“There was a guy,” sang Black Francis, “who got killed by 10 million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey”, which has nothing to do with swimming except that it’s the song that comes to mind when I have to swim with The Snake.
The Snake is how I mentally describe a triathlete who swims a couple of times a week.
When I started swimming he was faster than me. (Which, when I see him swim now, is amazing to me.)
In over 4 years he hasn’t improved one iota. In fact I occasionally use him to describe to others all the things NOT to do. I offered to help him out a few years ago, as politely as I could, but some guys, well their ego can’t encompass the idea of assisted improvement.
He’s The Snake, because he crosses his centreline so much on every stroke that he can’t see where he’s going as he winds up and down the lane, hitting everyone who has the misfortune to share a lane with him, I’d say 50% of his energy is wasted on lateral movement. Except me. He doesn’t hit me much anymore.
We were talking at last month’s meeting about some of the psychological, shall we say, manifestations, of the heavy training. Eilish was talking about days where we would feel down, or fed-up etc.
And I recalled the day previously, I had been swimming a few hours when The Snake got into the lane. Just to note, that day the rest of the pool was empty. No-one else in it, just me in the lane, about 2 hours swimming done. he gets in the lane with me.
So, I pass The Snake about every 8 lengths. But he never gets out of the way, never pulls over, completely ignores me, tapping his foot is ignored. So I have swim pass every time. And he turns in the middle of the lane.
So, to repeat, I’m two hours in. And then I have to deal with this clown. I lasted about 20 or 30 minutes and became increasingly angry until I eventually just flipped and blew him out of the water on a turn. I turned right on him. He didn’t know what hit him. I left him wallowing and struggling to regain his feet.
Hey, I’m an Open Water Swimmer. Full contact is common in OW races. Fists, elbows, feet, kicks, pushes and punches.
The point is, I’ve put up with this moron for years and all I’ve ever done if offer to help him and be ignored.
I guess it’s a illustration of Eilish’s point about the psychological effects of heavy training.
Of course, there was no improvement in this idiot’s behaviour. Mine is back to normal. Today with 2 people in the pool, including myself, he gets into the lane again. Today I didn’t swim over him.
I did contemplate putting on my paddles and going for the Ben-Hur chariot-wheel scythe effect…but I didn’t.