The Richmond Plunge: 2 Perspectives

“You do Pilates?”
She eyes PP up and down, focusing in on her belly, then patting her own round soft melon of one, her wet turquoise flowers ballooning out.
“No,” PP laughs.
“Just swimming?”
“Yeah, just swimming,” PP answers.
“Bet she always been small,” Pilates Asking Woman’s Friend snorted.
Laughing, PP nods, “Yeah, that’s true. I’m small.”

And she is, esp. when confronted with the Richmond Plunge Swimming Crowd. No one did Pilates is one way of putting it, making PP and her partner today, CC (who’s really really small!) stand out even more.

The two Pilates Snorting Women give PP one more up and down before heading into the lovely lockerroom. Does PP need to describe how deluxe the Richmond Plunge is now? Maybe a little.

The women’s bathroom’s showers are white pristine tiles with little orange, red and green star fish mosaics in the floor. A sparkling mermaid graces the wall on the way out to the amazingly stupendous pool. A gigantic mural fills the far wall: a scene of a pond with white egrets, a little island and a woman wading into it. It’s all bright greens, and blues, and browns.

The pool itself (PP had to ask the lounging about lifeguards) is 60 meters long!!! And 20 across. The kids are relegated to half, leaving tons of room for lap swimmers.

It’s a swimmer’s dream pool. At least it is for PP. Swimming in her lane, a pasty middle aged guy shares her lane intermittently. Yet the lanes were so wide that PP barely noticed him. Well, she did notice him, but still, the width of the lap lanes easily held two side by side swimmers.

CC, on the other hand, as PP found out later, had a less welcoming experience than PP’s Pilates Curious Women.

Evidently, when CC had gotten in the lane, there’d been a boy swimming in her lane. CC asked if she could share. The kid just nodded and swam away. Then the father jumped in, nearly on top of CC, so she decided to move to the next lane.


The woman who was hogging the wide lane next to the boy and dad was having none of this ‘sharing a lane.”
“Excuse me,” CC had asked. “Can I share your lane?”
The woman had glared at her, harrumphed, and then pointed to the kid/dad lane, “Why can’t you swim over there?”
Disbelief enveloping her, CC explained, “There’s a kid and his dad swimming over there (duh!) So there’s no room for me.”
No Share Woman shook her head, and repeated her query, “I don’t see why you can’t swim over there.”
“Is that a NO?” CC asked. “I just want to swim my mile.”
NSW grudgingly moved over, allowing CC to share, but it musta been a tense swim. Which was so too bad since this was their first time swimming at the Plunge and CC had wanted to come here for months.

When CC had told PP this story later, PP couldn’t believe it. “They can’t say no!”
“Yeah,” CC nodded. “It’s a public pool. Not some country club. I remember when I swam at 21 Hour Fitness in the City, you’d have to call up ahead of time and reserve your lane; you could only reserve 30 minutes at a time. But the regulars knew how to manipulate the system, get in good with the staff, so they’d reserve their time back to back even though technically this was against the 'rules'.”

PP nodded, told CC of the Hayward Plunge’s Reservation system. Of the Claremont Pool’s One per lane waiting ritual. Of KW getting shut out of 3 lanes at some pool in Marin till a smarmy gold chain guy let her in his lane. Of course.

Where did NSW think she was? The Richmond Plunge was in Richmond for Chrissakes! Not some hoity toity tony city!

Maybe NSW wished she were in Marin, or Claremont, or Monte Carlo. Maybe she thought she was special cuz she had been there first and she was a regular and who was CC horning in on her territory?


PP declared that they needed to revisit the Richmond Plunge. Seek out this Odiously Selfish Lane Woman. Find some kids and get them to jump in her lane. Then get some parents to jump in the lane too.

But before this, make sure that CC had her own lane next to hers. So when OSLW had to escape the family pandemonium, CC could smile sweetly and say, “Why can’t you swim over there?”

That’d show her, eh?


Anonymous said…
It looks like even a great white whale could swim here even side stroke....
Cj said…
yes! there's totally enuf room for a great white!on his side, back or front!

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