Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swimming in the Cocoon and Other Stuff

See–it’s a movie with swimming.
Around 10,000 years ago, a group of peaceful alien lifeforms, from the planet Antarea, formed an outpost on the planet Earth on an island known to mankind as the mythical civilization Atlantis. According to legend, this outpost sank due to an earthquake, and in order for them to leave, twenty members remained behind so that the rest would have enough lifeforce to return to their home planet.

Eventually, a group of four Antareans returns to pick them up. They disguise themselves as humans, rent a house with a swimming pool, and charge this pool with lifeforce, so that the cocooned Antareans can sustain enough energy to survive the trip home.

Now, if you were born in let’s say 1971, you would know that this was the plot of a movie, I think this counts for 12 of you – for the rest of you it was a movie from the mid 80’s called Cocoon.  I think it was a good movie – I sort of remember it. But what I really remember is that it was a bunch of old old old people who swam in a pool and then they turned all youthful because the lifeforce noted above was in the pool. 

Now let’s say this lifeforce didn’t exist but you had a few dozen old people in a pool – well, that would be where I swim. 

If I don’t get up for the 5:30 am lap swim, I go to the 11:30am lap swim – which is also the end of the senior swim and the super awesome senior aqua exercise class.  So I never remember this but I should because it isn’t pretty or fun but sort of funny. 

#1: arriving at this time, I get to hear REALLY LOUD all the greatest oldies for the aquacisers.  Today I had to look under water to see if they were actually moving or just floating in the fast lane to the music.  They don’t get their hair wet and they talk the whole time that Nancy Sinatra is belting out ‘these boots are made for walking’.  Except it isn’t motivating except really to motivate me to keep my head in the water.

#2: because many of the seniors are still finishing up lap 4 from their hour long swim session, I usually have to ask one of them to split a lane.  more than once, this guy I have named Saul looks at me and says with a thick Israeli accent ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU WITHOUT MY HEARING AID’.  I don’t blame him, they also play the Monkey’s Greatest Hits a LOT.  With some quick gesturing he figures out what I’m asking him to do and he says “OOOOO KAAAAAAAAAY'”.  Sometimes he says ‘NO’ – and there’s no arguing with his ‘NO’, it’s loud and had a foreign accent and he’s bigger than I am.  Then he turns and points to the ladder which I have now learned means ‘I’m getting out’.  So no sort of means yes. 

#3: The stroke stroke.  Having a stroke probably isn’t funny but I can’t explain why nearly half of the senior citizens swim on one side.  The entire lap and back again.  So I’m guessing they’ve all had a stroke and can’t use half of their body. It’s mean and funny but I totally smoke this group in the pool. 

#4: Mr Miyagi.  He swims with me a lot.  He’s this nice little Japanese man who was a ninja at some point.  One minute my pull bouy, kick board and water bottle are on deck and that’s it – then he’s there, smiling and then I have about 3 seconds to get out of the way during my turn because he’s jumping in whether I like it or not.  He does the breast stroke the entire time or for about 30 mins. 

The nice part about attacking this group is that in Seattle (technically Mercer Island) the seniors aren’t wicked fast, in fact more often than not I need to double check to see if they’re actually moving or bobbing in the water – letting the current take them where it wants.  So I’m basically the fastest and that’s awesome.  I take my wins where I can.  In California, I swam in the master’s group at the Tiburon Peninsula Club (where you can join for $40,000 down or pay $65 and just swim) and I got smoked by some seniors regularly who are fast on land, but after swimming for 40 years, they are sort of efficient and still very competitive.  When you’re neck and neck with an 82 year old woman who is looking at you under water and keeping up with you, you move away.  She was really slow on the bike though. 

Today I also checked the qualifying times to be on the local swim club and it turns out I’m not fast enough to swim with the kids 10 and under group just yet. 

1 comment:

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

I swim at the Y downtown SF and its a real mix of super fast intense guys and seriously slow seniors. I swim with the seniors and feel superior so I'm right there with you.