Sink or Swim—or get out of my way.
Our apartment building has the great feature of having a pool. As part of my regular exercise routine, I swim half an hour each day.
But at times, it can be anything but relaxing and I end up challenging not my muscles, but my patience instead.
There are often swimming lessons going on at the pool, for both infants and adults. I will now introduce you to a few of the frequent traffic blockades of the pool:
-The 3-4 year old siblings. The boy has some serious issue with swimming and as his sister glides along the pool, beautifully posing to show off her multi-coloured duck and floaty wings to the swimmers, he squeals and cries and one time even flung his arms around my dad before his father lifted him out of the pool where the dumbstruck and frankly relieved boy stayed, hugging his dad’s knee for the next half hour.
-The splashers. The kids who CAN NOT swim and in an attempt to do the freestyle flail their arms left and right while turning their heads back and forth, creating such a splashing mess that not only is anybody within 5 feet of them blinded, but they too can not see where the heck they’re going. (That sure helps.)
-The stationary swimmer. At least two people come to mind as I write that name. Firstly, a lady who was at least twice the width of me who was practicing after her swimming lesson. She floated on her stomach and began making miniscule circular motions with her arms while her legs jiggled. ‘Do you think you’re moving?’ I wondered as I watched, a look of confusion and amusement spreading across my face. She had moved all of 5cm after a few strokes. She did a few more strokes, didn’t move any farther and then abruptly stood up.
I could practically see her thinking ‘Phew, that was tiring!
The other person is a middle aged man who was swimming across the width of the pool holding a swimming board and paddling with his legs.
I had come to the pool with Tarini and we were waiting to swim to the other end. We paused, the man smiled, we smiled, yada yada etc… and we waited for him to cross.
But he didn’t.
I whispered to Tarini “He isn’t moving…”
And it was true. The man had not budged an inch. He just floated there, under the impression that he was getting closer to the edge.
He eventually just stood up and walked the rest of the way, much to my relief.
The women ALL, and I mean, ALL wear some concoction of a T-shirt leotard/ bicycle shorts with a skirt swimming outfit, regardless of their age or size.
Why, I wonder, do men parade around with pink, orange yellow candy-coloured swim caps?
No description or comment needed. Just imagine it.
Mira Manini Tiwari
Btw, the banner photo was taken from our holiday home outside of San Gimignano at 6.20 am. What light! It lasted all of five minutes.