I just got back from a somewhat disturbing swim at the Hains Point Pool. As i was swimming along, a guy started screaming at another swimmer in his lane. Like, as LOUD as you can screaming, "DON'T DO THAT. DON'T YOU DARE DO THAT. DO NOT HIT ME!" I think the entire pool stopped swimming. The other swimmer had inadvertently touched him while swimming. I have no idea if either of these two swimmers are DC tri folk, there were a bunch of dc tri cars in the parking lot so who knows. Anyway, the other swimmer got very upset and moved into my lane.
There has been a lot of anger down at hains pt this summer: cyclists being hit, park police not so nicely kicking us out last weekend, this instance at the pool. It's easy to get caught up in your training, and sure there are certainly times where it might be appropriate to yell, or unavoidable. I have a friend who had his nose broken by someone swimming butterfly with paddles on the opposite way down the lane. Did he scream? sure, in pain.
That being said, lets all make a collective effort as members of dc tri club to be model dc athletes and keep the anger to a minimum if possible. No need to upset someone if we don't have to or make a training situation unsafe. If i had been yelled at like that on a bike i surely would have toppled over. We're very lucky to have the facilities we have in DC, even if they aren't always perfect. Anyway happy happy friday and enjoy the long training weekend to all!!!
PEACE, LOVE, AND DC TRI,
very interesting K! Weren't you there the night some dude tried to get into it with Simon (bad idea) at Wilson a few months back... ? That was interesting! I bet it was the same asshole seeing as how Wilson is closed right now and that guy always swims there. I've seen the lifeguards having to talk with him about his anger problems on other occasions before. Or perhaps they is another anger management dude out there?
Oh my gosh .. sweet, pure, and innocent young Hillary just signed up for an Ironman and now she's dropping the a-bomb. This Ironman thing does strange things to good people. America, is there nothing sacred left in this world?
sweet, pure? innocent? hmm..I won't even go there... Young? Maybe yesterday, but not today! I'm only allowed to drop such language today. Tomorrow I have to become a respectable, old, "mid twentysomething" at which point I will be forced to step down off my high horse and again praise the Vietnamese King... but you will have to wait until Sunday morning to actually see that in practice. Sorry.
Maybe the heat is getting to some people. People need to chill out. We're all out there busting out butts to stay in tri shape. Heck, I'd hate to see if that guy had been swimming at CUA next to my lane when I occasionally smack the crap out of someone's arm who is swimming in the opposite direction. Just ask Amanda Chad about that.
sorry hugh, but don't give someone the benefit of the doubt of an excuse like "its the heat getting to people".
from the story its obvious that the guy was an A-hole plain and simple.
sometimes its really just that simple, and there are no excuses that can justify bad actions.
and i won't even go into the whole park police incidents. i'll leave that to you all to discuss.
Let me first say that it wasn't me involved! But overcrowding in the lanes at HP in the later afternoon hours has been frustrating at best, and usually downright dangerous on most occasions - likely a result of regular Wilson swimmers migrating down to HP. I have seen upwards of 12-14 to a lane, and in that a mix of ex-collegiate swimmers doing 100's on the 1:20 with Grandma Joe doing her best attempt at breast stroke, and the triathletes doing their best attempt at freestyle (come on, those IMCDA cycling shorts you're swimming in give you away!)
In short, there is going to be some contact as people pass one another, and probably even a few head-on collisions because of those narrow lanes. No excuse to get heated and started screaming at each other - just have to accept it with the current conditions.
It would be great if DPR or the lifeguards instituted some kind of graded lane system at HP like they have at Wilson,\ so swimmers of all speeds and strokes can enjoy their swims without having to pass 10 people per length or being drowned from behind...
A frustrated, but less verbally abusive HP swimmer
Andy, I could not agree more about enforcing some graded lane system. I'm not sure why all pools don't do that. In addition to Wilson, the pool in eastern market has a similar system. The lane systems don't always work either but it's better than nothing, and it at least gives the lifeguards some enforcement power over asking people to switch lanes/move about if a situation does get unsafe.
That being said this guy yesterday had no excuse, there were 3 people including himself in his lane, and only 2 in the adjoining lane. It was really uncrowded, especially with 50m lanes.
also happy bday shout out to my main lady H PEABODY, and also Tuan - I heard Vietnamese royalty is still sacred? But i think that's just a rumor.
Perhaps could get the same folks who "extended" the swim at EagleMan this year to extend the crowded lanes past 50 meters...
...And maybe should ask the lifeguards about a graded lane approach next time there.
I also pause to gauge the speed of people at the turnaround, and let them go ahead if they're bearing in and are faster. And ask people at the starting point if they want to go first, then give them enough room if they turn out slow so I'm less likely to overtake them.
If that fails, I mention in casual conversation the bull shark recently caught in the Potomac, and say that the Hains pool intake valve draws upon the Potomac's water. That usually clears the pool pronto.
