Thursday, October 6, 2011

CONTEST: Electric Green Jammers


I work out at the gym with my dad on the weekends. We usually keep to ourselves. He lifts. I run. Sometimes we’ll fill up our water cups at the same time or use elliptical machines in close proximity, but usually our workouts don’t coincide.
            But one Sunday afternoon in January I figured I’d alter my usual routine and take advantage of the salt-treated pool. I decided to swim laps for forty-five minutes or so. I put on my swim cap and goggles and jumped in. It was mostly sixty-something’s around me in the pool and a few younger women in the hot tub on the other side of the aquatic room.
            I started my workout and stopped every four laps or so to catch my breath. I had finished my fifth or sixth 100-meter set and I rested arms on the edge of the pool at the shallow end. More people had come in. I was going to have to share my lane. The ladies in the hot tub were still gossiping, the older men in the other lanes were floating with kick-boards, and in through the doorway walked my dad. In a pair of electric green swimming jammers. 
I pretty much died.
Arguably the most mortifying and scarring thing a teenage girl can witness is her middle-aged, hairy dad in a too-tight, too Olympic, too-everything swimsuit. In public. He walked over to me and waved. “How many laps have you done?” I cringed. Every single person in the room had turned to look at us. The hot tub ladies. The senile men in the other lanes. The one lifeguard. The cleaning lady sweeping the water on the sides of the pool.  Everyone.
I did probably the only rational thing I could have done in that situation. I pushed off the wall as hard as I could and tried not to come up for air for the rest of the afternoon. I hope my dad got the message.

-E