Adventures in Lap Swimming

Friday, March 25, 2011

Let me preface this post by saying that I rarely - if ever - post about my complete and utter social awkwardness in certain aspects of my life. So, for the first time, welcome to my world of awkward and unfortunate events...

A couple of weeks ago, Steve got it into his head that we should start swimming laps at the gym. We are fortunate enough to belong to a city gym that has two lap pools that we've never used in the 2 1/2 years since we've been members. While I have always liked to swim, I haven't swum laps since I was a 7-year-old on the swim team.

At the beginning of last week, I knew Steve was serious when he started asking me what size bathing suit I wear. Ummm. I knew he wasn't going to give up on his dreams of us swimming laps side by side, so I conceded and I told him what size I thought I might be (editor's note: I do own plenty of bathing suits, but not a sporty one). He ordered me this one from Amazon:


I didn't really think much of it - a suit's a suit, right? And I had him order a size up from what I thought I would wear just to be safe.

Three days later, the suit arrived and I tried it on. Let me just say that the model in that picture must have a 100% fake body. Because once I pulled that sucker on, I knew I was doomed. I had two options for how I could wear it:
  1. Yanked up super high in the front so that I had a precarious case of camel toe and hip bones hanging out. Why would one do this? Oh yes, to cover up the immense amount of hip/back fat hanging out the back.
  2. Worn semi-normally on the front which in turns causes the aforementioned back fat situation.
So, basically I would either scare people coming or going. I immediately knew I could NOT wear this in public. Steve, on the other hand, immediately reassured me that it looked great. Hmph.

Last Friday, the day after the "no way in Hell am I wearing this" debacle, Steve was still dead set on us swimming laps that night. I sucked it up (and in!) and finally agreed. However, once I reached the locker room the anxiety level began to rise. Since I never use the locker room, I don't have a standard 4-digit combination to use when locking my locking. This will come to bite me in the ass.

I revealed to the world (or at least the ladies in the locker room) my sorry suit, shoved my clothes in the locker, closed it up and punched in my 4-digit code. Immediately after it beeped at me that it was locked, I realized that I had no clue what combination I had entered, except that it started with a "1." Crap!

After punching in a million different possible combinations, I decided I just needed to walk away from the situation. Certainly I would remember my combination later. So I gathered up my goggles and miniature towel provided by the gym, and walked my sorry self over to the pool. Steve was already in there getting ready to swim, but since he was sharing a lane with someone else, I would have to share a lane with a fancy fast swimmer stranger. After standing there awkwardly in the water for awhile, fancy swimmer man made it to my end. Here's our conversation:

Fancy Man: Circle or side?
Me: Ummm..?
Fancy Man: Excuse me? I can't hear you.
Me: Umm, I don't care.
Fancy Man: Ok then...

Fancy Man swam away from me as fast as he could. Fortunately, Steve's lane freed up so I was able to join him. We swam our laps and quickly realized how exhausting of a workout it is.

Fast forward to 30 minutes later when I decided I was done. I grabbed my mini-towel and flip flops and plodded back to the locker room. After entering about 30 different 4-digit combinations, I knew I was in trouble. So I took my mini towel and wrapped it around my waist, fortunately covering up the back fat / camel toe situation and shamefully walked to the front desk. I'll be honest, I felt like I was in a dream where I showed up to school naked.

Finally, they sent someone back to open my locker. I threw my clothes on as quickly as possible, met Steve at the front and we headed home. Just when I was finally relaxed, I looked in the bathroom mirror.

Every day I wear pearl earrings that Steve gave me when we first started dating. Yep, one was definitely missing. So not only was I the anxiety-ridden, squeezed in her bathing suit like a sausage, combination-forgetting girl at the gym, I was also very obviously sporting just one big pearl earring.

Sigh. Some days, you just can't win.


BigAppleNosh said...

Oh man!! I must admit this mis-adventure made me giggle, just because you told the story so well. Boo on the suit, the lost combo and the lost earring though! This is why I don't swim. (oh and I'm lazy).

Nodakademic said...

That sucks--sorry your lap swimming experience was a bummer! I admit... I'm one of those serious circling swimmers.. hehe. But our pool makes people choose lanes based on ability/experience/speed, which is nice. I'm so sorry you lost your earring! That's terrible :(

I was going to recommend that you buy a Speedo, Nike, or Tyr suit. They're well made, and fit almost everyone without letting anything hang out. Try them on in a sporting goods store--you want it tight because it will stretch out. They also tend to last longer than a recreation suit...

Nodakademic said...

Wanted to add-- I see that your bad suit WAS a speedo. Hah. I always like those the best....mine don't look like that though! It's more like this.

(But they ARE tight. Oh man are they tight...and I think the legs are cut high to accommodate different strokes, like breast stroke kicks.)

Kristin ~ Bien Living Design said...

Yep, Speedo's are tight and ride high! I am sure you looked great, though!! :) & good for you for swimming for a half hour - that is seriously impressive if you've never done it before. Such a great workout!

Married In Chicago said...

This post made me giggle! I could totally relate to your feelings! I find it totally nerve wracking to try new things and sharing a lane with a super swimmer can be so awkward!

Katie said...

Oh man, that stinks about the earring and forgetting your 4 digit code! I'd totally have the same thing happen to me.

I haven't swam laps in about a year or so, but I used to do it regularly when I had a gym membership. I purchased a speedo as well, but I went with the separates! I was able to then get the bottoms that fit me/top that fit me. They even have tankini tops if you don't want to have your stomach showing. But yes - those suckers are tight!!!!

Tiffany said...

Oh no! All that AND you lost an earring? Talk about major suckage. But hey! There's always tomorrow! ;)

Anonymous said...

FYI, you shouldn't wear (real) pearls, gems, or diamonds in pools. Chlorine strip layers off pearls and weakens prongs so you could lose your diamond/gem.

Mrs. A (aka Katie) said...

I've been wanting to take up lap swimming too! But I can't find an indoor lap pool that isn't over fifteen minutes away! :( Unless it's fairly convenient, I know I won't do it, but it's a great workout, and easier on those of us who can't run.

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