Transplanted Life
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Looking goood in a swimsuit
Look at who I'm becoming - one of the guys at work had a birthday today, and there was a big deal signed. Which means that both chocolate cake and pizza were provided by that management. And almost as fast as "all right, free lunch!", comes the thought "that's a whole bunch of calories I'll have to burn off".

Fortunately, Wednesday is my regular workout day with Jen. So I didn't have to stop at home to grab my gym bag on the way to the pool.

We started hitting one of the local pools instead of going to the gym last week. My trial membership at Jen's health club expired at the end of June, and I didn't really like it there. Not just because of the occasional feelings of inferiority. The whole running in place or working on a machine thing just makes me feel like I'm making myself sore and tired to no actual end. I admit, I like instant gratification; if you could see bits of fat falling off your belly or they took a "before" polaroid just before you started and an "after" one when you went back to the locker room, and you could see that your legs were a bit more defined or something, that would be something. But this wiping yourself out repeatedly in the short term for long-term gain tries my patience.

Besides, gyms are creepy. You've got all these machines lined up, and a bunch of people running in place or pulling/pushing against some sort of tension individually - it looks like some sort of sinister secret army training ("ve vill conquer ze world vith hower feerm but-tocks!"). And people will have their MP3 players or cell phones out, trying to isolate themselves from the person next to them who is doing the same thing for the same reason. And that thing they're doing is trying to wrestle their body into submission, and I've spent the past two years trying to not be at war with my body. The whole thing's just really dehumanizing.

But, I'm vain, I do like looking nice in a bikini, so I tried to find some way of enjoyably burning more calories in addition to what walking anyplace less than three T stops away (I've got to - Mo likes to cook too much). So when I saw that the Commonwealth operates some pools free to the public, I thought I'd give that a shot.

And I like it. I didn't swim much as Martin - overweight when I was young, kind of hairy and still self-conscious in a bathing suit when I got older. But it's more fun now. If I wear a bathing cap and shave my legs, I really feel like I'm zipping through the water, and that's cool. Granted, my breasts probably create more drag than a hairy chest every did, but we can race, or switch to just enjoying a backfloat. And, besides, just doing something that's recognized as a sport is always going to feel less like work than a regimented, twenty-minutes-on-the-treadmills-then-thirty-reps thing.

The new swimsuit cost a little, but less than a gym membership, and, hey, it does contain like twenty times as much material as one of the more show-offy ones for less than twenty times the price. I like it, anyway - slick and utilitarian and makes me looks sexy without being a come-on. Though next time I go to the beach, I'm still totally wearing the two-piece.

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