Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just Like Riding a Bike

The most difficult thing about triathlon training is fitting workouts into my schedule. Yesterday was a swimming day. I was also supposed to bike but that’s a different story. I squeezed my swim into the 1.5 hours of my daughter’s dance lesson. She has dance at the athletic club. The club has a pool. Easy, right? Wrong. We are not members of the club - we just take dance lessons there. So I dropped her off and hauled myself across town to the city fitness facility (which I dare say is nicer than the $200.00 a month club).

I quickly changed and hit the pool. I had to share a lane but was the faster of the two (that’s a good feeling!). I swam the first 500 yards as a freestyle warm-up without stopping. Hooray! 500 yards is nearly half the distance I’ll need to swim in July and this is only my third pool workout. Looks like swimming is akin to riding a bike, you never quite forget. I finished my workout with just enough time to take a shower - the ultimate reward. The shower was warm and oh so relaxing. I could have stayed there forever. But I didn’t have a lot of time and cut it short. I took off my suit, wrung it out and covered myself in a towel. This is where things started to go south.

I try my best to be comfortable in the locker room. We are all women. All naked in various stages of bodily decline. What I really want to do is look around, wide-eyed, and survey the various body types. At the same time I’d rather not be surveyed and figure others feel the same. So, with eyes averted, I began to dress.

I did not pack a standard bra. Instead I wore a tank top with built in bra. The bra portion is a slightly darker peach than the overlying top and both the bra and top have spaghetti straps; it’s made to look as if you are wearing two tanks instead of one. Yes, I am just that hip. I turned the top inside out, arranged the bra and top appropriately, stuck my arms through the holes and pulled it over my head. But I was still sopping wet. The top was lycra. It curled up into a tangled mess and refused to go any further. Like a dog reluctant to go to the vet; all brakes were on. I was standing there, my arms stuck over my head, boobs exposed, belly hanging out and nothing but a towel around my waist. I couldn’t get the thing to go up or down. I performed a gyrating dance but the top still wouldn’t budge. I didn’t want people looking at me and there I was in a spectacular locker room performance. One, Two, Eyes on You! All I needed was tassels to complete the effect (and no my body doesn't look like that - perhaps if it did I would've earned some extra cash).

I began to pray. I vowed to sign up for additional yoga classes to improve my flexibility and subsequent ability to dress. Please God just help me get dressed! That's all I ask!

I also began to debate whether or not I should ask the stranger next to me for help. Hello, we’ve never met but could you, um, pull my bra down over my boobs? My towel was about to fall off exposing not only the full glory of my nakedness but also the lovely bruise on my upper thigh that looks just like a melanoma. I could see how this stranger might be reluctant to touch me. I could see her calling the fire department to extricate me from my clothing. That was definitely not the way I imagined that strapping young fireman removing my undergarments. Definitely not. I elected to continue writhing in my own private agony and finally caught the elastic with my fingers. Bra pulled down I finished dressing and mortified I raced off to get my daughter.

Swimming may be like riding a bike but dressing is not. I don’t care if you call me a hippie - next time I’m skipping the bra.


Honorary Indian said...

Oh. My. Goodness. You made me laugh hysterically. I mean, with tears and EVERYTHING!

Funnier still is the image I had of you. Yes, I had an image in my head.

That has happened to me on more than one's that whole, "have to get dressed in a hurry no time to dry off" problem we face.

I'm with you. Skip the bra next time.

As for the swimming distance...HOORAY, HOORAY FOR YOU! Swimming is my weakest event. I'm a little worried about it...but, if all else fails, there's always the sidestroke.

Jena Strong said...

Go you! Go braless! Thanks for your comment today - it's great to connect.

RocketMom said...

I love wearing those all-in-one pieces, but the on and off is tricky even when dry. Braless it must be.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope my three will grow up to be so sweet as yours. Sounds like a great mother's day.

GailNHB said...

Go braless when needed. And shake your sillies out! I have had those embarrasing boobs-in-the-wind moments and have consoled myself with the fact that all the other women are thanking God that I am the one suffering and not them. If, in some small way, my embarrassed, contorted nakedness and stretch marks can bring momentary happiness (or an internal giggle) to someone else, then I have served humanity!

On a slightly more serious note, I have been trying to look at my body in a new way of late. I am learning to think, not of the decline of my body as I approach my mid-40's, but rather of the awe that I have that this body has borne two other humans into the world, has carried me over continents and countless slippery hardwood floors, and still has the strength to propel me through yoga workouts and weight-lifting sessions. What a blessing this body has been and continues to be.

Also - thanks for checking out my blog. Isn't this blog world amazing???

Peace to you, Gail

Jaime said...

You are absolutely hilarious!! I could not stop laughing.

Oh my heart goes out to you after reading about this conumdrum you found yourself in...I think we all, as women, can relate to this post.

These are the moments you just wish someone, anyone would just calmly approach you and hide you behind a towel or something until you could get your clothes back on!

Thanks for this wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

Found your blog via the Cheerio Road and I have to say that your post brought a smile to my face. Your dilemma was hilarious, although I'm sure it didn't feel that way to you. FYI: If I had been next to you in the locker room, I would have offered to help you out. I'm not the type to stand by and watch while another suffers ;)

Jen said...

LOL! Great story... (Great tags at the bottom, too. Dare I do a search for all items tagged "undergarmet trouble"?) ;)

ELK said...

you made me smile and whisper an encouraging word to you! ELK

Gayle said...

Oh, Shalet, that is so funny! I can just picture something like this happening to me. The thought of them calling the fire department to extricate you is priceless! Hope nothing like this has happened to you since!

Thank you for participating in my first blog party! I hope you will join in again next week.