The 11 to 1 Lap Swim

swimming-924895_1920Swimming has been a part of my life since I was a teenager.  It provides me with exercise and emotional release.  I try to swim at least twice a week.

Last week when I stepped out on the pool deck I was dismayed to see a class taking up the last two lanes.  All the rest of the lanes were full except for the water jogging lane.  I asked the lifeguard if I could swim in that lane, assuring him that I would move if water joggers showed up.  He replied, ” Oh, no problem.  I’ve never had any problems with the 11 to 1 swim.  You guys always seem to work things out on your own.”

His statement gave me pause.  As I swam, I realized that in the 27 years I had been swimming in that pool, I never had issues with any other swimmer in the lanes.  Every day during the adult lap swim, people of all shapes, sizes, ages, varying ethnicities, and political leanings manage to share this aquatic real estate and get along.  We make room for one another and try to join a lane of similar swimming ability.  When I have asked to join a lane, I have never felt unwelcomed.  We stay out of each other’s way.  There is a politeness to a fault.

If only the rest of the world could operate like the 11 to 1 lap swim.


Lap Swim

Lost in a fluid world

Bubbles of air

Stream past my ears


Immersed in liquid meditation

The sound of my breathing

The rhythm of my strokes

The repetition of laps

Soothes me


Thoughts dissolve

Emotions untangle

Problems find solutions

Suspended from land

In the blue cosmos

Of the public pool