I'm sure this has been asked many, many times. Why is there a complete breakdown of etiquette at the gym pool, where every lane is utter chaos and looks like Pamplona's Running of the Bulls? I think it's safe to assume that when my fellow swimmers drove over to the gym, that a) none of them ran another car off the road; b) they stopped at all the stop signs; and c) if they did not signal for a turn, they at least used the appropriate turning lane. A pool, by obvious design, is clearly a directional proposition, and pretty self-explanatory. And for those still unsure, the instructional signs posted all around the deck should pick up the slack. But they don't.
I see half a pool lane as another piece of gym equipment. And I've never had anyone pull a few plates off the bar when I'm in the middle of a set of chest presses. I've never been forced off of a bike during a spinning class. I've never had anyone kick a Swiss Ball out from under me when I was doing crunches. I've never had anyone ask to go halfsies on some lat pull downs. But if someone has wanted to work in, they've always asked first.
I think we can agree that the basics of pool etiquette are more or less as follows:
- 2 to a Lane.
- No permission necessary (but in good taste to ask) when jumping in to the unused half of a lane.
- Split the lane unless otherwise agreed.
- No 3 to a lane unless by mutual consent of the current 2.
- 3 people swim in a counter clockwise circle pattern.
- In a circle pattern, slower swimmers give way to faster swimmers (this is important) by pausing at the next wall, and (even more important) moving as far out of the way as possible.
Though it's oftentimes said that it's better to ask forgiveness than permission, this doesn't apply in the pool.
I'm already splitting a lane with someone. Then I see your legs dangling over the side of the wall, dead center of the lane. Understand that I'm not ignoring you, I'm in the middle of my workout. And the ironic thing is that I never have a problem switching to a circle to get another swimmer in the game. But since your dangling legs are really starting to piss me off, I will most likely change my mind about you over the next 200 yards or so.
So when I counter your passive aggressive behavior with some of my own by extending the set so I don't have to stop and deal with you, the worst possible move you can make is jumping in and stopping me to ask. Seriously, this is the biggest gym faux pax that I can think of. It's worse than shaving nude in the locker room with your man parts resting on the sink counter.
So this is why I said no.
My next blog is gonna be positive :)