The running lady

If only the pool at my neighborhood gym had this many lanes...

If only the pool at my neighborhood gym had this many lanes…

A couple years ago, I wrote about a short little post about a guy who frequents the same gym as me. I called him The Naked Reader.

“After returning from a shower, the dude carefully lays out a towel on the bench directly in front of his locker, puts in his earbuds, takes out the morning newspaper and settles in to read it. And I mean read it, not skim it.”

Today I introduce you to The Running Lady.

Now before you begin picturing someone on a stair-climber or an elliptical, think again. This woman does her running in the lap pool. I’m guessing she’s in her mid-40s, possibly early 50s. Wears an old-school shower cap over short brown hair, topped by a set of big headphones. For all I know, she may have a few spoolie curlers, too.

While the rest of us are swimming laps, she’s at one end of the pool, jogging forward and backward and working her arms below the water’s surface. If you’re lucky, you get one of the three lanes to yourself. If not, you could be one of as many as six people sharing the space.

In the four years-plus that I’ve been working out here, I’ve seen her pretty regularly — and for most of that time I’ve tried to avoid her. Why? Because she snapped at me not once, but twice, for apparent breaches of lap pool etiquette and I’m not real anxious to have it happen again.

The first time it happened, we weren’t even sharing the same lane. I was on the left, she was in the middle and she took offense at what she considered excessive splashing. She called me out on my leg kick, which apparently was getting her too wet. In a pool.

The second time, we were both in the right hand lane. I tried to pass her and my arm collided with hers. She gave me the stink eye.

Ever since, I’ve tried to keep my distance. If I can’t snag a lane of my own, I take extra care when passing by — and I sure don’t kick my legs.

This morning, I spotted The Running Lady again. She was in the left lane, I was in the right lane and we had a whole lane between us. Whew. The perfect scenario.

Photograph: wikimediacommons.org

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2 thoughts on “The running lady

  1. I know a few running ladies at my pool. They clearly hate us lap swimmers. Clearly we deserve it: What the hell are people doing swimming laps in a lap lane in a pool and kicking!!!! 🙂

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