I went to the pool to swim laps today. I haven’t been to the pool for a while, so I was a little fatigued. Because of the fatigue I was really concentrating on my workout. I was pretty focused. I work out as much for stress relief as I work out for fitness.
Swimming usually consists of 20 or 30 minutes of laps. I get in. I swim. I zone out. Perfect.
Today was a little different. About half way through the workout, I lost my edge. I lost the focus.
A little background on the pool where I swim. It’s in a local YMCA. There are many types of people who swim there. For example there are cute little old ladies who slowly swim the crawl stroke. They don’t go fast but it looks like they could swim at that pace all day. They’re the turtles of the lap swimming world. Occasionally a couple teenage kids come to the pool. One of the teenagers is an awkward, skinny 16-year-old girl in a bikini. This girl is always with two lecherous 16-year-old boys.
The teenagers swim laps for exactly 15 seconds, drop out of the lane and begin some sort of shenanigans in the deep end. Then there’s intense training guy. He has a crazy skin-tight suit on, has an interval timing watch and maybe even a heart rate monitor. He tapes his workout sheet onto the pool deck. He’s serious, he’s fast and you better get out of his way. He cracks out a workout in 45 minutes and then dashes to the treadmill and/or bike for a two hour interval session.
I fall somewhere in between the old lady with flowered cap and the psycho training guy. Actually, I’m much closer in age and speed to the sweet turtle lady. It’s my role. I know where I fit in. I zone out. I do my workout. I get in to my zen.
Something weird was going on in the pool today and it took me a couple of minutes to snap out of my zone. There was a man in the lane next to me. He was treading water slowly. He was in the lane with sweet turtle, flowered cap lady. When she’d get near him, he’d bob into my lane. When he was in my lane, I was pretty sure I was going to hit him and he’d bob back into sweet turtle lady’s lane. He had a very vacant look on his face, kind of melancholy. He was treading water, however, his form and motion were listless. Much like you’d expect a zombie to swim.
Wow, I was on alert now. Right out of my zen & right into swim zombie alert mode. I’d get near him he’d shift into the other lane. It was totally creepy to swim right next to zombie-swim-guy bobbing 10 inches away from me. I was only being protected by my magic-anti- zombie-mind-shield and the lap line. Where was my cricket bat when I really needed it?