Good lord - competitive swimmers are like most joggers, they don't deviate from their course one degree regardless of whatever destruction they leave in their wake. Can someone explain this level of entitlement to me?
I say this because while curbing my big obvious showdogs, hugging the rail on the miles-straight esplanade of an otherwise EMPTY park I've literally been run down from behind and front by joggers wearing Lance Armstrong Livestrong bracelets as fashion statements while I was on chemo and they just kept going. I'm talking full faceplant-on-the-asphalt. I don't care how in-the-zone you are, nobody's that oblivious. They knew.
As for swimmers, particularly those who were formerly on teams...
I never had swimming lessons but at my local Y in just 5 months I lost 80 lbs and developed the tight body of an adonis lap swimming twice a week and lifting. However, the swim routine I devised which involved steady-state-but-fast-sprinting coupled with fins, gloves and deliberately bad form to increase resistance and difficulty really pissed off the master's swimmers, who may have shaved a second off their time following protocol but remained fat.
At the Y there were three lanes clearly marked "SLOW/WALK," "MEDIUM" and "FAST," yet morning rush hour at the pool was a disaster because the lifeguards didn't regulate and people didn't regulate themselves. Masters swimmers would hog the fast lane, taking a "my way" (sprinting against the clock for a minute or two, then coffee klatching at the edge of the pool for five) "or the highway" approach and anyone who didn't want to be perceived as "slow" or "old" (which was almost everyone slow and old) would be in the medium lane along with fast swimmers who told me they were intimidated out of the fast lane, so the medium lane was a free-for-all. In fact, I once almost backstroked at a sprint straight into an 80 year old who decided to stop swimming and begin lap walking in the busy lane without warning, and the lifeguard observed this but did nothing. So since the fast lane was not in use for 5 minutes out of every 7 I did the safest thing - I moved to the fast lane.
Even though I hugged the wall and the rope to give them plenty of room to pass (and they were pretty agile and advanced) they didn't appreciate my ability to sprint non-stop for an hour and the clique started yelling at me to stop or they'd mow me down. If they'd flagged me down and explained the protocols and, god forbid, invited me to join them and helped with my strokes during their lengthy breaks instead of making themselves out to be better than me by bragging that they made State on the swim team at Rutgers or some such, that would've been one thing. But they were assholes (one of them, clearly at least 8 month's pregnant, put her pride before the safety of her unborn child by avoiding the gentler, nearly empty slow lane!) so I told them I'd take their house if they tried, that the pool wasn't a democracy so there was no majority rule, and if the Y lifeguards in their group would get the ones on duty to actually regulate the slowpokes out of the medium lane I'd use that one.
In the end I took action which resulted in a WIN for everybody - I wrote a letter not to the aquatics director who I knew would cover her and her staff's ass but to Corporate on my scary legal letterhead suggesting they should promote a safer environment to avoid legal action when someone inevitably got hurt. Soon they hired additional morning shift lifeguards to make the existing second pool available for folk circuit training in groups for competitions.RESIZED TEXT GOES HERE