Woot! 50 Laps!

This is going to be a childish and silly post.

Last evening at 8pm, I decided to go for my swim again. Though it didn’t rain, the temperature for the entire day has hovered around 27˚c, which means the pool would be a little chilly. I thought I would just do 20 laps, and then another 20 on Saturday.

So, in I go and burrr-urrr, and I started off quickly to work up some heat in my body. In the past, I’ve been counting the 5th, 15th and 25th laps (counting takes my mind off the monotony of swim) but tonight, I’ve decided to do odd numbers.

There were some people barbequeing, throwing a fragrant, oily aroma at the far end of the pool. To get myself even more distracted, I started to think about what they’re grilling. Hmmm, definitely chicken wings, lap-5 and satay, lap-7, some otah perhaps, lap-11.

I use the Heads-up Breaststroke style for all my swims. Heads-up means I never submerge my head into the water. It’s a thing with my eyes and chlorinated water. I would like to swim everyday if I can so red, irritated eyes will definitely get into the way.

At lap 15, I noticed a girl walking around the pool looking for someone. She found him and they sat facing each other on the deck chairs, about 2m from the poolside. Lap 17 … it’s evident now the couple wasn’t on a date. It could be a fight, or even a breakup chat. Lap 19 … although I cannot hear what they’re saying, the chinese conversation started to get louder. Lap 21, “It’s you! It’s you!” Lap 23, “It’s your fault, it’s always your fault.” Well, guess who’s doing all the talking and who’s sitting there with a blank, doe-eyed look.

I know, I know, why am I such a busybody. Well, by that time, it’s not a matter of getting away from them so they can get some privacy since they are already so loud I can hear them anywhere. Lap 25, the girl takes a couple of swings at his arm. I was saying to myself, how about I swim until they’re done. Lap 27.

At this time, a little girl, her aunts (or older cousins) and a couple of teenage boys jumped into the pool. Hmmm, it’s probably 8.45pm now. Cool. The ruckus they were making forced my closer to the couple. Lap 29, the girl started crying, and the boy is still quiet. In fact, I’ve not heard a word out of him everytime I swim pass them.

One of the teenage boys started swimming lapwise. Great! A pacer. You see, I like to have company in the pool. At lap 31, without any reference, you could be going as fast as a water-strider and not notice it at all. I started following the boy. Lap 33, after 2 laps, he takes a break. Lap 34, he takes a break. Lap 35, he stops halfway at lap 35 and started playing with his group again. Back to the couple I guess.

The girl stopped crying and as I was swimming away from them at 37, I heard her stomping off. Cool. 38 laps today. I made the turn at the end of the 37th lap and … guess what … she’s back! Grrrr… I sprinted half of the 37th. Now, I’m panting.

Another guy dropped in at lap 41. Yeah! He looks promising the way he dived into the pool, tournament-style. He was going pretty fast, overtaking my leisurely pace without much effort. Lap 42, he was ahead and reached the end while I still has about 1/3 left. He started adjusting his goggles … that’s why I like swimming heads-up – no leaky goggles to interrupt the swim. And he’s taking his time to adjust them … haha … looks like he’s waiting for me to catch up. Over lap 43, the group left the pool and the lone swimmer zipped passed me once again and made it to the other end. This time though, the distance was less than 1/3. And he’s adjusting his goggles again. Once I touched, he goes off again, beating me once more on the 44th. I’m thinking, this guy probably didn’t know I did 40 laps before him, haha. On the start of the 45th, I sprinted and we ended it together. On the turn, I was off but the pool is silent once again. He stopped! Dang! And the couple is still talking, oh, well, the girl is still talking.

Lap 47, I suddenly realised. What if the couple decided to have the chat until I finish my swim! I usually stop at 30 laps, and, talking is alot less tedious than swimming. On the other hand, the kind of talk they’re having, it’s probably a lot ‘tougher’ than my laps. And then, I started thinking about my own experiences with such talks. They’ll last all night if they have to.

So, I decided, 50 laps it shall be. A nice big round number. 50.

48 … 48 … 50! Done! Thereafter, I stayed in the water for about 2 minutes, climbed up, put on my clothes and walked off … leaving the entire pool to the couple to work their differences out for the night.


  1. Dear Hoo-san

    It’s very long time no see!

    Do you remember me? I am Shimon Ishimaru,worked with you on the food
    business in 2002.

    Sorry for no mail to you.

    Now, I got married 3years ago, changing my family-name from Ishimaru to Tachibana.But no kids yet.

    I’m working at CSK in Japan; it is IT company. I’m its mechanic operator. I’m studying MCP and CCNA,etc.

    I’ve never forget you all,but I changed my work several times, and I had got seriously sickness(now I’m completely fine),and your former address kicked me my mail, so I missed the chance to mail you.

    Anyway, I now find you! Let’s mail together again?

    Sincerely yours,

    Shimon Tachibana

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