I love swimming. We were a camping family growing up and have always been exposed to waterplay. I’ve often said that I could have been a professional athlete, and I reckon swimming would have been one of my top choices for sport. (My sister and I took gymnastics, which, given our height wasn’t the most logical.) Yes, lanky, skinny and sinewy was I (every man’s fantasy!) with broad shoulders (even sexier!) and a flat chest (please stop!) which meant I was just born to glide through water.
And I did! I took swimming lessons and I was really good at it. In fact, if my parents had ever wanted to encourage sport in us kids I could have gone for the gold. Which, I guess, obviously means nothing seeing as I never actually competed…whatever. I COULD HAVE DONE IT.
Perhaps one of the simpler reasons I was so fond of swimming throughout my life is that I never felt awkward about being in a bathing suit. Of course, as per the aforementioned description of my physique, I never did have what one might call a bangin’ bikini bod, but I needn’t have been self-concious either. Until now.
I have mentioned I have a kid that I bore myself. I have also described my resulting stretch marks. But pregnancy does all sorts of other things to your body, too. Things that are hard to label and that, singled out, would seem nit-picky but as a whole create something that is not quite right. It’s the sum of these parts that has left me a little…off. You know? Like the puckering of the skin above the navel? And the persistent linea nigra that they SAID was supposed to FADE after childbirth? Or the slightly puffy consistency of the newfound ponch? Or, worse, the fact that I now hardly have the time to self tan, leaving my skin its original mottled paleness? Yes, it is all these things that made me less than eager to shop for a new bathing suit today, which at the best of times, for most women, is an event that’s little less than totally discouraging. I think it goes without saying that I chose a one-piece for the first time in, oh, fifteen years.
All that said, I don’t actually mind it all so much, this new body. I mean, how often am I in a bathing suit? And how many people are going to be sniggering behind my back at the beach? And who cares, anyway? Yes, that’s a … very … good … question … And wouldn’t you know it, I’m pretty sure I got a one-piece that’s not all that matronly. However, even if you see me in it and mistake me for a woman ten years my senior I don’t think I’ll care, come to think of it.
Where was my rant in all this? I forget.