Something in the Water

Fitness Fights are Not Fun

Something in the water

There must be something in the water! For the past week, there’s been absolute warfare in the pool at my gym. I kid you not. The matronly “ladies” in my Aqua Fitness class have been more focused on throwing fits than actual fitness. It’s downright disturbing!

Last Monday, several women ignored the instructor and spent the ENTIRE session facing away from her, talking to one another in LOUD voices. It was incredibly rude to the poor teacher and incredibly distracting to those of us nearby who struggle to hear the instructor over the splashing and the music on the best of days. Several of us thought of throttling the Chatting Cathys with pool noodles! A few thought of doing worse. Drowning them seemed justified. It was an ugly, frustrating scene.

But that was just the warm-up.

There’s Definitely Something in the Water!

On Thursday, at 11:58 a.m. or 12:00 p.m., depending on what clock you looked at — and believe me, the two-minute time difference matters, temperatures got hot in … and out … of the pool.

You see, before noon, is lap time. At noon, the Aqua Fitness class begins. By one of the clocks, the “lappers” still had two minutes left. By the other clock, the fitness babes were good to go, and go they did.

Well, one young lapper was not happy. In fact, she was enraged. She wanted those two officially sanctioned minutes, and she stated her position in no uncertain terms.

Now, on the one hand, I give her points for bravery. I personally would not have the courage to stand up to 30+ women, most of them old enough to be her grandmother. On the other, as the story goes (I was late, so I got this part of the story secondhand) she was unspeakably rude, and in fairness, do 120 seconds really matter?

After giving the crowd of aqua grannies an earful, she stormed off and marched — soaking wet — straight to the fitness center manager. Nine minutes later, our class now into full pumping action, was halted. We were ushered out of one lane of the pool and lectured about the need to “be respectful” of the rules. While we were lectured, the young lap gal swam for two additional minutes. Man, she moved with a fury I’d never seen in a pool, slapping the water like it was on fire or perhaps like it was the faces of those alleged early-in-the-water aqua fitness ladies. Of course, I’m just speculating here.

Perilous Waters

And what was the reaction of my fellow grandmotherly Aqua Fitness compadres? Were they amused? Bemused? Annoyed? Oh, no. Their reaction was way over the top. They threw an absolute hissy fit. They acted like five-year-olds whose ball had been stolen on the playground.

And when the breathless swimmer emerged from the pool, what did they do? They issued a storm of unseemly catcalls and bellowed in childlike voices, “Bye, bye. Hope you’re happy now.”

It was embarrassing. And it was upsetting.

For the rest of the class, the women would not stop talking about the girl and the injustice of having to clear the lane. You would have thought we had been forced to don dunce caps and sit in the corner. You would have thought we had been required to issue public apologies and have our names published in the newspaper as lap lane violators.

Not once did anyone pause to consider what was going on with the girl. What might have caused her to overreact and behave in such a silly, extreme, ill-mannered way?

No, they were instantly ready to wage war over a trivial incident. Forget what’s happening in Ukraine. Don’t worry that the planet is boiling over or that civil war is imminent in Sudan. So what? But mess with our pool time. Well, now, THAT’S a provocation that cannot be ignored.

Ill-Will Prevails

But wait, as they say, there’s more.

On Friday, as class ended, one matron water jogged her way over to another and very nicely asked, “You don’t talk to me anymore. Did I offend you in any way?”

The second woman frostily replied, “That’s right. I don’t talk to you anymore.”

“Why? asked the first in a sincere, bewildered voice.

“Well, if you’d act your age instead of your shoe size, you’d understand,” and with that, the second woman walked off, leaving the first woman standing there — literally and figurately all wet.

That’s an insult I haven’t heard hurled since I was my (current) shoe size on a school playground at age seven!

Yes, there definitely must be something in the water.

All this makes me want to bring a bodyguard … or my mommy … to the pool next time.

🏊 🏊 🏊

It also makes me despair of the chances for world peace.

☮️ ☮️ ☮️

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