At my local swimming pool there seem to be a lot of people who don’t actually like to swim. They prefer to walk. People walk forwards and backwards, up and down the lanes. It’s not something I enjoy – I tried it once but was mentally taken back to childhood dreams of attempting to run from monsters – but as long as they don’t interfere with my swim I’m quite happy to let them get on with it. This evening, however, I witnessed a new form of aquatic exercise. I had the truly joyous experience of watching a fat man trying to do a length of cartwheels.
I had just made a turn at the far end of the pool when I noticed a man who looked as though his usual exercise took the form of a quick dash to the cake shop waddling by end. He slid his hefty body into the water and proceeded to do the cartwheels. Being performed in the water, they naturally occurred in slow-motion. The rotund fellow did three and then got tangled up in the lane divider and after surfacing, blowing out a stream of water, and having an embarrassed glance around he switched to walking.
Upon seeing this I learned two things. The first was that there are few things more amusing than a fat chap in a swimming cap performing cartwheels; the second was that it is extremely difficult to have a good belly laugh underwater.