I assumed that these women would be done in a minute, and I got in that lane.  They stayed there.  I started swimming.  When I got to them I excused myself and apologized.  They said I was fine and kept right on talking.  And the way they were standing in the lane meant the only way past them was to swim between them.  So I swam between them since they didn’t seem to care, and also didn’t seem inclined to get out of my way.  They stayed there chatting for 15 or twenty minutes.  Meanwhile, I was swimming between them every minute or so.

My question is, does this seem rude to you?  I know they were in the lane first, but I would assume that people who are actually swimming should have priority over two women who are discussing their Thanksgiving plans.  You would be surprised how much conversation you can overhear in that situation.

I found the whole thing very irritating.

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One thought on “A question for any swimmers out there

  1. It’s very bad form to block lanes, in my opinion. If you are using the lane and want to take a break or say “Hello, how’s it going?” to another regular swimmer you may see often, stand in the corner formed by the rope and pool wall so you’re out of the way, or leave the lane altogether – or expect to get bumped and kicked! Lanes are for swimmers who want to swim seriously. The free swimming area is for kids to muck about, people to swim a bit/rest a bit and not take it seriously – and for gasbags to stand in and talk!!!

    Anyway, my local pool has a half-and-half setup, where half the pool is for free swimming and general messing about and the other half is divided into three colour-coded lanes by ability; slow, medium and fast. The lanes are wide enough that you swim down one side and up the other in the direction indicated on the board at the shallow end of the lane. There is just enough space in the middle (usually!) to overtake.

    Maybe you could suggest your pool adopts this system? – more people can do lane swimming and not get in each others way, then, and you don’t constantly get stuck behind some granny doggy-paddling her Christmas waistline off away from the delinquents bombing everyone in the free swim area as you roar along doing front crawl, as she’ll be in the slow lane and you’ll be in the medium or (gulp!) fast lane!

    The direction board also has the “rules of the road” in the middle of the circle of arrows – one of which is, “Swimmers who block the lane will be asked to move to another part of the pool.”

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