Friday, February 6, 2009

Bathing Beauties

There has only been one brief period in my twenties when I thought I looked presentable in a bathing suit. I managed a condo complex with a pool just a few steps from my door and believe it or not I looked great in a bikini. I was in excellent shape from swimming every day and even had tan lines. Most of my life I have been uncomfortable in a swimsuit because my thighs have been less than thin and my skin has looked like the underside of a frog.

We've been talking about using the lap pool at my father's retirement home since we discovered a few months ago that guests are granted unlimited access to the wellness center facilities. I kept coming up with reasons why we couldn't go such as, "I need a new swimsuit" and "my goggles are broken." Finally this week I ran out of excuses and agreed to try out the new swimsuit and goggles that were still in their shipping box. As the day approached I became more and more tense, but couldn't come up with a reasonable excuse for bowing out. On the morning of our swim when I confessed angst about my body in a swimsuit to Gary, he reassured me by saying, "don't worry, we are going to a retirement home . . . you will look like a bathing beauty compared to the residents."

Fortunately there was no one in the locker room and I quickly slipped into the pool and began swimming before anyone noticed. Between laps I started to look around at our swimming companions. One 85 year old man doing laps on the far side of the pool swims every day to stay in shape. On the other side of the pool three women exercising with weights were joined by a fourth women in her 90s who had parked her walker next to the steps. Everyone was having a good time and no one seemed to care about their appearance. I thought to myself, "these are the true bathing beauties." 

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