Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Swim Goddess

You might be interested to know that my most recent fitness obsession is swimming. Last week, I decided to swim laps while Jack was having lessons at the IU outdoor pool. Much to my surprise, I swam almost a mile! Well, that was all it took to spark this HoosierMama's swim-mania. I have been back to the pool several times since and each time, I swam the MILE! I half can't believe that I can do it. Either I am in very good shape or I've gained enough excess fat in the last year to enhance my flotation to such an extent as to make a MILE almost easy to swim. Either way, I am a swim goddess.

A true swim goddess must have the right apparel. I am not one of those leisurely middle-aged swimmers who can wear just any bathing suit. No sirree! I am a M-I-L-E-R! That puts me in the serious swimmer category and a serious swimmer needs serious swim wear. A Land's End "Tugless Tank" with polka dots and a floral print just won't do. No, no, no.

So, with the confidence that comes from such deluded thinking, I set off to purchase a serious swimsuit of the Speedo variety. Jack's excruciatingly fit and beautiful nineteen-year old swimming instructor (she is also one of our baby-sitters) wears a brand of swimsuit called "Uglies" that is just darling and very "competitively styled". I asked her where she had gotten hers and bee-lined right to the store. With a lilt in my MILER step, I entered the store and headed right to the "Uglies" rack. I grabbed a couple of sizes each of a few different prints and went to try them on. I just knew that the yellow floral print would be perfect.

Hah! I put on the first suit. The size felt just about right and it looked pretty good from the front. From my ribs up, anyway. I turned around to check out the backside and was treated to a lovely view of a what I can only describe as a SHOWCASE of back fat. I didn't even know that I had back fat! If you haven't tried on a racing suit lately (ladies) you might not remember that most of them have that criss-cross thing going on in back. Below the criss-cross is an open area that appears to me to serve NO good purpose. The cutout back sort of bunches up any back fat you may have and pops it right out there for public viewing. And to add insult to injury, the fat looks alarmingly cellulitic! How can this be a good thing? If anything, such a protuberance of fat surely increases drag and slows one down. This type of swimsuit cut is evil, pure and simple. It is a window into middle age and a cruel one at that.

Not to be deterred from finding the perfect suit for my (now deflated) swim-goddess image, I soldiered on. I tried on every $%#!-ing suit in the place in my size, and the size below and the size above. If a suit had a more back coverage rather than the fat-showcase cut, it had larger-than-life breast cups, which, quite honestly, I can't begin to fill. The conclusion I was starting to draw is that if you have back fat that you are interested in concealing, you had better have the chest fat to go with it. Not a good situation for yours truly.

Fortunately, after hard work in the dressing room, I found a suit cut for the flatter-chested-fatter-backed swim goddess and left the store feeling not completely defeated. To lift my drowning spirits, I had wisely added a most flattering purple swim cap and new goggles to the ensemble. In the end, you have to make the best of what you have.

In any event, I have come to realize that nobody is checking me out at the IU pool. Whether my back fat is showcased or concealed is irrelevant when there are dozens of perfect coeds lying about to catch your eye. I don't mind. After all, a true swim goddess is concerned only with her swim workout, not such trifling things such as how she looks.

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