Old Ladies Think I’m a Big Deal

Yeah, yeah, I hate swimming. It’s no secret. But in my constantly short-lived commitment to improve my swim times, I’ve intermittently tried hitting the pool more frequently. While slumming it in the ghetto YMCA pool that’s kept at a face-punchingly awful 86 degrees, I’ve realized something. I am freakin’ fast.

Wait, let me clarify. I’m not “fast” in the traditional and logical sense, like “Oh, she can swim 1.2 miles in 25 minutes fast.” Hell no. Right now my measly swim goal for this season is to break 45 minutes at my next half Ironman race. What I mean by “I’m freakin’ fast” is that old ladies marvel at my mad swim skills. To the wrinkly, blue-haired women rockin’ the water wings and snorkels at the pool, I am Natalie muthafuckin’ Coughlin.

It all started earlier this year when I was huffing and puffing my way through a stupid swim set, trudging back and forth in the pool. At the end of one set I stopped to rest, and the senior citizen who was sharing the lane with me and had been breast stroking slower than I was kick boarding said, “Are you in a master’s class?” When I said no, she beamed and exclaimed, “Well I think you just look great! So fast!” Confused, I narrowed my eyes, suspicious that this old woman was trolling me. Ultimately, though, I decided to respect my elders so I politely thanked her and continued with my workout.

As the year progressed, however, I’d continue to get compliments from geriatric swimmers. I’d be doing my workout when two pale, varicosey legs dangling out of a skirted one-piece would plop into my lane, and the equivalent of Betty White with a swim cap and flippers would meekly ask me if she could share the lane with me even though she was “so much slower” than my blazing fast arms and pow-pow-power legs.¬†Holy crap, I thought, maybe I am getting faster. Sure, it’s always some old lady who marvels at my mad swim skillz, but still, they’re pretty wise, right?

"You're faster than Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!"

My newfound confidence was shattered, however, when I did a swim workout in Colorado while I was in town for work. I was minding my own business and doing my workout when a gym employee made me shove over into a different lane because some stupid middle school swim team needed to practice. My irritation quickly dissolved into deep and profound shame as these little brats proceeded to hand my ass to me in the water set after set after set.¬† How could this be? How could these kids who can’t even get into a PG-13 movie by themselves be owning me so effortlessly? These old ladies are lying assholes.

When it comes to speed, it’s all relative. To a pre-teen I’m slow as shit, but to the old lady snorkling next to me during my swim workout today, I’m “so fast!” and am merely a Costco-sized bag of Werther’s Originals away from being regarded as the most awesome human being to have ever lived. I may not be speedy in the traditional sense, but as long as I keep swimming in the nearly 90-degree pool alongside water aerobicizing septuagenarians, I’m a pretty big deal.

3 Responses to “ “Old Ladies Think I’m a Big Deal”

  1. teresa says:

    You are a big deal girl!!!

  2. Cathleen K says:

    I can’t stop laughing. Hilarious.

  3. George says:

    Hilarious, love it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *