A few days ago, I drove to the local gym to take a swim in preparation for the women’s triathalon I am currently training for that will take place at the end of this month.
I arrived to the pool, ready and energetic for a quick, but powerful 30 minute swim.
But, when I arrived to the pool, I noticed all the lanes were full.
OK, no big deal. You can still swim, I said to myself.
I walked over to the center lane, the one designated for fast swimmers, and jumped into the water.
There were three other swimmers in my lane and I noticed there were circling each other. When there was space for me to enter, I joined in.
The problem was, within seconds, I reached the swimmer in front of me.
So, I swam around him.
Well, I tried to, but wasn’t successful because another swimmer was coming from the other direction.
So, I had to swim in place until there was room for me to pass the swimmer in front of me.
Which I did – both wait and also pass the swimmer – and then I made it to the other end.
How am I supposed to swim like this?
I tried to swim another lap, but faced the same challenges.
Why are these people in my lane?
Don’t they know the rules?
And I have a triathalon to prepare for!
Boy, was I stuck.
Not wanting to be hijacked by my emotions, I stopped and removed my goggles. I looked at the swimmers in my lane without judgment.
I told myself I was stuck on frustration.
I uncovered my beliefs:
I believed those people should be following the rules! There are lanes for fast swimmers and lanes for slow swimmers!
Shira, maybe they are following the rules?
I believed the people in my lane have no respect for me.
Shira, why would you assume that?
I believed I’m annoying these people and they’re probably staying in my lane on purpose to prevent me from swimming.
Why in the world would you think that?
Realizing my story wasn’t so grounded, I chose some other perspectives.
I considered the people who would be swimming at 10:30 in the morning – mostly older and retired folks. I considered they probably aren’t used to people swimming at such speeds at this hour of the morning.
I considered maybe the people in my lane, the fast lane, are the fastest swimmers in the pool in this moment! Everything is relative!
I considered I could gently ask one of them to move over lanes.
I considered silence – and giving the swimmers the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they’ll grasp the situation and will move lanes without me needing to make a request.
I chose to give the swimmers the benefit of the doubt and chose to say nothing.
I placed my goggles back on over my heads and pushed off the wall for another lap.
And you know what?
I swam without interruption.
I was able to get to the other side without stopping.
Why? Because two of the three swimmers moved lanes.
And I was left swimming with only one other swimmer, in which we each took one side of the lane rather than circling each other – which worked perfectly.
I got stuck on frustration, but it’s OK. I was able to process through it before I let off steam on those innocent and gentle older folk who did nothing wrong and only came to the pool for a little R&R.
Thank God, for S.T.U.C.K.