I have a small confession…. I don’t like showing a bulge in my trousers. I don’t know why…. it’s not something I have thought about much bar just knowing I like my trousers loose enough that it’s not noticeable.
Since putting on weight I’ve been a bit self conscious of my body and will favour tentesque clothing to hide it all (yes Gok and TrinnySusanna – I know this in fact highlights it all but my brain refuses to acknowledge that).
Having gotten into swimming, I have kind of had to put some of that shame to one side. It’s hard to swim in a tent like outfit while improving your times. For the first year or so I wore swimming shorts and got on fairly reasonably, all the time seeing some of the other guys swimming by me in jammers*.
My enjoyment of the sport meant I started to get more involved with my reading and training (aka my obsessive nature crept in, more on this another day). Learning drills to improve my technique, subscribing to swimming blogs and websites in my RSS feed. It turns out there is a whole science behind each sport, who knew??**. Drag is a major factor while swimming, so much so professional swimmers will shave their bodies so small body hairs do not slow them down. Wearing “normal” swimming shorts is akin to having a parachute tied to your back while your are hurtling up and down the lane. Jammers help streamline your body, reducing your body’s profile in the water. Down to the local sports shop I headed and bought myself a cheap pair of jammers. Back home I tried them on and my brain screamed at me… your belly is hanging over, your bulge is showing, your flabby arse is bouncing. They were swiftly relegated to the bottom of my swimming bag and I carried on in my shorts.
I kept occasionally getting them out to try on, then swiftly swapping them for shorts. Then one day I thought f’ck it, lets just wear them. Admittedly it was a Friday afternoon when I knew the pool would be very quiet. I reasoned with brain… a) I’m mostly underwater, b) when I do get out of the pool my shorts are clinging to my legs anyway, c) am I really that vain I believe everyone cannot stop staring at me.
I knocked a good few minutes off my personal best that day, the world did not end and no one ran away screaming at the sight of me. I have stuck to jammers ever since with one exception. I went to my first aqua aerobics class ever and my jammers were still a bit wet so put my shorts on instead. After nearly 4 months in jammers, damn it did I feel the drag of doing aerobics in those shorts. They were slowing me down, making it hard to maneuver in the water. It’s safe to say those shorts are firmly relegated to the bottom of my wardrobe at home.
*Jammers are the Lycra style shorts swimmers wear, akin to speedos but with long legs down to just above your knees.
**Ok given I did Sports Science as an A Level I did know this already, but that primarily focused on the biology of the human body along with nutrition when I studied it in the distant past.