Sunday, March 21, 2010

Slaying the Stress Monster: The Plunge

And now, a word about swimming.

At my age, I've also given up on the possibility that I would look hot in a swimsuit. Heck, I don't even swim that much any more; I barely had time to hit the water during my last few months in Honolulu, and I have yet to find a non-icky pool here in my town that isn't too far and doesn't charge through the nose. As it goes, the cutest suit in my closet is a black one-piece with good support all around and a low-cut leg; it's nice, but it's also aerodynamic enough to stay on when I actually do my laps.

The last bit is actually very, very important to me. Whenever I go to the pool, my first few laps are always the worst, because everything worries me. What if I get a leg cramp in the middle of the pool? What if I get an asthma attack and end up with a lungful of water? What if - horrors! - I actually run into ANOTHER SWIMMER?

Again, my mind is already a dangerous enough place when I'm worrying about my safety. The last thing I want is to worry about how my body looks in a swimsuit. That's why I already deal with that question when I buy the swimsuit, and even then I'm more concerned about more important things, like adequate breast support (water + boob bounce = ouchies) and wayward straps getting in the way of my freestyle stroke. Mind you, I'm just as picky as anyone else when it comes to shopping, but believe me when I say that my body insecurity ends as soon as I leave the dressing room and sign the dotted line on the receipt.

This is where my Sportswear Mantra comes in: "Cute" never saved anyone from a fatal injury. 

It's not just swimsuits, mind you. I have to go in the water with a bathing cap and goggles, because otherwise I can't see where I'm going. I'm super picky about my running shoes because I need the support; otherwise, my chances of injuring myself increase exponentially. The same thing applies to everything I use for working out, from sweatpants (no camel toes and "chub rub," please) to socks (I hate it when they lose elasticity) to sports bras (again with the boob bounce) and iPod holders (this may not be the sexiest thing on earth, but it's the best for keeping the iPod Touch from slipping while I work out)... and let's not even forget the waterproof SPF, if there's going to be sun exposure for more than an hour and a half. 

(Ironically, I slap on less sunscreen when I go out for my walk-to-run routine, only because I make sure that I leave the house when the UV rays are at their weakest. The only concession I make for vanity, in this case, is to brush my hair before leaving the house.)

By the time I make sure that everything's been strapped down, tied up, and ready to go, I don't have any brain power left to think about what people will say when they look at me - even if I do, indeed, look like the product of Lady Gaga's one-night stand with Cthulhu. Just don't take it too personally if I don't notice you, because I'm just trying to get past this same lap as you are... and the sooner I finish without hurting anyone, the better it will be for both of us.

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