Training Swim Becomes Exploratory Dive: An Exercise in Identifying Weird Crap Floating in the Pool

So this morning as I swam laps at the gym I had so many things floating around in my head. For example: Why does the pool heater break on my morning to swim? If you don’t have wifi where does one go for Skype interviews? Why do my dogs always always always shake in the downstairs hallway that is filled with white wainscoting? Why can’t I fool my nine month old with pretend remotes? And then as I focused a little more through my anti-fog goggles, I realized that I actually had many things floating around my head. Well, maybe closer to the bottom, but still, I mean a lap pool is only four feet deep, right? So there I am, staring at the bottom as I swim along, investigating the depths for unidentifiable flotsam and jetsam (Jackie Cousteau, look out). I began with the discovery of an ace bandage clip. How does an ace bandage clip get into the gym swimming pool? Who the hell wears an ace bandage in the pool – THE LAP POOL, not the old lady water aerobics pool or the little person pee pee pool, or even the hot tub (which is allegedly the cool tub today). No. No. This little gem of a treasure was just lying there on the bottom, tossed to the side of the lane marker, lonely, probably wishing it was still attached to the complete moron who wore the ace bandage in the lap pool. I will say this – at least it was a component of an ace bandage and not a fluttering plastic band-aid with someone’s DNA imprinted into the gauze bit.

The rest of what I came across was mostly commonplace in club pools, but that doesn’t really make the experience any more the pleasant. There was the dark lint ball, likely an amalgamation of many different items that had been swirling around in there for some time. Also, this morning was a white lint ball, not so much a lint ball I guess, more of a tumbleweed/sea anemone looking thing. It sat at the end of the pool, on the bottom of course, and just swished gently each time I kick-turned to head back to the other end. After about 500 meters it seemed to float away toward the other lane. I wrote this down in my imaginary dive log.

I have saved my most favorite gym item found floating in a pool for last. Perhaps the most commonly found object, but definitely the one most likely to make me vomit, is the lone hair. Typically dark in color (easier to see), it lobs along, this way and that, moving like a snake without purpose, without intent. Though I am certain that its intent is to get as close as possible to me. I’m the person you see swimming laps who all of a sudden stops in mid-stride and makes a commotion to try to move quickly away from a certain spot in the lane. I am battling the lone hair. I’ll do anything to make sure it doesn’t graze me. If I may digress for just a moment…the only thing worse than the lone hair is a cluster or group of hairs, either in the pool or out of the pool. You can usually find a cluster right where you have to walk, either after you’ve taken your deck shoes off or just before you are able to put them on. Although, I suppose the worst place for me to find the cluster is in the shower area. GAG. GAG. GAG. You have no idea how hard I have to work to keep from vomiting. If only people would grab an extra crappy gym towel and take it into the shower and clean up their hair after they finish, my life would be SO much cleaner and less vomity.

But I digress.

I finished out my 1800 meters, shook the icky off as I climbed out of the pool, grabbed my gear, went to put on my deck shoes (no hair here, thankfully) and walked toward the locker room where I glided quickly over the tile and drain on my way to the shower area. There were a few stray hairs here and there, but more importantly, only one or two in the actual shower. I gagged my way through, cleaned up after myself and thanked heaven that I had another whole week between me and the lap pool again.

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