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"It's a Mob-scene"
That's what a white-haired man says to me, smiling, as he and his buddy grab the last free lane. I smile at the kiddy-pool in response, not making eye-contact.
Shaking off the 34-degree weather outside, I'm relieved that the only open water left is the kiddy-pool's; it offers about half a lap in length and is kept twice as warm as the regular pool...no, no kiddies in it yet, and so no need to wonder at any extra warmth supplied by them.
I'm thigh-high (which is as high as it goes) when I hear Pat call to me urgently, "Sarah;" the far-lane has just opened up. Ugh. Freezing, but a better workout's in store by jumping in at the shallow end and swimming in the big pool.
Everyone must have made swimming their New Year's Resolution. I've never seen it so packed. My head is cold. I'm up against the side of the pool, sometimes grazing it with an arm when I do back-stroke. Still, it feels so, so good. I feel strong today.
What is it about a pool full of swimmers that makes me move faster and wear myself out more fully by the end of the 30 minutes?
Am I feeling competitive? Yes.
Am I inspired by better swimmers? Yes.
Am I trying to avoid shame I would feel if I thought I seemed slow? Yes.
Am I trying to prove that I'm in good shape for my age? Yes.
Am I vain? Yes.