Posted at 18:25 on 20 Jul 2011 by Pandora / Blake
Tom took over responsibility for keeping track of my exercise routine the same week we went on holiday with Zille and Duncan. I didn't realise the potential clash until I was waiting for the bus on my way to the pool that Friday, and suddenly remembered that my arse and thighs were black and blue.
Shit! I couldn't believe this hadn't come up before, but I guess I don't mark easily these days, and the times I have must have been weeks I didn't manage to go swimming. I knew from catching sight of myself in the mirror that morning that underwear didn't cover these bruises, and neither would my swimming costume.
I considered my options.
1. Give up and go home.
Not really my style; also I'd already missed out on gym trips while on holiday, and today was my only chance to make good.
2. Try to find somewhere that would sell me some men's swimming trunks, and wear those over my costume.
Tricky. Time-consuming. Possibly expensive. Also would result in me looking daft and attracting attention, which wasn't really what I wanted. Besides, I'd heard horror stories of female friends who tried to swim in trunks being turned away from pools overly keen on enforcing gendered swimwear conventions. Could I risk it?
3. Brazen it out.
Perhaps I could ignore any worried looks and whispered remarks, and return any awkward questions with a withering glance and a "none of your business"?
4. Consult Twitter.
I opted for the latter. Halfway through composing a "help!" tweet, another possibility occurred to me:
5. Wrap towel around waist, over swimming costume, before leaving changing cubicle. Walk to pool thus protected. At poolside, whip off towel and dash into the water in one lightning move, and hope and pray that once I'm submerged no-one looks too closely.
As far as I can tell, it worked fine. The entire time I was swimming I felt ever so self-conscious and convinced that everyone else was staring at me, but I was probably imagining it. And whether due to nervous energy or simply feeling refreshed after my holiday, I managed more lengths in my hour than usual, so that was a bonus.
When I was done, I climbed out of the pool and whisked the towel back off the hook and around my waist as quickly as possible, careful not to meet anyone's eye. I didn't get any comments, so I think I got away with it. The only downside was that by the time I'd showered (back decidedly to the wall!) and got back to the privacy of the cubicle, my towel was already wet through, which made drying a little awkward. Still, it's a small price to pay for having this much fun.