A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

How I Got Trapped in a Bathroom at the YMCA

I swim laps for exercise. It’s a good workout, I love the water, and while I’m doing it nothing hurts – which at age 44 with an osteoarthritic hip (sexy, I know) it’s getting harder to find an activity where that’s the case.

I was a swim team member as a kid and I can recall swim-a-thons where we hit fifty, sixty, and seventy laps in a night, but it had been years since I had that kind of endurance so when I rejoined the Y a year ago I was only swimming thirty, ten of which I was using a kick board.

Since then I’d been creeping up on laps. I hit forty, even fifty, but never the elusive sixty that signals a mile. Swimming a mile and walking a mile are very different things as far as one’s body is concerned.

So Wednesday when my sister asked me if I wanted to go for a late swim with her, I said sure and headed over early. She’s a lot faster than me so if I was going to hit sixty laps in the same time she could I’d need about a twenty or thirty minute head start. When she arrived I was almost thirty laps in and feeling good.

An hour into my swim I did it – I hit sixty laps! Technically the end tally was either sixty-two or sixty-four, I stopped a few times mid lane to adjust my goggles so the lap counter on my smart watch malfunctioned a couple of times.

I was elated! Also, I desperately had to pee.

I quickly exited the lap pool and went into the poolside bathroom. It’s a single, spacious unisex just a few steps away from the hot tub.

Blessed relief.

Now, if you are female and wearing a one-piece swimsuit there are two ways you can approach a bathroom break. You can yank the leg of your suit to one side, thus stretching out the material and running the risk of flashing a butt-cheek later on, or you can pull the entire sodden contraption off and basically be naked. I had opted for the latter, as butt-cheek flashing wasn’t high on my YMCA to-do list.

My suit is a racer-back, with cross straps and is also, I must add, a size too small for me. I order suits a size smaller than my pants size because I want them to fit snug and firm with nothing flopping around.

As I stood I realized, to my abject horror, that in the minute I’d been sitting there my arms had gone limp as noodles, all strength completely drained away. Simultaneously, the soaked fabric of my swimsuit had turned into an impenetrable rolled knot of fabric, strangling my upper thighs.

I pulled, I tugged, I wrestled, using arms that felt about as strong as those of a wee newborn babe.

Eventually the terrible reality dawned on me and I stood there for a moment, dripping and horrified.

I was trapped. Naked. And unlike the last time I’d gotten into a predicament like this there would be no kindly, long-suffering stranger to rescue me.

Outside the door was the lap pool, with it’s fifteen-some-odd of my fellow male and female YMCA members (including my sister) blithely carrying on their workouts with no idea of my plight. There was also a good fifty feet of freezing hallway standing between me and the sanctuary of an appropriately naked locker room space.

They would not, I thought, appreciate a portly, pale flasher running by. Notwithstanding the fact that I could only toddle, not run, with the fabric of my suit knotted about my legs.

In desperation I took the suit off and rung it out, thinking perhaps if it were dryer and not rolled over itself this would be easier. Alas, that meant I now had to start the process all over from the beginning.

I shimmied, I yanked, I jumped and pulled in at the same time, using gravity and momentum to inch my sodden swimsuit up over my panicked body bit by excruciatingly tiny bit. All the while I was wondering if my sister was concerned about why I’d now been in here so long and exactly how long I would need to be missing before somebody came looking and thus revealed the mortifying truth.

Quietly, my workout tracker pointed out that my pulse had gone a bit high. Yes, no kidding, I silently responded to it – I AM TRAPPED NAKED IN A PUBLIC UNISEX BATHROOM, WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU EXPECT?

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the suit was at least up over all the necessary bits. Crooked, twisted, cutting off circulation to my left breast and right buttock, but blessedly, mercifully up.

I limped over to the end of my sister’s lane and waved to get her attention, telling her I was headed to the showers. I then disappeared into the relative solitude of the ladies locker room before she could do more than give me a puzzled look over why I’d been gone so long. Or looked so pink. And disheveled.

And that’s how I got temporarily trapped naked in a bathroom at the YMCA.

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