The recent time change has meant that I am getting up a bit earlier than usual these days. Wanting to do something productive with my new-found morning time, I checked out an early lap swim slot at a new-to-me pool in my hometown this past Monday. This particular pool happens to be housed at my old high school's rival high school. I did sort of feel like I was in 'enemy territory' when I looked up to see the rival high school's mascot, a massive Great White, staring down at me from a mural on the wall. Given what then transpired, the gnarly-looking shark on the wall was a bit of foreshadowing.
Arriving at the pool that day, I found a water aerobics course to be in full swing. The exercise class was cordoned off from the lap lanes by a divider. I picked an empty 'slow' lane closest to the class to use. When I was half-way down the lane, I noticed that a woman from the aerobics area had moved into the lap lane and was using it to perform her exercises. Never really wanting confrontation in any form, had I seen her in the lap lane from the start, I would have moved into a shared lane and been done with it. Encountering her there presented me with a choice. I had either to ask her to kindly move, or shove off myself. I opted for the former.
'Hi, I'd like to use the lap lane for lap swimming.'
'Oh, that's fine. Go around me.'
'I'd rather not. I don't want to inadvertently run into you while swimming.'
'I'll just move down to the end then.'
'Could you just move back into the water aerobics area?'
'I have a disability! I have a right to be here! If you don't like it, then take it up with the manager!'
None of the above was particularly pleasant, but I had kept my cool while the woman escalated in both tone and language.
Then she said---I forget the exact wording---that I was being rude and disrespectful(?) and that is when I lost it. I told her that she was 'full of shit' before swimming away. When I reached the neighboring lap lanes, I was met by two sympathetic-looking swimmers. One of them invited me to join his lane. I can't help but wonder if the disgruntled woman had flipped me the bird, or something, as I was retreating. Some 15 minutes later, I noticed that old 'I have a right to be here!' had moved back into the aerobics class area and that another swimmer was now using the vacated lap lane.
I've since been back to the rival high school pool. I use any lane but the one closest to the aerobics class.
|The pool is located in the blue-roofed building.|