So swimming at my university gym is scheduled and they have the STUPIDEST times. Noon-2pm on some days, with lane swimming on 3 days in the evening 7:30-8pm and 'normal' swimming most afternoons 8-9:30pm. A swim last week proved that the evening sessions were getting too intense and violent for me, when I left after 8 minutes in the pool and being kicked, unintentionally groped and scratched on the face. NOT HAVING IT! I was tempted to angrily scream at some kids at the front desk and demand my money back, but we pay through tuition and having worked there, I'm pretty sure we don't give money back. The whole system is geared to steal money from students - most don't even know that some of their tuition money goes to paying for a 12-month membership EVERY single year they attend school, even if they're part-time.
Anyway. I decided to try out the after-noon swim, as I was free and what the hell.
It was awesome! I mean, it started out uncertain - I jumped into a seemingly free lane, only to have a kid stare at me and his dad rudely say that his kid was swimming there. Umm... nope. That lane was completely free until I stepped in and they decided to take it over. I even waited a couple minutes and they weren't SWIMMING, they were talking about swimming. So I looked around for another free lane, but it looked like most people were actually swimming laps, and I didn't want to take that away.
Until this elderly gentleman (anyone that is polite and helpful earns that title) yelled at me that the person in his lane would be leaving soon, and I should join their lane. Fantastic! The pool is split into 3 big sections, with 3 swimming lanes each. In real life, each of the sections can have 4 people swimming nicely next to each other. Apparently this guy goes swimming so often that he knows everyone's schedule. Sure enough, that person left and I took over his lane!!
I did a couple laps in great time (around 50 seconds per 50m) and noticed a (somewhat) fatty looking for a space. I offered to share my lane with him, and everything worked out beautifully. He was a FAST swimmer, and was really mindful of keeping in a straight line. Let's just say that everything worked out, my face isn't scratched, I had the best swim I've had in a while and all is right with the world. My love for swimming hasn't been smooshed, and I will go back.