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.