Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Water Lyric, Anyone?

Big news - the pool at my gym is finally fixed, and I got to go and swim laps yesterday. It had been out of service all week, and I was missing my time in the pool. After a few weeks you grow accustomed to the feeling of stretching out in the pool after a long run or a decent bike ride, and I was missing it. I am sure that the receptionist was as sick of me calling as I was of her rudely telling me ‘still broke, no I don’t know and call tomorrow’. Thanks, sweetie. No, really. Don’t get up and ask. Its alright. Its not like I pay to work out there anyway. Oh, wait....

I had been wound up all day because I had bought a new tank suit and goggles at the beginning of the week and was dying to break them in. It was incredibly refreshing from the moment I slipped into the water, and I could feel my body whispering thank you with every stroke. I had almost forgotten how nice it felt. Almost. My entire body relaxed and I could literally feel the tension washing away as I swam. It’s a glorious feeling. Swimming is my favorite way to exercise. It never feels like work. My body was very happy.

My head wasn’t nearly so. I made the mistake of not checking the time before I left the house and I wound up being interrupted five minutes into my swim by "family swim time" which occurs on the weekends in three hour blocks once a day. I’ll say this, I like kids. A lot. I even daydream from time to time of having my own. However, the little monsters [and their parents] that interrupted the perfection and stillness that was me and the pool and the sound of the hot tub were not the kind I like. Not at all. In fact, by the time I left I was ready to scream.

It started with a squeal. Almost a yowl, really, pure animalism and raw energy. And then children flying up the stairwell to the pool and jumping into the water, never mind looking to make sure they weren’t crashing into something or someone [like me], bellowing at the top of their tiny lungs. [There must be some sort of study relating how the smaller your lungs are the louder you can yell] In the course of five minutes the pool had no less than 15 children in it, thanks in part to a couple that brought two sets of twins and their other two children. I thought they were friends until I noticed they all called the man "daddy". They had torn every floatation device and "noodle" out of the closet and dumped them in the pool. They even had the water barbels out.

I tried to be nice. I understand they are allowed. Its only three times a week. And I do, honestly, like children. However, they were also running in and out of the sauna, slamming the door and shrieking inside it after discovering that it echoed. They also would *jump* into the hot tub and then back out or back in to the pool. Still, I kept swimming, I got my laps in. I never said a word, I didn’t mind dodging the kids too much, and I kept my head when one jumped on me while I was underwater.

The kicker, for me, was the dirty looks several of the mothers gave me when I got out of the pool to sit in the hot tub for a moment. One looked at me and scooted closer to her husband, which I am unsure was a proprietary gesture or one of fear. Another gave me dirty looks when I got in the hot tub and several children, ostensibly hers, got out immediately.

It pissed me off. One, a responsible parent would be in the pool with their kids. None of the children, *none* were over the age of 6 if I were to guess. Maybe one 7 or 8 year old in the bunch. Two, no one should jump in and out of a hot tub - its dangerous because of how shallow it is, and allowing your child to jump in it and then into the pool repeatedly is begging for them to catch pneumonia. Not to mention it splashes hot water all over people in the pool, standing by and in the tub. Its rude. Third, no one under the age of 15 or so should be in a sauna. Letting your four year old go into a steam sauna with a bucket of water and letting them lay in there without checking to see if the temperature is turned low enough not to injure them is plain stupidity [it wasn’t, I turned it to the highest setting, planning to use it after my soak]. Hell, letting them in there is plain stupidity, if you ask me.

But these parents sat there with their magazines, completely oblivious to the health and safety of their children and only look up to give me a dirty look because I had *dared* to swim laps while their children played and *dared* to get into the hot tub while their children were jumping in and out of it, having I am sure, an excellent time.

F*ck off, lady. If I had children I would have the decency to at least get in the pool and make sure my children are safe. I’d take a moment to look up from my copy of Redbook to make sure they weren’t laying in a steam sauna with the temperature turned up to tropical rainforest setting and likely risking heat stroke. Know what darling? I bet that the article on weight loss you are reading won’t do you half the good putting in a few laps or spending time with your children would. And, I know the notion is crazy, but since you are in a fitness center, and paying dues, and here at the pool with your children who obviously are dying for attention, judging from the way they keep trying to call to you, why not get in and do some exercise and use a little of that parental discretion and maternal instinct I keep hearing you develop when you have kids? I would certainly prevent them from destroying the facility and its equipment, dues are high enough without them having to fix the sauna or the pool every other week because someone’s child has messed it about. That’s a little thing I like to call common courtesy.

As I was in the hot tub two girls came in that I normally wouldn’t give a second glance to. They are the average over-tanned big chested bikini wearing college girls who like to soak in the hot tub after they run however many miles they do on the treadmill that frequent my gym [this isn’t a stereotype - I swear, these girls are machines, I glanced at one the other day and she had already run 15 miles!]. These two came in, earned the same dirty looks I had when I got out, and stopped short when they came to the top of stairway to the hot tub. One looked at the other when she spotted the three year old floating in the middle in her life jacket, and she shook her head and said "Oh, hell no."

My sentiments exactly.

**** UPDATE ******

I just returned back from the pool. I got to swim my laps. There were three very darling children there, who picked up their toys and offered to get out when I started swimming [I told them to stay as long as they like.] Their parents were swimming as well. This is proof to me that I was right about those parents.

Further proof? Hot tub was broken tonight. Apparently *someone* shoved a half a fun noodle into the clean-y thing and jammed up the spouts.


Aravis said...

I so hate it when I find myself in that position. I love how the more irresponsible the parent, the more they seem to think that if there's a problem, it's someone else's fault.

*snort of disgust*

Better luck next time, Alecya!

Anonymous said...

Are you going to show us a picture when you cut your hair?

Morris said...

yeah I want to see pretty pictures!

HistoryGeek said...

That's just no fun!

I got spoiled my the pools at my university, so when I joined the Y and they had a shallow lap pool it was so hard to adjust.

LB said...

On the flipside, I couldn't take my two year old into the kiddies pool on Sunday morning as they were running an aqua fitness class in it.

We had to splash around in the slow lane of the main pool until they had finished flailing about....

Alecya G said...

LB I hope you arent taking this as an "I hate kids rant" because you know it isnt true.

I get frustrated when bad parents [not you] let their kids behave ina dangerous manner. I fully agree they had every right to be there. Still, its a pool not a playground.

I love kids. I do.

Flash said...

over-tanned big chested bikini wearing college girls getting dirty looks - Oh hell no!