Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pool Hostage

Today the Pool Gods conspired against me. Well, me and anyone living in Pensacola, Florida who wanted to swim LCM at UWF this morning and left because the pool was set up SCY, and then who returned to swim in the afternoon only to be tossed ceremoniously out by lightning.

Laughing at me they were.

Up at that high perch in the clouds. Or is it in the water?

Regardless of where the Pool Gods live, today was just not my day swim wise.

I returned to the pool this afternoon, new workout in hand, determined to make myself as speedy and as stealthy as possible while not swimming a 10 X 100 test all out. (You have to admit – when someone swims long and fast, it makes you pause… I always get a kick out of watching someone with great for swim at top speed. Bob in Chicago – are you listening?)

Immediately, I noticed that every lane was taken.

I repeat: Every single lane was taken up. Sure, there were the usual summer kiddie campers a la ELF, the out-of-school kids (made me thing of RR and school “being out 4Ever!”), and then the old persons who want to get their laps in but refuse to swim LCM.

And every lane was taken.

Repeat: every single lane was taken!

Save one.

And it was the lane directly over the drop off from the 5 foot deep water to the 14 foot deep water.

For the record, I don’t mind swimming in 5 feet of water. And I certainly don’t mind the 14 foot depth either. But the slant?

No way jose!

Just as my eyes, ears, and most importantly head would get used to the slant tilting down towards my left, I would flip, slowly uncross my eyes, and try to become accustomed to the slant tilting down towards my right. And then I would flip. Repeat.

Flip. Repeat. Flip. Repeat.

And soon enough, shortly after the warm-up was completed and about half way through the pre-set of various 100s while stroking and freestyling, I felt my stomach flip flop. In all actuality, I had left my stomach back somewhere around 500 or 550 yards into the workout.

And with a sudden violence, it decided to return.

Fast as I could, I hopped out of the water and made it to the garbage can. Just in the nick of time. Classic.

Not exactly a glamorous performance, and surely not the impression that I was hoping to give to the kiddie campers – but I felt somewhat better.

Until I jumped back in and continued with the workout.

Nope, slant was NOT going to work.

I got out in record time, and managed to share a lane with a former Chinese National Team Synchronized Swimmer. She was very nice, very welcoming, and had the most beautiful stroke I have ever seen. She didn’t go fast, but it was very graceful. Pointed fingers and toes! And she held her breath all the time! Jen would have been impressed.

Sorry Bob – you’re still the fastest, but (and I hope you don’t mind my saying this) she looked beautiful under water.

I guess it’s the synchronized swimmer thing.

All she was missing was the cool cap with the flowers stuck to it.

Regardless, I was approximately 650 yards shy of completing my swim when KA-POW! Thunder boomed through the sky, causing the entire building to reverberate and shake. Truthfully, I had been hearing thunder for the past 20 minutes. At least.

And we all know how I feel about lightning. :)

But to my credit, I managed to remain calm and finish as much of my workout as possible. I would be damned if I was going to quit my workout before the guards (responsible for my life and the lives of my fellow swimmers) blasted their whistles and ordered us out of the water.

A few times, after hearing the shrill whistle tweets (aimed at running kiddie campers – will they ever learn?) or the voices of Camp Counselors yelling at their charges, I poked my head above the surface to ensure we weren’t about to get blown to smithereens by an errant lightning strike.

Sighting practice!

On one such occasion, I had just finished my final FAST 100 and was about to begin the 250 free associated with it. I chanced a peek, saw the bright bolt streak across the nearby sky, and was pulling myself out of the water before the guard had a chance to blow her whistle.

It was like the time Nathaniel got pulled over for speeding. Sailed right past the speed trap as I made eye contact with the startled cop. I don’t know who was more surprised. Him or us.

“You’re about to get a ticket,” I tersely commented as Nathaniel pulled over to the side of the road before the cop had even pulled out of his hiding spot or put on his flashers.

And for the record – in spite of my best efforts – my Other Half talked his way out of the ticket. He was given a warning. And the friendly police officer told ME to keep my husband under control.

My response?

“Officer, I tell him ALL THE TIME TO SLOW DOWN, and he never listens. He never listens to me. I tell him to GO SLOW, but he just goes faster…”

The cop gave us a funny look, tipped his hat and told us to have a safe drive home. He was probably not accustomed to a couple like us. The Husband pulls over even before the lights were flashing, and The Wife doesn’t come to the aid of her lead-footed hubby.

Classic Nate and Marit. He speeds and the only way I can rest easy when he’s behind the wheel is through prescription drugs. The most pleasant ride I had with him was before I had a cavity filled. In addition to sharks and lightning, I have a fear of dental tools. I took some anti-anxiety medication, and in spite of making it to the dentist’s in record time, I was all set.

Relaxed and ready to go.

After his near ticket, Nathaniel couldn’t stop grinning. Imagine the Cheshire Cat. And then picture Nathaniel. He looked more like the stupid cat than himself.

So out of the water I was, even before we were told to vacate.

And then it became a waiting game… do I wait around for 20 more minutes to finish 650 yards, or do I call it a day?

After 25 minutes and more lightning, I decided to call it quits.

The only problem?

My car was a full ¼ mile away parked in the designated lot.

I was now being held hostage by the UWF Pool.

Unable to swim due to storms and too afraid of running to the car because of said bolts of lightning, there I was, stuck on the deck, listening to Mr. Too Tight Blue Speedo discuss homeowner’s insurance and how his home was destroyed by a tornado.

“Don’t let me get started on lightning!” he exclaimed, obviously in his element.

Somehow, I managed to wriggle away and his attention was directed at the hapless guards. At least they were getting paid to listen to his doomsday threats about zillions of volts and what they do to the Human Body.

Not interested Buddy!

Eventually, I managed to sprint across the courtyard to the Basketball Courts and Coach’s Offices. I think it’s the Roadhouse, but am not really sure. After making my way through the building, nearly exited through the alarm-rigged door (CAUTION – Emergency Exit Only! Alarm WILL sound!), I finally found my way out.

Nearly two hours later from my pool plunge, I’m showered, warm, not-struck-by-lightning (knock on wood), and filled with a post-swim snack of oatmeal and a Diet Cherry Coke. It has “cherry” in it, so it counts as a fruit, right?

By that reasoning, I’m going for the Peanut M&Ms. Protein baby! And didn’t RR have something to say on that subject? We’ll see.

Until then – make sure you don’t get held hostage by your pool. Today was interesting to say the least. Thankfully tomorrow I’m swim-free.


rr said...

If you were a vegetarian, those peanuts would be your main source of protein! And I think diet cherry counts as one of you daily fruits. Just call me the blogland's worst dietician.

Summer vacation is my purgatory. Hope you get an empty LCM pool soon for the test!

Kellye Mills said...

I too got kicked out of the pool last week because of thunder and lightning. I always assumed that if the pool was indoors you were ok... right??? I guess not! :) Better luck next time!

Courtenay said...

i HATE how boys drive. i really do. then when i ask greg to slow down all nervous-like he says if i am nervous i make him nervous and therefore if we get in an accident it's my fault for making him a nervous driver or something. UGH. hmf.