Swim For It

I’m a little sad that the Summer Olympics are over for another four years. Watching the games always inspires me to get out and get moving. I’m especially motivated by the track and field events, and the swimming.

I always tell people, “I could swim before I could walk.” I don’t know if that’s literally true, but it sure feels like it. My grandparents had a pool when I was growing up, and when my sister and I were in middle school, our parents put a pool in our own side yard. It’s been there for about 25 years now, and it still thrills me to jump in for the first time every summer.

There wasn’t a pool in my high school (and there still isn’t). If I could go back and do high school over again, that’s one of the first things I’d change. I often wonder if (how?) my life would have been different if I’d been on a swim team. Would they have let a fat girl be part of the team? I hope so – I’ve got a killer freestyle stroke.

Summer is drawing to a close here in upstate New York, which means soon it will be time to hang up the suit for another season. (I’ve thought about getting a membership at a local aquatics center to tide me over through the winter, but truth be told, I am much more dedicated to working out when I can do it in the comfort of my home.) Thankfully, there’s still time for a few more laps before the cover goes on the pool.

I know a lot of women who are ashamed and embarassed to be seen in a bathing suit in public. I’ve never been one of those women. I just love swimming too much. I love the strength of my body in the water, the feelings of weightlessness and freedom. I even love the smell of chlorine on my skin at the end of a long day in the pool. I could never imagine denying myself the joy I feel in the water because I don’t want someone to see my body in a form-fitting bathing suit.

The moral of this story: Don’t let other people’s opinions (or your fears of other people’s opinions) keep you from doing the activities you love. Dive right in!