I swim at a local gym. The pool has 3 lanes, each with a clear stripe tiled down the center. If more than 3 people are using the pool at a time, the standard practice is for 2 people to double up in a lane. The newcomer generally asks the person already in the lane if they would share, and both swimmers/exercises stay on their side of that lane’s center line. Never been a problem.
Yesterday I get there, and there are 2 people in each of 2 of the lanes, and one lane with a only single guy swimming. I stand at the end of that lane waiting for him to get there, ask him if he minds sharing, and set off. I always make a special effort to stay on my side of the lane. Yesterday, I often brushed up against the wall of the pool. About 10 laps in, he kicked me as we passed. I thought “No big deal.” Next length he pretty much ran right into me, bringing us both to a stop.
I said, "Excuse me, please stay on your side of the lane."
When he did not respond, I said, "You were swimming down the middle. See - you are standing astride the center line right now."
He said, “It was hard to see where I was going, because I was doing the backstroke.”
I responded, "Perhaps you ought not do the backstroke when you are sharing a lane."
End of story. We both swam off. Eventually he moved into another lane when the people using it left.
I thought I showed pretty excellent control, and expressed myself appropriately in the moment. My wife thought my final statement was - I don’t know - bossy? Critical? Instead, she thinks instead I ought to have simply said, “Please don’t run into me.”
I can imagine this sort of thing recurring in this relatively well-used public pool. So, was there ANYTHING wrong with how I handled it? Any other way you would phrase it?