Now, I am no stranger to revealing more of myself than is strictly decent in a swimming pool. I have come a cropper attempting to do aqua aerobics abroad in an inappropriate halter neck holiday cozzie that failed to offer the sports support required and released a pale saggy boob into the water which no doubt caused a bit of a jelly fish scare. You would think then that I had had my share of over exposure in the pool but it seems I still had further humiliations to bear.
After joining a local health club I set myself the challenge of swimming the equivalent of the English Channel to raise some money for charity and keep me motivated (ie make it too difficult for me to do my usual trick of packing it in after a few weeks). I was therefore going swimming quite a lot, on average 2-3 times a week. I was quite a way into my challenge when, for some reason, I happened to glance at myself in the mirror as I passed through the changing room. Now, I never expect good things when I see myself in swimwear (which is probably why I usually choose not to look) but while I didn’t expect to look good, I did imagine that my up-to-the-neck-utilitarian-sports-costume would at least do me the favour of keeping everything neatly covered. Alas no. Yes, the costume still came up to my chin but it seems my built in buoyancy aids had rubbed the fabric at the front away to the point of transparency and were revealing themselves to anyone who bothered to glance in my direction.
Understandably, this was embarrassing but worse than that current moment of humiliation was the knowledge that I had been wearing the same swimming costume for 3 months – WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME???
Funnily enough I had always considered the gym to be very friendly as lots of people would smile at me around the pool. Now I know why!!! You would think somebody would have done the decent thing and taken me to one side but nobody did. Not the women who you would think would show some sisterhood. Not the old men who seemed to spend far too much time swimming under water. Not the players from the Wakefield Trinity rugby team who would often frequent the pool for their training. Not even the staff whose wages I am paying by being a member! And before you question, was it really that bad? Is she just being dramatic? Take a look at the photo – you could have read a newspaper through it!!
I have now invested in a new swimming costume, complete with totally opaque fabric in all areas, and I always check that the ‘buoys’ are well hidden. I don’t get as many smiles but at least I’m not at risk of scarring small children for life any more.