8.20 The Dunk Tank

For the past few months, I have been trying to eat better. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be that person, the one who just because he is leaning towards maybe potentially becoming vegetarian that he has to tell you and everyone he knows about it.

I’m also exercising more, but I’m not looking to get huge or anything like that. I’m more focused on things like agility, long distance running, swimming, flexibility, cardio - skills that might be needed in the ongoing political turmoil in the United States.

I started swimming laps at my local community centre pool. I’ve swum in a lot of pools over the years and noticed a pattern. Usually, there are three lanes for laps: slow, medium and fast. Men, and it’s always men 100% of the time, enter the pool and jump right into the fast lane. They may not be the fastest swimmers, in fact, a lot of the time they are barely treading water, but in their mind? In their mind, they are 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps.

Because of this phenomenon, the fast lane is usually loaded down with slow-moving men, leaving the other lanes open. Many times, five to seven men duke it out - slowly - in the fast lane, while I have a relaxing time in the medium lane.

A couple of weeks ago, the pool was quite busy. Even the medium lane! I jumped in and stood at the end of the pool, getting my goggles on. Beside me was an older lady doing some kind of water aerobics.

A man was swimming towards us. He stopped and stood, raising his goggles. I recognized him as a Michael Phelps right away, mostly due to him yelling at us. “Hey! You know, it’s very difficult for us to do our laps when all of you are standing at the end of the pool in our way.” He was staring at us, but I just got here and was confused why he was yelling. I looked at the older woman doing water aerobics, but she just shrugged her shoulders.

As Michael Phelps stood yelling, there was another swimmer behind him approaching and not paying attention. Now, I could have alerted Michael Phelps that this swimmer was coming up behind him. But then I thought: no, you know what? I think that this could be a teaching point for Michael Phelps. He kept yelling, “It’s really difficult for us to turn quickly when-”

-he didn’t get a chance to finish. That other determined swimmer somehow managed to bump into his legs, causing him - as though he was sitting on a dunk tank - to plunge completely underwater.

If I were to be honest, when that other swimmer knocked Michael Phelps right off his feet, dunking him into the water, I can’t say that a part of me didn’t enjoy it.

The lesson here is don’t be a jerk, or karma will come up behind you and knock you on your ass.

Paul Dore