Lane eight, the slowest lane? Yes, I’m afraid so. The casual lane? Not! At Wett Ones Master’s Swimming the Ladies of Lane Eight (LoL8) are keen and more competitive than you might imagine.
But, first, an explanation: LoL8 is a misnomer because it is not exclusively female. We have several honorary ladies. Sadly (for the girls) the honoraries tend to be the fastest.
Josephine, Kari and Lindy compete for speed in sets. Who will be first to be a Serious Swimmer of Lane Seven (SSLS)? Lindy, who has been with the squad for four years? The mega-effort and mega-fit Josephine, who has been with the squad for three years? Or super-keen Kari who joined eighteen months ago.
Then there’s Cecily, who has been with Wett Ones for 14 years and has the most elegant swimming style. Of the honoraries, there is Gordy the speedy youngster who would be a SSLS if he didn’t take so many holidays in Scotland or wreck his style with running; Matt, the Tama Tosser, who just needs to tweak his backstroke before qualifying for the Magnificent Seven; Michael who is a Bold and Beautiful swimmer with Bluewater-sustained endurance; Selwyn, who attends sporadically until the ocean swims come around; and then there is much-loved Kevin who has been out of the pool for several weeks because of illness. Everyone misses Big Kev.
The LoL8 each have their own swimming battle. Josephine is addressing the intricacies of butterfly with vengeance. Lindy works very hard to develop and engage her core. She also tries to remember to avoid sighting on the end of the pool (well it’s good in the ocean), Kevin wrestles with tumble turns, Kari changes her stroke with every piece of advice and Matt is working on speeding up his backstroke.
The competition does not rest with swimming. Kari and Lindy vie for swimming outfits, loud suits with matching goggles and hats. Cec dons the racier of the Funkita suits and Gordy has a groovy collection of Funkytrunks. LoL8 have a weakness for Funkita and Funky Trunks.
Casual we are not. We keep to the time repeats, try to do as we are told by the coaches and have a high attendance record. We may aspire to join the SSLS and admit we will never become Heroes of Lane Six but we are very proud to be the Ladies (and gentlemen) of Lane Eight.