Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 15: The parity of masters swimming


I've told Jamie many a morning after swimming that a sociologist should study a Masters Swimming program. Masters is different than a club or collegiate program because everyone is now a full blown adult that fits two types of people (1) the has-beens that are in the fast lanes to the west or (2) people that were never competitive in swimming in the east lanes. The further to the east, the worse you are. 

This usually breaks the group into 3 parts; A, B and C intervals. A is fast, going on the 1:20 (that's per 100), B is usually between 1:40-1:50 depending on lane (that'd be me) and C is usually just 10 seconds rest. When a group is broken up like that you get these weird social dynamics that occur. Literally people can see their worth by how fast of a lane they are in. 

Here is where it starts. People don't want to admit to themselves how they can swim. Thing is; you can learn a lot about a person when they are half naked, gasping for air and pretending to be an Olympian with a real 9-5.

Let me first say that I'm not a "swimmer", nor will I ever be. I didn't swim growing up so I'll always be a slight outsider looking in. Not to mention I'm a "tri-dork". My ankles will always be tight, making my kick poor. My hips always sightly sore so they'll continue to drag at the bottom of the pool. 

What I have done though is worked my way to the west (slightly). Jamie taught me to swim and I've worked really hard at it. All those laps in the pool have lead me to create the parity of Johnny Swim Fast at a Masters Swimming program near you! 
Johnny's background
Every Master's program in the country must have a Johnny Swim Fast. He was most likely a good swimmer "back in the day", when he was 12 but now he's 40 with two dogs, a corvette and a mid-life crisis on his hands. He forgets he isn't that kid anymore and that it's time to give up the speedo.
Speedo
A speedo, should only be worn if very fit and/or you know what you are doing. There are only a few reasons to rock the speedo. (1) You're just a fast swimmer. (2) If you've been out of swimming for awhile and are out of shape but still swim well, more power to you wearing the speedo. (3) Long distance swimmers look out of shape but they definitely know what they are doing so they can wear it. Johnny Swim Fast on the other hand, is neither in shape nor fast, thus should keep to the jammer. Board shorts with a watch would be even better.
Keeping Time
I wonder if Johnny Swim Fast simply can't tell time or really thinks he is that fast. Like the rabbit he is off too fast. On the first and second interval he is trying to keep up with the faster swimmers only to fade like a dying animal on the subsequent splits. By the end he looks around to tell who ever will listen "dang that was hard". If only he understood the coach was just trying to give him enough rest time to go hard on all sets. By the third lap he's splashing like that 12 year he once was.
The splash
It's hard sharing a lane with Johnny Swim Fast. The first couple laps Mr. Swim Fast only drifts into your side of the lane. By that third lap though, he's splashing like he just fell off the Titanic. He still has forward motion but instead of affecting only his workout, he's affecting everyone within "wake distance". The waves he creates are bouncing off the lane lines and wall like title-waves, destroying everything in their path. Not to mention he trys to do breaststroke randomly.
Breaststroke
Now for anyone in the first few western lanes breaststroke is a beautiful thing. For Johnny Swim Fast it's more splashing. His breaststroke kick causes the worst wake of all. Worst part? There's no reason for him to be doing it! Our far east slower lanes sets don't call for this stroke at the moment but Mr. Swim Fast just decided to add it to see if he can smack anyone in the face or drown someone with the splash. Finally he comes to a rest waiting for the coach's next set.
Pay attention
By this point Johnny Swim Fast is looking around to see who sees his bright new Speedo that he looks terrible in. He sure as heck isn't paying attention to a word the coach is saying. The coach works hard to tell everyone the next set, it's a long one so takes awhile to say then Johnny Swim Fast has to ask... "Wait, can you say the set again, I didn't hear it". We know you didn't Johnny, we know you didn't. After the coach repeats he hears the set, finishes splashing some more and hits the showers like everyone else.
Don't talk naked
After the workout Johnny Swim Fast feels the need to leave the shower door open and talk to everyone that happens to walk by. This is actually very turmeric for all involved besides Mr. Swim Fast. No one is certain what he's talking about since no one wants to turn their head to listen. If everyone thought the speedo was bad, well this is...worse.
Body Hair
A bic razor costs 99 cents. Enough said. 
The spinner thing
After his shower Johnny Swim Fast walks over totally naked to the "spinner".  No one knows the actual name of this device but ones swim suit goes it, hold down the top and five seconds later it's dry. It's a miracle of science really. Well Johnny doesn't understand the miracle. He thinks more is better. Holding it down ten times until it's broken and no one else can use it. 

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