1. Dedicated, fit, "Advanced" swimmers who are able to swim an Olympic length over and over and over again without ever looking like it's an effort. These people are actually in the minority, and their zone is the Advanced swimming lane. That's not my group.
2. The Aqua-Fitters. These ladies are rocking the leisure pool with excellent coordination and range of motion, and they never look like they're going to expire at any moment. This isn't my group.
3. The "Intermediate" swimmers. The Advanced swimmers are way too fast, and the Leisure swimmers are way too slow. The Intermediate swimmers set a nice pace that is nothing too strenuous, but at the same time isn't a Sunday Drive. There may be a rest at the end of every lap or two, but the pace is steady and true. I thought this was my group. I was very, very, wrong.
4. The "Leisure" swimmers. These
I walked to the lap pool, looked at the Leisure Lane, saw the bobbing, and thought to myself, too slow. I'll be mowing those poor women down.
Okay, maybe a little back story is in order: I remember being an awesome swimmer. I couldn't run to save my life, Sports Day at school was an embarrassing form of torture, I could maybe fake one push-up if I was on my knees, but put me in a pool and my weak little arms could pull me along faster than all the fit kids could swim. Swimming was easy.
So, I'm thinking, at this point, that just because a (tiny) broken bone in the bottom of my foot has kept me essentially immobile for the last two years, swimming should still be easy. I should be able to do a few front-crawling laps in the Intermediate Lane no problem.
I was wrong. I was wrong like a four-year-old is wrong when he thinks it's okay to teach his younger brother that it's okay to flush toilet paper rolls down the toilet (full or empty--either way). I was wrong like the Church was wrong when it excommunicated people for thinking that the Earth was round.
I was wrong like a fat, 40 year old woman who had two kids in her late thirties and whose life just kept getting more and more sedentary for various reasons is wrong when she thinks, hey, I used to ride my bike to the recreation centre, work out in the gym for an hour, then swim a few laps, then ride my bike home to do yoga on the lawn for half an hour or so, then maybe go horseback riding for a few hours, so how hard can this be?
I front-crawled for half a lap before my brain realized that I may actually drown in this really freaking big pool. There's a bit of a feeling of safety when your laps aren't Olympic length. When they are, and the "shallow" end is still over your head? The edges are so very far away. I had to back-stroke for most of my swim just so that I could breath!
I did manage two full laps (one lap being there-and-back), but I'm pretty sure that the little old ladies out-lapped me. The old men in my lane most certainly did.
I'm going again this week.