Is there a swimmer in the house? A few subtle clues provide the answer
Much like the little Easter eggs left in the movies, the contents of a house can provide insight into the activities of its inhabitants. If you look closely enough while watching a movie, you might notice a painting that foreshadows the main character’s dark ending. Likewise, if you investigate even the cleanest homes, you might see a thrown ribbon that would make no sense to some, but would indicate to a discerning eye that a ballerina recently flew down the halls. This goes for almost all homes. While it may be much more evident in one house than in another, what are the clues that undoubtedly point you to a swimmer reside there?
Hooks (for decoration?)
Hooks were probably installed in a swimmer’s house for several reasons. They can be placed near the front door or above the tub to hang wet gear bags. A hook can also be used to hang a wetsuit or wet towel. Basically swimmers have a lot of wet stuff that needs to dry out. However, there is a good chance that towels will end up molding at the bottom of a bath bag, whether an equipment bag is left in the car or a suit is thrown on the back of a chair. While it’s always possible that the hooks you see in a swimmer’s house are oddly empty, they’ll be there if you know where to look.
Although alarms are not tangible things, they are still common and necessary in the home of a swimmer. The beauty of swimmer alarms is that they aren’t your typical morning alarm clocks. About two or three times a week, a dedicated swimmer may need to get out of bed early early in the morning in order to do the practice before school. Not only will alarms sound before the sun rises, they can also be heard at random daylight hours. It is not uncommon to be fond of naps in the swimming world. If the walls of a swimmer’s house could talk, they would likely beg their occupants for a more relaxing sleep schedule.
Trophies, medals and ribbons
Obviously, the rewards are not unique to the sport of swimming and extend to all the homes of many other athletes. However, a closer look at a swimming awards shelf would reveal the sport of interest. The trophies would surely be a small person diving on miniature blocks, or a stopwatch with a crest wave in the back. The medals would be adorned with track lines and all ribbons on display would have handy stickers on the back indicating the location, event and date the ribbon was won. Easter eggs in the movies aren’t always clear at first: some require a double take.
A slight whiff of chlorine
Believe it or not, swimmers often smell of chlorine. There isn’t much to this one; if you think you can smell chlorine after entering a house without a pool in the backyard in the dead of winter, then it would be safe to start assuming that a swimmer might live there. If you happen to use the toilet and spot a multitude of shampoo brands, don’t hesitate to lock that theory down.
Retired Heat Sheets
It always seems like swimmers can find heat sheets thrown in anywhere in their home. They can have somewhat random names highlighted. There might be coffee stains on them from a parent unhappy about having to get up so early, or food stains from a swimmer munching on them. No matter how dilapidated the hotplates are, it just seems like they can’t be ditched. For some reason, most hotplates are here to stay long after they are used. If you are lucky enough to come across one of these fossils in a swimmer’s house, take a look at the names. Maybe you will find your way there!
There may also be various goggle straps or an outdated snorkel around a swimmer’s house. Maybe there is a pair of sandals waiting at the door when there is snow on the ground, waiting to be worn with socks to practice. Every swimmer does things a little differently, but there is no escaping the habits many of us have developed over the years.
All comments are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine or its staff.