I tried to banish the ‘hippo in a tutu’ mental image from my brain – and armed with my new swim dress went swimming for the first time since about 1988. I’ll admit I stayed in the changing room cubicle for longer than necessary, when I heard lots of voices. Then I became more alarmed as more and more people entered the changing room. I so didn’t want to step out of those doors. Then it occurred to me that they’d be getting in their cubicles to undress – and if I waited for them to leave, they’d already be in the pool and would witness my dash from changing room to water. So I legged it!
Fortunately, hubby emerged from the men’s just as I came out of the ladies, so I did my best to hide behind him, while hissing “hurry up” as I legged it poolside. I decided to ignore the ladder into the pool as I didn’t want to greet the swimming community arse first. So I sort of squatted, put a hand on the ground and hopped in, sending a silent prayer of thanks that I didn’t cause a tidal wave and drown 2 nearby children.
3 things immediately crossed my mind. Pools are a lot warmer than they were in 1988. Sensitive skin having received bikini hair removal cream 45 minutes before experiencing a chlorine pool, STINGS LIKE HELL and sets your… er… undercarriage on fire! And the tutu part of the swim dress is good for hiding tops of thighs while upright on dry land, however is most peculiar under water. It floats up and makes you look like you’re wearing a Portuguese man o’war!
I moved away as there was a rather professional looking swimmer rapidly approaching the end of his lap and on a collision course. I was then about to whack hubby for inappropriate touching in a public place, until I realised I’d positioned myself in front of a powerful jet of water, that I guess was a filter or something. As the jet pummelled my butt, it did occur to me that this might work as excellent cellulite distribution or something – but I realised it probably wasn’t the done thing to bend over and stay there for 20 minutes! Time to swim.
I quickly established that I’m out of practice at being comfortable with my whole face being under water. So I did a less than perfect breast stroke with only my mouth going under on each stroke. The first 12 lengths went ok. Well, I say 12 lengths. Everyone else seemed more of a professional swimmer, so I did many zig zags getting out of everybody’s way, but I touched the ends 12 times! Then I realised that my wedding ring had come off in the pool. Bloody weight loss! I couldn’t get right next to the bit where the life guards sat, as there were 2 women doing a very impressive butterfly stroke at 300 miles an hour and I feared for my life. So I waved my arms in the air and yelled “hey!” to get their attention. Then very quickly shouted “I’m not drowning” as they both leapt off their chairs while kicking off their shoes!
I called that I’d lost my wedding ring and if one got handed in, it was mine. A child next to me immediately said “I’ll help look” and did and impressive surface dive. I started to panic when he didn’t remerge but then he popped up at the opposite end of the pool. I was going to call to him to be careful when he went straight back under and did another full length. This time when he emerged, he was next to his friend/sibling who asked what he was doing. When he told him, the 2nd child cupped his hands and yelled “Dad! That lady has lost her wedding ring. We’re going to find it.” The entire pool heard and bless their hearts, nearly all of them stopped swimming and immediately starting diving. I was embarrassed, grateful and then had a heart attack as I realised that the whole swimming community was now under water, with the parts that I wanted the tutu to hide now in their direct line of sight!
The butterfly stroke amazons even clocked that something was going on, as everybody was now swimming beneath them. They stopped and looked round, to be faced with me and about 20 pairs of legs in the air. I almost got the giggles. You see Youtube videos of flash mobs in shopping centres breaking into dance routines. It crossed my mind that they might have thought they were witnessing a synchronised swimming version. However, I got my hysteria under control and told them about my ring. The mermaids immediately joined the search. 3 minutes later my ring was found. Hubby then swam to me and I had a sort of second wedding as he put my ring on (middle finger this time) to a group cheer and communal splash. 2 minutes later, the whole pool was swimming again. The only difference was that the hippo in a Portuguese man o’war tutu now had a flaming red face!
I managed another 10 lengths, taking my total to a measly 22, when I started to feel a bit of a strain in my armpit. I can’t even ache properly. I can’t impress colleagues at work by circling a shoulder and saying I strained it swimming. Instead, I can only whimper that my arm pit feels funny!
The only other thing of interest happened as I left the pool. The swimming tutu has foam boobage support. But it’s not bra like. It’s more like a shelf. As I climbed the ladder out of the pool, an accordion type thing happened. My thigh hit my belly, my belly rippled up to hit the foam shelf, and as I rose out of the pool, the shelf lifted – and I almost came straight out of the top of the tutu. I let go with one hand to grab the swim dress before I flashed the guards. And then sent another prayer of silent thanks, that it was hubby coming up the ladder behind me – and it was his head that I sat on!
So yeah. I’ve been swimming! And I’m going again tomorrow. 🙂