For several months, I’ve been swimming in a pair of baggy mesh drawstring shorts I bought at Shopko for ten bucks. They’re way too long, they slide down my butt when I push off the side of the pool, and the threads in the waistband are all breaking because of the chlorine. This is not an appropriate swimsuit.
So why am I wearing it? I’m wearing it because I’m stuck in some kind of swimsuit purgatory. I can find lots of swimsuits in my size at the popular big-and-tall websites, but they’re all huge, baggy, tropical-printed suits designed for lounging around the resort pool. There’s nothing at HeftyandHandsome dot com for the competitive swimmer.
But if I look at TYR or Speedo or the other companies that sell “serious” swimsuits, their biggest size is a 38. I’m nowhere near a 38. I’ve shrunk from a 48 waist down to a 44, maybe a generous 42, but it’ll be a long while until I’m a 38.
I mentioned Aerotech Designs and Mt. Borah, who carry cycling and tri clothes in extended sizes; they realize that “athletic” doesn’t stop at 175 pounds. But despite dozens of Google and Yahoo! searches, I cannot find hydrodynamic swimsuits in anything resembling my size.
The reason I bring this up is because instead of my baggy mesh shorts, I wore a pair of compression shorts in the pool today. I know understand the whole controversy over technical swimsuits in the Olympics.
I felt like a dolphin.
I felt faster, smoother, more graceful, and just changing suits made my lap time 5-8 seconds faster. I swam 1000 meters this morning, and I don’t think I’ve ever swam so quickly.
Unfortunately, it just made me mad that I can’t find a proper suit in my size. I went back to TYR’s website and poked around, and finally found a jammer in a size 40.
I ordered it. Perhaps I’m being a bit optimistic, but dammit, once you’ve gone dolphin, you can never go back.