Rules for using a pool (A parody)
One of the few things I cannot live without.
My dad helped me learn when I was 10 years old, which was provoked by me almost drowning in Nessebar when I was my short life before my eyes. It was a very interesting short film. When we got back from the seaside, the first thing my dad did was take me to a pool. He organized a personal trainer to teach me how to swim, so I won’t give them a heart attack when they are chilling on the beach.
Ever since then I kept swimming. I see water, I jump in. I am not an Olympic swimmer or anything like that, make no mistake. I just immensely enjoy the sport and everything that gives me.
Swimming is an individual sport, it’s an introvert sport. You just dive in your lonesome, thinking, relaxing, and cleansing. I can make a parallel with meditating or breathing exercises.
But what I want to share is not in the best light for swimming, there are some things I learned swimming over the years. No, I cannot just keep swimming and keep quiet. I am not a fish. And to be fully honest if this text influences in any way pool-goers I will be very very happy.
I don’t really like rules and restrictions, but sometimes they are the only way to survive. The only way to not crash and burn. To make and follow rules sometimes give you more freedom as opposed to breaking them. And for me that is in full power right for going to a pool. I don’t know what the situation is in foreign countries, but here everybody does what they want. There are many messes and you can always tell who is there for the first time. Maybe my opinions will be useful for them.
I would like to synthesize a few rules for using the pool, but I am afraid they will come out more than a few. Some Do’s and Don’ts for being in or around a swimming pool:
- There are many people in a pool, in order to be clean and healthy – just take shower beforehand. I wouldn’t open the topic, but I know for a fact that not everybody does that. You were working/studying all day and to use the pool as your own personal soaking bath is not cool guys.
- Use a normal swimming cap, not a shower cap as I have witnessed many times. It’s a swimming pool not a hair salon. It’s just silly – I always feel like it’s going to slip off and some old school hair curlers will be unleashed. I won’t even start on men wearing them….
- Please, wear flip flops. Yes, you can always forget them, but in that case it’s just better to put the swimming off. You can only imagine what sticks to your foot while you get to the pool barefoot.
- Wash your hair before swimming. I am almost sad I have to say these things. It’s not a nice feeling to realize you missed out doing that after you are already in the pool. When you swim you breathe through your nose AND mouth, yes it’s a very colorful picture..
- Wearing make up in the pool – A BIG NO. for the pool bar after that okay, but while you are swimming nobody actually cares. You keep being afraid of the water touching you chin because that’s where you foundation starts and it’s just a big mess no one needs. I keep thinking I am swimming in somebody else’s beauty products and what if I am allergic?
- The rules of driving apply. But as you can imagine chaos ensues. If there are two people in a corridor they can share it, but using opposite sides, but when most people only swim ‘on the right side’, almost every time there are ‘swimming accidents’
- What you are in life, you are in the swimming pool. There are plenty of aggressive swimmers that splash all over you without caring who is passing them by. You can feel the aggression in the water, it transmits feelings. There are days that everybody is just very hasty and there are days that the pool just feels like a pretty lake with gold fishes in it.
- I figured out a great happiness exercise that I want to share – every time I take a breath and get my head out of the water I give myself a positive reinforcement and keep repeating it. Every line it’s a different sentence and in that way my brain is busy thinking positive stuff and has no time for work/worries/bills etc. after a while you feel your head clearing, your spirit healed and your body more powerful than ever.
- Little boys, came swimming with their mom and finding their way in the Women’s Locker room. I don’t really think it’s acceptable an educational. To put a coming-of-age boy in a locker room with ten naked and ten half-naked women of all ages, shapes and sizes is not really appropriate. Moms dressing them nervously while they ask a thousand questions while looking at the ladies curiously. I have a son that at first went to the MENS locker room with his trainer and then on his own. Of course, when he is ‘ready’ on his own he is half-showered, half-dressed, half-dry, but what can we do? He should learn on his own. Personally I don’t feel comfortable when a little boy is looking at me while I undress and towel myself. Maybe I am wrong, we should ask Freud.
- While we are talking of the men – you meet all types of people while at the pool – amongst which ‘rich entitled uncles’. Women should be careful. I never thought that looking like a seal with my swimming cap on I could be of interest, but I am wrong again. I am still provoking the male fantasy even in my so-not-sexy, swimming-appropriate swimsuit. It’s almost the same as in public transport, you start questioning yourself at first – whether you are imagining it or not. But they see the fear under your goggles very quickly and in order to prevent a scandal coming their way they back off. AND that’s exactly when I find out I wasn’t imagining the whole interaction.
- Parents, waiting for their children – something I really do not understand. Isn’t it better to do something in the hour that your kids are busy? Why not do something that you cannot when you are with your kids? Swim even, I don’t care – just do something. Maybe not everybody likes the water.
- It is nice for beginners to swim in the outskirt corridors – just so they aren’t in the way of people who actually know what they are doing. For example – a cute little aunt with her SHOWERING cap on, swimming in the most relaxing way ever in the middle section. Behind her? A QUEUE of people eager to actually swim/train, while she is dreaming of being in Hawaii.
- Pools are not a place to make contacts, but there are always exceptions. I have heard many stories, varying from ridiculous, through funny up to hilarious stories in this ordinarily boring place for anything except swimming. Once while resting at the end of the corridors, we saw literally a show – a trainer and his trainee with obvious difficulties with putting his hat on. He filled his swimming cap with water, forming a sort of water bomb that we used to throw of our balconies as kids, and from a height threw it over the kids head putting the cap in its perfect place. Applause from the crowd (resting swimmers). Genius.
Once my foot cramped while swimming and a random person passing me by just yelled at me advice – ‘change your style of swimming, it will make it better’. He was right, I guess he saw me looking like an injured bird and felt bad for me.
The most incredible thing that has ever happened to me in this pool that I have been going to for years – a stressfully comical situation. In order to keep the hygiene, all the time there are women that mop the floor around the pool and in the locker rooms. While I was in the locker room undressing, a man walked in with the intent to mop. Obviously mistaken as to where the Mens locker room is or he just decided to have some fun at my expense. I tried to not be rude and make a big deal out of it. I started laughing; it felt like I was a part of a hidden-camera prank show. It was even more absurd, because he was young and quite handsome. I got through it and still have the story of my embarrassment.
- Bandages, tampons or pads. If you are on your period, please wait till it’s done. Water washes away everything. It’s really not nice. You know?
- Your skin should be smooth. No hairs. When you have no body hair you are as fast as an arrow. Yes. It’s better, trust me.
- Ear plugs – you can buy them anywhere – sport shops, pharmacies. You isolate yourself from the world AND you protect your ears. Plain and simple.
- Please – HYDRATE. After swimming your skin is thirsty, because fof all the chemicals – you have to feed it.
- Circles around your eyes – don’t you worry! It’s because of your goggles. It passes fast. On the next morning – they are gone and your skin is like after a lifting.
- After swimming – you are hungry as a beast. While you get to somewhere you can eat a full meal, it’s good for you to have something to snack on – apple, banana etc. Also WATER – not only your skin is thirsty.
- IT IS scientifically proven that swimming boost your immune system! You don’t get diseases OR pregnant (I can’t believe I have to say this) from the pool. Enough excuses.
After swimming, you have the power to do anything. I guarantee it! There are things that you should protect yourself from and for everybody it’s different little tells.
I am most afraid and careful of people who don’t dare to get wet.
I avoid them.
By Kristina Zoksimova