A few months ago, I had a conversation with a collaborator, to discuss notes on a film I've been writing. (And hopefully, when the film comes to fruition, no one will be as critical as I am.) When I floated a suggestion for the main character's trajectory, my collaborator laughed. "OK, but if we go with that, then the message of the story is 'Stay in your lane'. Not very inspirational." He had a good point.
This morning at the pool, my tried-and-true slow lane was clogged with eight swimmers. I love the slow lane, which is frequented mostly by senior citizens. (When I first started going, an older woman complimented me on my one-piece. "It's no Speedo," I said, referring to the low-cut front. The next time I wore it, she complimented me again. And the next time, again--each time as if she were just seeing it for the first time.) We chit-chat between laps, which I love. I am often the fastest swimmer, which I also love. Many days, I take it easy and use a kick board. As long as I'm in the water, I'm happy.
Since I didn't have time for a leisurely pace today, I decided to switch lanes, to the medium lane, where there were only two swimmers. While the only true competition we have is with ourselves, I still wanted to keep pace. I did, but it wasn't easy. It was, however, fun. I swam hard.
Wishing you a beautiful day from the East River, and a week of lane-changing.