The Ironman is only like eight weeks away now and I know this is likely not the case, but I think we may have somehow gone through a time warp and skipped like eleventy weeks. Because just a few minutes ago the Ironman was nearly twenty weeks away. And now it's eight weeks away.

Eight is less than twenty, guys.

I know because I put the numbers next to each other and then used the greater-than and less-than signs to compare them and the pointy end looked at the eight.


I'm having a hard time training right now because my big toenail is like a car hood at the moment since it apparently experienced some intense trauma at the Pioneer Day Marathon last week. Seriously. It's only connected to my toe at the base of the nail. You can raise it to be perpendicular to the toe.

I just lifted it up and tested the carburetor.


This makes running difficult, biking painful, and swimming super gross. Well, gross for everyone else who has to share a pool with me.

With my luck, the people who go to my gym aren't going to let me swim there anymore because they'll somehow all see that last confession.

Joke's on them though. I've had my foot disease for like ten years now and that hasn't stopped me from soaking it in water that they inevitably swallow with each dunk of the head.

And the foot disease didn't stop me a couple of weeks ago when I did an incredibly embarrassing thing at the community pool.

So, it's well established on Stranger that I have a tendency to do embarrassing things more often than the average person. I have decided to just accept and embrace the fact that I'm a relatively awkward human being. I make questionable decisions in social settings. Unfortunately, my fear of committing social faux pas when doing something only sort of embarrassing often causes me to over-correct and turn a slightly uncomfortable situation into utter humiliation.

See this and this and this and this and this and this.

So it shouldn't be a huge surprise that I committed a not insignificant error recently at the community pool.

The pool at the gym I go to is like the size of your bathtub. Seriously. It measures 20 yards across. What this means is that when I'm trying to train for an Ironman in this pool, in which I'm supposed to somehow swim 2.4 miles in Lake Tahoe, I have to go 80 plus laps in the gym pool to feel like I've done anything at all.

Turning around that many times for the 9 and a half hours it takes me to swim those 80 plus laps has caused me to permanently have vertigo. Which is making my dream of being a pole dancer in Reno very difficult.

So I've resorted to heading down the street to the community pool. The community pool is much much larger. I'll still do most of my swims at my regular gym, but I venture to the other place whenever I need to do one of my especially long swim workouts. Unfortunately, I don't know this community pool and accompanying VERY large and confusing building nearly as well as I know the gym that I attend every day. And that's exactly how this awful thing that happened to me was able to occur.

I had just finished my swim. It was miserable. I was cranky and hungry and willing to shove anyone who got in my way directly into the deep end of the pool. And by the way, shoving is against one of the stated rules at this pool.


I was carrying my bag with me, intending to go to the locker room, shower, change into respectable clothing, and leave. Like a good and decent human being.

At the time I was dressed OK I'LL JUST SAY IT quite slutty. I was wearing a Speedo.


I'll have you know that even in America, we have determined that such outfits are ok as long as you are (A) Swimming laps in a pool, (B) Just kidding, or (C) THERE AREN'T OTHER ACCEPTABLE SITUATIONS SO PUT ON SOME BOARD SHORTS BECAUSE THIS IS A BEACH FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE.

The problem with my very simple plan was that I could not for the life of me remember how to get back to the locker room. Suddenly there were about 40 different doors I could have sworn were not there before. All of them led to long hallways or areas that seemed like they should be off limits to the general public.

I knew that because I was in a locker-room-type situation, I needed to be particularly careful about my decisions. Because the last thing I need in my life right now is to not be able to go back to yet another gym.

I tried some of the doors. Several were locked. Some went down hallways that were long so I turned back around quickly because they just didn't seem right.

Eventually, I set my bag down against a wall, in the interest of making this process go faster, and began checking the doors in rapid succession.

Finally I opened one that I thought looked promising and stepped through it.

Just then I realized that I was in fact NOT standing in a locker room, but I was instead standing in the front lobby of the building.

No big deal, you might suggest. Except, it was a big deal. Because this very very very large building is not just a place that houses pools. It also has other things for which a Speedo is not an appropriate outfit. For example, there is an indoor ice skating rink at this place. And dozens of people were in the lobby preparing to go ice skating. Like, on dates or as families. Also, nobody in the front lobby was dressed slutty. Everyone was wearing street clothes. So it was just me who looked like . . . the pole dancer from Reno.

Aware, suddenly, that I was dressed quite inappropriately in a respectable place, I turned around to go back through the door I had just entered.

Click. Shake. Pound. Shake. Shake. SHAKE. SHAKE!

The door. That freaking door. The only door through which I most definitely should NOT have gone, was LOCKED.

And little Eli, always making the wise decisions that he does, found himself on the opposite side of that door from where his bag and clothing was.

I stood, pulling on the door handle, as though my doing so might somehow make the fact that it was locked no longer a true fact.

This did not work.

I turned around again, and saw a crowded lobby of nicely dressed people staring at the dripping man in a Speedo standing on the far end.

And then I began my long walk of shame through the people. Everyone who has ever gone ice skating in their entire lives was in that lobby. I think I even saw Tanya Harding there. I got her autograph. She took out one of my knee caps.

Unfortunately--yes, this keeps going--I could not remember, even from the lobby, how to get to the correct locker room or pool area so I could retrieve my bag.

This place nonsensically has multiple locker rooms that are not connected to one another. And, in my humble and completely nondramatic opinion, I don't think these locker rooms or the path to the pool are adequately labeled.

So I wandered. In my Speedo. Dripping water on the dry lobby and hallway floors. Passed the people. Who were not wearing Speedos. And who were looking at me as though I was that European at the beach.

And I was all like, AT LEAST I'M NOT HAIRY!

And mothers pulled their children away. And fathers shook their heads.

And finally I had to ask someone for help. Because I was turned around so many times in the confusion and could not seem to find my way back to where I had left my bag.

Eventually I found it. It was the fastest shower and change of clothes I've ever experienced in my life.

I felt humiliated. And then I remembered that in the Ironman I have to run out of the lake and quickly change into my biking clothes to start the next leg of the triathlon. And I was like, "oh my gosh! This was actually really good practice!"

And I yelled to the people in the lobby on my way out, "I MEANT TO DO THAT!"

On a side note, does anyone know where I can find another pool?

~It Just Gets Stranger