Triathlon Training: The Trauma Begins

As I shared in my post “Please Alert the Psych Ward to My Pending Arrival,” I recently lost my mind and signed up for a triathlon. It’s in August, so as of now I have about 30 weeks to train (most training “programs” are about 12 weeks long). However, I am a slug who really hasn’t worked out for two years, so I am fully aware that I need to get myself back into some kind of shape before the 12 week mark so I at least have a bit of endurance when I start the more hard-core training. 

I decided to kick off this crazy adventure by focusing on my weakest area: swimming. I know how to swim, but it has been about 25 years since I’ve actually done laps or put my face in the water. I sucked it up and signed up for intermediate swimming lessons offered by my county at one of the local high schools.

As the start date approached, I assessed my situation and realized that the most horrible, painful, humiliating part of the training was about to begin: the purchase of the swimsuit. I say “swimsuit” deliberately vs. bathing suit, as there is no “bathing” involved here. My bikini collection clearly wasn’t going to cut it. I needed a real, professional, one-piece training uniform.

God help me.

Turns out there is a swimmer’s supply store a mile or two away, so off I went. What hadn’t occurred to me until I walked in was that swimming requires oh so much more than just the suit. I was going to need goggles! and <sob> a swim cap. Pretty!!

I found a helpful employee and explained my situation: I was starting from scratch and had no clue what to do, what I needed, how to find a one-piece training suit. I am guessing that this woman saw my apprehension as she explained a few things to me right off the bat, namely that the suit needed to be tight. Really tight. Suits grow in water, so think snug.

I should have thought ahead and done a little self-tanning (or at least decided not to wear black socks that day). There, under those flattering fluorescent lights, I tried on swimsuit after swimsuit – or more appropriately, kept trying to shove my body into a teeny tiny tube. There were fat rolls popping out of places I didn’t know I even had fleshy areas. It was horrible. I’m long waisted, so the suits felt waaaaaay too short for my torso. And most of the suits needed the bottom part positioned above the hip bones. As any women in her 30s will tell you – this ain’t pretty, especially when the suit above the hips was so compressed it was like I was wearing three pair of spanx.

I finally found a suit that didn’t make me want to curl up in a ball and sob – both in pain due to the snugness and pain due to the humiliation.

So the training adventure begins! It can only get easier from here, right??

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