Last summer, I had been able to push myself to 20 laps, so I started at that level this year. In a week, I was able to increase it to 30 laps, and then I started doing it without pushing myself too hard. My timings were erratic, so on some days I had the pool virtually to myself, and on other days I had to share it with dozens of school kids. While I preferred the solitude of an empty pool, I made sure I completed my quota of laps everytime I entered.
Then the rains came, and everyone abandoned the pool. No matter what time I went, the pool was deserted. I loved it. One day, when I was in the water, it started raining. It was almost magical swimming in the azure pool with the rain pouring around you. I told myself I would continue visiting the pool every day till it got too cold to enter the water.
I had completed 10 laps in my personal pool today, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a frog.
He wasn't doing anything. He was just sitting at the edge of the pool contemplating this strange creature moving in the water. He wasn't doing any harm, but I couldn't help it. I let out a yell before swimming away.
He's just a harmless creature, I told myself. And he has more reasons to be scared of you than you have to be scared of him. I continued swimming, and when I returned to that end of the pool, I was relieved to see that he hadn't moved from his position.
Embolded, to swam another lap. When I came close to the edge, I was relieved to see that the frog had disappeared. I was relieved. But not for too long. Just as I was about to touch the wall, he hopped onto the very place where my hand would have been a couple of moments later.
I let out another scream and swam away as fast as I could. The frog continued staring at the strange creature.
I should have climbed out and gone home, but I couldn't bring myself to abandon a workout midway. Since I didn't have the courage to continue swimming, I decided to jog in the water for a couple of minutes.
I had barely started when I saw this large, crinkled, brown leaf floating towards me. Something about it looked not quite right, and when I looked again, I saw it was another frog swimming towards me.
I didn't wait to see if he was friendly or not. I rushed out of the pool and ran all the way home.
I know a frog cannot really harm me. But close encounters with two frogs is more than I can be expected to handle.
Tomorrow, I hit the gym again. If the pool is abandoned in the monsoons, it is not without reason.
No frogs were harmed in writing this post. If the frogs suffered trauma because of the encounter with the mysterious creature bearing down on them and letting out high pitched yells, it was nothing compared to the trauma inflicted by their sheer presence on said creature.