Do you think your local golf course, public, private, would allow a group of well meaning folks to set up a picnic in the middle of the 16th fairway one Saturday afternoon?
Do you think the golfers would be concerned to find a mother and small kids building sand castles in one of the sand traps mid – game?
Should the 4 grandmas that live up the street, use the bike lane on your local streets for their powerwalking? Or could that cause a problem for an actual biker?
There are unspoken rules in most athletic activities. Rules on where some activities are permissible, and where they should not be done. Yes, a golf course may be a lovely picnic spot, but such activity would really take away from the original purpose, golf.
As a mountain biker, what would you do if a teenager was walking her 3 small dogs down a designated mountain bike path?
Would you zoom past hoping not to squish her dorkie, or stop and explain the danger of her actions? What if you were on a treadmill at the gym and the guy next to you was on his cell phone the whole time? Would you be willing to do more than give him the stink eye?
If you had a quick answer for my not so rhetorical question, then I need your advice.
What should I do (or what should I have done last night) when a man and his son use the only two swim lanes at my local athletic club, to “float.”
Please, if you will, imagine a 6 lane, 25 yard pool, but only two lanes are lined and have lane-lines. To me, this communicates 2 lanes are for swimming laps, and the other area is for whatever kind of swimming one desires: Aqua jogging, snorkeling, floating, sunbathing, etc.
Not only were the man and his son floating in the only swim lanes, they determined it was better to each have a lane, than share one. This way they can talk about their feet, the temperature of the water and what else comes to mind mid-float.
As I stood there with cap, goggles, kickboard in hand – should I have said something? I certainly can’t ask the wee 16 year old life guard to do my bidding. So, I decided perhaps I would communicate without words. I swam next to the lane lines, where there are no lines, kicking, splashing as hard as I could to frankly disrupt the float. I had 35 minutes to hopefully swim 1 mile and no time to waste.
Ouch. $^!@$(%_! Flip turns are not easy without lines and marked walls. Turn two and my head cracked against the wall. I spent the next 10 minutes drafting the lawsuit I will file against these jerks in my head, when I have a brain hemorrhage and require cranial surgery.
Did Larry and Moe notice? Did they even care?
Thirty laps into my swim, I realized these guys are not going to get it. They are not going to figure out the lanes are for actual swimming, or that my attempts at swimming outside the lanes are some what dangerous. Nor did they consider sharing a lane so I could enjoy the other.
At one point, the dynamic duo decided to “swim” a lap. Heads out, on back, feet forward, they paddled toward the other end. It took 3 minutes. I know, I timed them.
Finally, the hot tub opened up and daddio decided he would rather float over there then in lane 2. Perhaps the pressure was too great, so he took his exit. “Praise Jesus,” I say out loud, immediately taking his lane to finish my swim.
While I will be working on my own anger, and how to control it in silly frustrating situations like this one so it doesn’t ruin my favorite activity, I need advice.
What should I have done? These folks clearly didn’t get the unwritten rules. The lanes aren’t for adults – they are for swimmers. There is a difference.
Have you guys ever had to explain the rules of the road, pool, trail or fairway? Is there a gracious way to do this? Am I a selfish jerk who needs to just get over it?
Let me know your thoughts. And if man and son are reading this, email me the time of your next scheduled float. I want to make sure I’m not there.