Some days it's just hard for me to make up my mind. Do I want to hop in one of the lanes on the right hand side of the center of the pool and struggle to keep up with the faster swimmers or do I want to jump into a crowded lane with swimmers who are more or less in line with my speed and endurance? I was one of the first people on deck this morning and jumped into lane four; right in the middle. Lane three filled up with the people I usually swim with but my lane today, the pivotal lane between fast and not so fast, stayed lonely until after warmup.
Then I noticed a bunch of faster swimmers arriving late. Couldn't justify using up a whole lane for myself and I know I can be hard to categorize. Too fast for some lanes and not fast enough for others. I had effectively pushed all the slower swimmers into the first three lanes and had effectively pushed all the faster swimmers into the far three lanes. I decided to abdicate the middle lane and alleviate the crowding in lanes 5 & 6.
But the conundrum was "where to go?" My usual lane, #3, was filled with four swimmers. The swimmers in lane 2 were too slow for my usual pace and I didn't want to disrupt them. I looked at lane 1, which is usually the slowest lane and there seemed to be no one there. I grabbed my gear and headed over. I could pace with my buddies in lane three but, apparently, have an entire lane to myself again.
At least that's the way it looked until Tommy Hannan jumped in. He'd been swimming in lane 1 since warmup but had gotten out to answer nature's call. (Thanks for not peeing in my lane....). He offered to swim on whatever interval might work for me. There's something intimidating about circle swimming with an Olympic gold medalist. He moved through the water like a shark. A fast shark. I was happy to know that he'd tolerate and compensate for me in his lane but, after fifteen anxious minutes of swimming hard, I decided to move again.
In the end I wound up swimming in a total of four lanes today and could never find just the right mix. I stayed for a bit of the second workout just to get enough yards in. Strange to swim on those days when you just can't figure out where you fit in. And tomorrow will be totally different. I blame too much thinking about lenses and not enough thinking about swimming. That's easy to fix --- I'll just shred my checkbook.