From what I gathered being there to witness this, I had finished my swim and was getting dressed; the guy had over taken the woman and in doing so cut her off. She sat up in the pool and said something to the guy but the guy kept swimming. Later, as they were headed in the opposite direction, the woman apparently did something to the guy and the guy started shouting, lifeguards got involved and chilled the situation. There is no graded lane system, the joint gets crowded, slower people are frustrated because they are slow and the fast people are frustrated because of the slower swimmers so initiating contact may very well piss someone off. No one is entitled to more consideration than another. The slower people need the most help and are easily distracted, lose their rhythm, whereas the faster swimmers probably expect some kind of contact and have experienced it in the pool, during races, etc... but I believe, as when driving a car, just because someone is speeding on 95 and puts on their blinker to move into your lane doesn't give them the right to simply move over at will, they have to make sure conditions are safe. Conversely, if you’re driving slow stay out of the left lane and not piss someone off causing road rage, or in this case, pool rage. Since they are imitating the move they should take care not to collide with the other person, just my opinion, since people know that initiating unwanted contact at anytime, in or out of the pool, may initiate some sort of aggression. Also, I equate this to the guy in a car trying to get around a "slow" bicyclist and come too close when passing. It happens so you know the feeling but that doesn't mean that brushing the bike doesn't make the bicyclist call the driver an "a--hole" so just because you are the fastest in that lane that day, remembering that feeling of your space being invaded by the car, that is the same feeling the slower swimmer feels. Lastly, just because someone is being over taken doesn't mean they are slower their training may not include going all out all the time. My suggestion is if you are initiating the move it is that person’s responsibility to do so safely, courteous and respectful because the next day that person may very well decide to rub you out. If you are a slower swimmer, evaluate the pool before choosing a lane and get into a slower lane and you get to the end and see someone coming up or is faster, wait to take the turn and let them go ahead then continue your pace work, just be courteous of others.
i think your idea is good.
now try explaining that idea of faster and slower swimmers swimming in an appropriate lane and everyone taking an honest look at how fast they are and then choosing the right lane to make the situation better for all.
Good luck with that with everyone having the attitude of "i can do whatever i want, who cares what anyone else says or thinks, i'm in the zone and nobody can tell me what to do".
I apologize if I am hijacking, but this thread brings up some questions I have about swimming lane etiquette... maybe we could manage the crowding with less violence if we were all operating from the same playbook...?
I found this article, and I guess it sums up my general practices in the pool:
--Standing to the side while resting
--Flipping on the left side of the wall
--Yielding at the wall to faster swimmers
I am NOT a former high school or college swimmer; I taught myself how to swim around age 26 (did my first tri at 30). I am very rarely the fastest person in my lane unless I'm in the far, far right lane at Wilson. Where the water joggers are. :)
I try to pay attention if someone is creeping up on me, but sometimes it's hard to tell. Indeed, if someone gave me a tap on the foot, I would be more than happy to pause at the wall and let them pass... I usually feel like a chump if I don't know that someone is there and I fail to yield.
Of course, the lane/speed signage would be a great help.
Peace, love, and tri (loved that, K!),
haha vatriathlete, I knew it was wishful thinking going in but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway what'cha gonna do right..MAY BE it will cross one persons mind as they're banging into someone or setting up a lane block
All I can say is that it really hurts when you get hit by Huge as he is coming off a flip turn. I cried . I yelled. I cut my swim short and went home, only to get feeling back in my wrist 2 days later.
Please, for everyone's sake, avoid getting hit by Hugh after he flips off the wall.
I'm liking the pool at my apartment complex more and more after reading all this, even if our pool is only 25 yds. long. They usually just have a single rope dividing the pool into a general side and a lap swim side. As long as I don't go at the peak hours, I usually have one or even two full lanes to myself. Sometimes half of the entire pool.
I thought about trying out Hains Point once or twice but now I don't think I'll do that. When are they ever going to build that 50m indoor pool at Long Bridge Park in Arlington? 2013?
Amanda, now I know the real reason I got hushed at the IM Seminar! Hey, as my old swim coach used to say, "Go hard or go home!"
There is a critical skill that is not really talked about but is great in these situations. It's called "dunking your lane-mate". It's a valuable swim team skill where you come beside the person, while stroking you grab the back of their head and dunk em. As you practice this you can do it in stride with your stroke, without missing a beat.
With my confrontation, I have the rest of the lane as witnesses that a guy and a gal were being mean to the rest of the lane, cussing us up and down. When I stood up for my lane-mates, she screamed, "You must be a Triathlete! Look at you people!". I wanted to deny it, but I was wearing my DC Tri Cap and had my DC tri water bottle there. I still wanted to crack "What's a triathlon?".
There you have it - swimmers being invaded by triathletes in a nutshell...:P
food for thought my friend, food for thought...never deny your roots, its who we are...BE PROUD! After cussing you guys up and down, when she called you a triathlete you should have said, "now you're just being mean" and swam off haha
Warning: my post below goes further onto a tangent and provides no actual conducive advice for sharing a lane with a shit-ton of people.
Simon, your "dunking your lane-mate" move sounds kinda similar to a water polo move I use to use, 'cept mine was more subtle. If someone is like half a body length ahead of you and you want to catch up to them, then as you take a stroke on the side they are swimming next to you, instead of landing your hand in the water, you "accidentally" land around their lower back/hip/butt area, and push them down a bit as you take a stroke. That kills their body positioning as their hips sink and slows them down while you catch up. And it all looks like an accident since you are swimming so close to a person.
However, I do not recommend that move in lap swimming or in triathlons (unless you are a total jerk). But I guess that sort of training is what makes me not afraid of a bit of body contact in an open water swim. Maybe that should be some sort of off-season cross training - water polo game anyone?
gah, repeated post. sorry.