An admission

Ok. I’ve got something to admit. I was unfriendly yesterday. I didn’t mean to be, because I’m attempting be more friendly recently.

I was swimming and there was a woman in the same lane as me going a similar speed. So I started having a little Olympic race of my own against her. While breast stroke and back stroke were in play, we were almost the same speed. Then she started doing front crawl. Therein lay her mistake.

She did that kind of laboured don’t-want-to-put-my-face-in-the-water front crawl. Every stroke required her to throw her body in the opposite direction in order to get her arm forward. She was a gonner. I sped ahead. ‘Eat my splashes, swimming lady!’

As we neared the edge of the pool, I snuck in first for the gold, and my competitor came in a second later for silver.

She had been looking at me over her shoulder like she wanted to say something and now that I was alongside her, she went for it.

She said something about it being a lap lane and that I was supposed to be behind her, not next to her. I thought about saying, ‘yes, I know it’s a lap lane, but I can’t swim behind you if you’re swimming slower than me because you’ll slow me down.’ I didn’t say it. But I wanted to.

What I did instead was reached the side of the pool and threw myself into a length of backstroke without even the slightest pause. Just as though I hadn’t heard her say anything. Totally ignored her. That was unfriendly. But she was being nonsensical. When the front person is going slowly, at some point, someone will overtake, so for a brief time, there will be two people next to each other instead of behind each other. Don’t go slow then get grumpy when someone overtakes you.

So I was unfriendly and I’m sorry for deviating from the mission. I shall try harder.

On the other hand, I was walking behind a lady the other day who had her hands full pushing a bike and she dropped a red pepper. As she tried to juggle holding up the bike with bending down to get the pepper, I pottered over, friendly mission face on, and picked up the pepper for her.

So maybe my pepper picking friendliness cancels out my swimming unfriendliness….?

13 responses to this post.

  1. You should have punched her.

    Red peppers aren’t cheap.
    (see what I did?)


  2. Whenever strangers tell me I’m doing something wrong, I want to punch them in the mouth. I have real anger management issues!


    • Yeh, it’s so annoying. People do it to me at work about things I obviously know inside out because it’s my job. Like correcting me on the names of coffees. “An espresso with hot milk” they say. “Just a little bit of milk, like a macchiato? Or a latte?” say I. “Just an espresso with a bit of milk.” they say. “A macchiato, then?” “No, just an espresso, right. And a bit of hot milk. That’s all.” “Yeh, a macchiato.” And so it goes, them insisting that that what they’re asking for is not a macchiato and me being like, o god shut up.


  3. Peppers TOTALLY trump swimmers.
    I always feel incredibly benevolent when I drive behind someone who is going slower than I’d like to go without engaging in any kind of “speed up or I’ll ram you” maneuvers. But it’s a rare occurrence. If you’re slow, be prepared to be overtaken. It’s just SCIENCE.


    • Indeed it is. It’s like survival of the fittest. If there’s a shark behind us, you’re the one being sacrificed because you’re slowest. It’s just one of the facts of life. Get used to it.


  4. I’m the same way in the lap pool (and on the treadmill, come to think of it)–if I’m next to someone, we’re racing (whether or not the other person knows). πŸ˜‰


  5. Too many rules. You were inspired, on a roll, and enjoying your exercise. What did it matter to her?


    • Exactly. People like to feel right about stuff (me included, but I don’t usually tell people off!). If we were in the Fast Front Crawl Only lane, I can understand, that’s for the serious swimmers. You stay in line in that lane! But we were just in the anything lane, so it doesn’t matter where you go.


  6. Posted by Alex Jones on August 5, 2012 at 20:37

    You probably came out evens, which is better than many.


  7. […] her blogs regularly you will have come across the following examples (there are more): 31.7.12 – An Admission – β€œI pottered over, friendly mission face on….” 27.7.12 – I came, I saw, I passed – […]


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