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You Can’t See Me

July 30, 2012

Here I am, in the locker room at the fitness center, wearing my very faded one-piece swimsuit and water aerobics shoes getting ready for my class.  I love this class enough to actually don a swimsuit (something not so long ago I swore I’d never wear again), swim cap, & water shoes.  Then I bravely walk through the door and into the pool area.  Even if there are others in the pool or hot tub.  I am not afraid.  Even if those others are men.  They don’t scare me.  Especially if they are older men (like they usually are), much older than me (I hope).  But mostly, the pool is used by women…retired women who have born and raised children;   some have seen grandchildren grow up and have children of their own.  And many have battled their weight for dacades.  Gravity is not kind to women.  I’m on the younger end of that population, so I think I look every bit as good as any of them.  Well, there might be one or two exceptions, but not more than three.  Really.  I think.

Well, I tell myself, ‘this is not a fashion show’ and I march right in, trying to look as dignified as possible while wearing a one-piece faded Speedo swimsuit that used to be a beautiful teal, purple and blue floral pattern, and hot pink and black water shoes and a solid black Speedo swim cap.  I haven’t even wrapped myself in my oversized lack towel.  ‘To heck with it’, I think, ‘I’m here to exercise’.  I might even go into the sauna after class.  I’m of Finnish descent, so I know it’s pronounced ‘sow’na’ and not ‘saw’na’.  That’s almost every Finlander’s pet peeve.  Most everyone appreciates a good sauna, so we think they should learn to pronounce it right.  That;s not too much to ask, is it?

The thought of falling and creating a scene and possibly getting hurt…but especially having witnesses, really doesn’t  appeal to me, so I choose to wear ‘sensible shoes’.  They look like light-weight running shoes but have absolutely no suppport.  With the bouyancy of the water, they don’t need any so I can get away with buying the cheap ones.  I like that.  Doesn’t work that way with suits, though.  Cheap ones fade and stretch out in a matter of weeks.  Even the ‘chlorine resistant’ ones.  With one of those, you get 2 2-1/2 months out of a suit before you risk possible indecent exposure at an inopportune moment.  We watch out for each other that way.  Especially on Wednesdays, when Larry is there.  He’d be only too happy to draw attention to a swimsuit malfunction, I’m sure!  Investing in a ‘chlorine proof’ suit is well worth it.  One of those will last years.

Every time I put on my ever-so-attractive black Speedo swim cap, I raise it up over my ears.  Otherwise I can’t hear a thing. I call it my ‘Barack Obama look’ becasue it makes my ears stick out.  It’s worth it though…half the fun of the class is the talking..the exchange of ideas…and the relationships we have formed.  We know most everyone’s first name & a few last names.  But all of us know each other’s dog’s names, breeds, colors, size, favorite toys, etc. And we know each other’s kid’s names, marital status, grandkids (including names, ages, etc.), spouse’s name (and possibly a few details about them).  These are important things.  Last names are optional.

And, the cap keeps my hair from turning to straw.  I found it really hard to turn straw into an acceptable hair style and scarecrow is not the look I’m going for.  I fought the cap…I did not want to resort to it, (I thnk they look ridiculous, especially on me) but after months of using hot-oil treatments three times each week to no avail, I finally caved.  The gal who cuts my hair thanks me.  And I have more hair on my head than in my brush each day, so it’s worth the sacrifice.

I refuse to wear my glasses in the pool.  Absolutely REFUSE.  It’s bad enough I have to wear the cap and shoes.  I have my pride, you know.  There are some who do, but not me.  My glasses would probably fall off and I’ve have to dive to the bottom to get them back (I’m not sure I could hold my breath long enough to get down there in the first place).  And I wear my personal floatation device internally.  In my butt.  Fat floats.  Need I say more?  Knowing me, I would probably step on my glasses first and bend the frames or pop out a lens.  Can you imagine trying to find a clear lens int he bottom of a swimming pool?  Imagine the view from above the water line.  I am not risking it.

And since I’m not wearing my glasses, my vision is understandably poor.  Quite poor.  I can make out shapes.  And I recognize poeople by the color of their suits.  If someone gets a new suit in a different color, it takes me a while to figure out who they are.  On Wednesdays, I recgnize Larry right off…even if he got a new suit in a different color.  He’s the only one who’s topless.

So, if I can’t see them, they can’t see me, right?

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From → The Pool

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