Get Outta My Lane OLD LADIES!


She looks cute. Don't be deceived.

Yes, I know you are thinking I am a terrible person right now. But I'm not, I promise. Okay, I'm a little terrible. Actually, my theology (Lutheran!!) says that I am pretty terrible, a sinner for sure and I can heartily confirm that, but I can also confirm that I am forgiven by Jesus, and in that way I am saint and sinner both. My Lutheran guilt prompted me to write this, only because as a Lutheran you can never say "I'm not terrible" without a follow-up of "Well, I am, but you see..."

Sorry. This has nothing to do with aggressive old ladies.

The aggressive old ladies live at my rec center. Now, let me just say that there are lots of really nice old ladies, some that I love very much. And I'm sure the aggressive old ladies are really nice people most of the time. They have grandchildren, gardens, subscriptions to Reader's Digest. They bake and pinch cheeks and surf the internet and go to church. I'm sure outside of my rec center they are absolute dolls.

But in the rec center? They are brutal, pushy, animals. Our lap swim goes from 5:00am to 8:15am. There are only six lap lanes in our pool. Sometimes when Ryan and I go, there is only one open lane, so we share one, which is fine, only instead of a rotating swim, we both have our respective narrow sides because I can not bear the feeling of being chased, which is what sharing a lane can feel like.

We swim laps, quietly, intensely. It is our 35 minutes of pure peace. However, on the left side of the pool, a revolution is brewing every morning. The old ladies (and some not so old) have their water aerobics at 8:25am. Ten minutes after lap swim ends for good, ten minutes to pull up the lane markers and spread out in the pool. We lap swimmers have the pool for these few, quiet morning hours. And yet.... here they come, emerging out of the locker room, like really adorable zombies...

At about 7:45, the first old ladies enter the pool. Quietly, they slip into the furthest lane to the left. If someone is in that lane, they still come in. They hang out by the wall, pushing their tiny weights out in the water, pretending that they are doing something, but really they are just floating. The lap swimmer in that lane is forced to either A) cling to the lane marker on the right, or B) move over or get out. They usually get out and stomp to the locker room. All the lap swimmers know - the furthest left lane is the pits.

Then other ladies start joining the first old ladies in the pool. They start slowly unhooking the lane markers (subtly, like no one will notice) so that they float out in the pool like giant blue anacondas. This all while people are still swimming laps. You'll be swimming and then bam! You have no lane marker all the sudden and you are somewhere in the deep end, totally confused.

Then, the ladies start coming in the pool on the other side, where Ryan and I usually swim. They climb down into our lanes, almost sheepishly, and then ask sweetly "Mind if I share your lane?"


I give a head shake with my swim cap on and then try to continue swimming in my lane, even though what I really want to do is yell at them and throw their little floaty weights onto the bleachers. I try to swim, but now I'm without a lane marker and now there are dozens of floaty old ladies, bobbing in my lane like a weird game of frogger, and I have to navigate around them.

It's no use. There is no way to win. As I try to continue swimming, I can see them chuckling.

"Navigate this, SUCKA!"

I stop swimming because there would be nothing worse than careening into one of the women who is treading water in my lane and causing her to have a seizure with a slice of my right hand. Or ram into one while doing the backstroke at fast speed.

I climb out of the pool and they try to make small talk with us, and I'm nice but SERIOUSLY????

It's 8:05am at this point, and their workout doesn't start for another 20 minutes. When I go into the locker room, they are all jokey and nice and naked (something with that generation and being nude in locker rooms like it's no big deal) like "Oh dear, did you finish early?"


ARGGGGGHHHHH!!!! I have never known I could be so angry at old ladies!!! Do they own the place? Why can't they wait for their time to start? I don't bust in on the swim lessons and start lapping it up in there, hitting kids that get in my way - why can't they wait their turn? When do you learn that - Kindergarten? It's so frustrating, and I'm even more peeved because the lap swimmers just lost an hour in the morning in the summers to the Swim Team. So now we have to battle with the old ladies AND the punk Swim Team kids.

*SIGH* This is why I need my own lap pool. Note to self: become rich. Get mansion. Get lap pool inside mansion.

I wrote a letter to the Parks and Rec Center today, and I am hoping that someone like Leslie Knope gets it and responds in time. More likely it is some bitter man like Ron Swanson who will read it, laugh and dump it in the trash. I'm a letter writer, it's true. I find it edifying and a great way to communicate.

So hopefully, old ladies, soon you will be getting a lecture from your instructor. Probably not, but if not, well, then I'll shoot you a dirty look when I get out of the pool. YEAH, TAKE THAT!!!




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