Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Crazy People at the Gym

Happy Phoebe day!  Since I can't play while my client is updating, I'll type some nonesense.

Tuesday is Gym Day.  It's been Gym Day for going on 4 or 5 years now.  Sometimes we add a Thursday, or even a Monday, but Tuesday is Gym Day.

Believe it or not, I'm a Triathlete.  A nerd who does athletic things, I know.  Crazy.  But it's true --  I swim and bike and reluctantly run.  So, on Tuesday Gym Days, that means I'm in the pool.  I swim a lot of laps, and spend a lot of time with my head mostly under water.  In the oxygen deprived state, today I pondered this...

Why in the hell do other guys feel the need to race me in the pool?

I have the same swim workout that I do nearly every time I go, and each set has a goal. Some laps are fast, some laps are slow, and towards the end there's a long set to build endurance that I try to do at a moderate pace.

Guys jump in beside me and try to race.  I'm doing my thing, and they'll literally wait until I'm at my turnaround and then push off.  I swim at whatever the pace should be for that part of my workout.  Sometimes that means I get "beat" and sometimes that means I'm the "winner" and I get a dirty look.
Sometimes, like today, the guy jumps in without any warmup and then goes to town, flailing like a drowning golden retriever.  Form was a mess, and he breathed about twice a lap.  Four laps later, he's spent, huffing and puffing at the side while I push off for the 2nd half of my endurance set.  I'm settled into my endurance swim-all-day pace and he's killing himself to keep up, and mostly falling short.  (I smile smugly under the water when this happens ... and it happens quite a bit).  He repeated this little show 3-4 more times and then got out of the pool as I continued on through my workout.

There's a guy that shows up a couple times a month.  He swims for endurance, lap after lap after lap with few breaks ... but he doesn't like getting passed.  I swim just a touch faster than him, and I know that when I come alongside him, he's going to speed up and try not to get passed.  It's human nature, I guess, but I find it funny and a little silly.  He's doing his workout and I'm doing mine, but suddenly he needs to "show me up."

There's an older guy that we see most weeks.  Super nice, but at that point in life where even walking can be a struggle.  He's not graceful in the water.  Not one bit.  He's the one guy that never, ever, races me.  He's just happy to be there, delighted at a little social interaction when we talk, and I give him a nod of respect when we meet.

I hope that someday I can be the crazy old guy at the gym.

Oooh, EVE client is updated.  Now I need to go transfer evemon into EVE.


  1. The second guy - I could imagine that maybe he uses your passing him as an opportunity to challenge himself a bit, knowing full well that he can't (or doesn't want to) really hold that speed.

    Just a bit of fun to make a workout more interesting.

    1. Highly possible. And possibly true of a lot of the guys who do it. Swimming is generally a pretty solo activity, and any little distraction is welcome. Otherwise, I wouldn't be paying attention to them, either. :)


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