I wonder how many people — especially women — don’t learn to swim or know how but don’t do it because finding a sensible and comfortable but not frumpy swimsuit is almost impossible?
Recently I met my friend Rachel for Happy Hour after my swim class and she laughingly told me how a woman approached her once after she got out of the pool and said, “I hate to tell you but your swimsuit is falling apart in the back, almost transparent.” This led me to check out the back of my very comfortable, decent-looking swimsuit. Yikes — not yet transparent but clearly nearing the point where it might split during a swim class. I threw out the swimsuit in the locker room so I wouldn’t be tempted to wear it again.
Initially I felt proudly amused that I’d worn out a swimsuit, another first in my swimming adventures. Then I began to shop. The first issue was that most of the shops take swimsuits off their shelves in November – I’ve had good luck in the past getting Speedo, Nike, or others for a reasonable price. No luck. Next I went to the sports’ stores, but most of them had already removed their suits — the few suits left were cut so high in the thigh I couldn’t imagine that they would look good on anyone, of any shape. When I went to the specialty swim store, I found this same horrible cut, way up the thigh combined with the back being cut so low that I felt like a plumber (sorry, plumbers).
Finally, my partner, Carol, and I went out of town specifically to shop for suits. I tried on at least ten, always with the same problem – cut too high in the thigh, too low in the back, so frumpy that I felt like I was out of the ‘50s. It was pretty depressing. I finally found a suit that fit okay, though the pink design wouldn’t have been my first color choice. I asked her if she thought the suit would do — she stared not at the suit but my arms. “Look at your biceps! You have so much muscle in your arms!” I looked into the mirror again. I had been giving myself such a hard time over my belly, my butt, the stupid cut of the suits — and here was this precious new prize: muscles!
What do I want in a suit? I want to get in the pool and move, swim, without worrying that body parts are hanging out or crawling up. I want to be comfortable and focus on learning to swim. Is that too much to ask? It is hard work to learn to swim, it is involves a lot of courage and risk – the swimsuit shouldn’t be part of that.
Dear Shoney: I, too, have been noticing the muscles develop. Yay for swimming! ~Beth