08 March 2006


Top athletes like myself accept that serving our sport requires suffering and sacrifice. That’s what I remind myself when I apply my nose clamps, floral swimming cap and water wings each morning as I plunge into other people’s urine in my local public swimming pool.

I am happy to swallow a bit of urine – I am sure it’s good for my complexion. What I would like to avoid is the lane rage I suffer from when I am training. Lane rage occurs when swimmers (usually men) refuse to comply with the Public Swimming Pool Code of Ethics that requests that you swim in a lane matching your swimming ability. Lane rage is very similar to road rage except the vehicle is your body and it's rare that one carries a crowbar into the pool.

You will NEVER see a bloke in the slow lane! These are provided for those who gasp through their laps like wounded seals often employing a made-up swimming style of their own crossed with doggy paddle. They are usually either old people, ladies who keep their head out the water so they don’t get their hair wet, the injured remedial crowd and people who simply cannot swim well.

The medium lane is the catch-all and there are usually several lanes devoted to you Medium folk. The rules in this lane is simple: keep to the left and don’t overtake near the wall in case you bash the person on the return path. Easy.

The fast lane is made available for top athletes like myself who thunder up and down like jet-skis. It is impolite to use anything other than freestyle in these lanes and even more impolite to enter this lane if you are slower than me.

Lane rage could be prevented if swimming pools appointed a more military style lifeguard who could belittle people swimming in a lane outside of their abilities. They could also exert their authority on people entering the swimming pool with band-aids and plasters. The aerodynamics of these vile devices are simple: they don’t stay on in the water and your fellow swimmer is bound to swallow your scabs. I also believe that there is place for the militants to detain and punish those that snort snot into the pool – and once again I am sorry to say that its usually the brothers that do that.

Perhaps the solution is to have gender-specific pools? That way the girls can politely swim in the lane of their ability and men can fight each other in the fast lane of their pool while their band-aids float about spreading germs on boats made out of snot. Sorted.
posted by jungle jane @ 8:36 pm |


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