While there are a lot of great benefits of having a significant other, the benefit of having access to a neighborhood pool sometimes outweighs those typically dating benefits. It is great to have someone to hang out with, someone to laugh with, someone to hug you...but having access to a pool during the summer is amazing. Starting from the time the pool opens, every weekend, my mission is to get to the pool.
I already overcome the fear of wearing the swimsuit last year as the body I have might not be perfect,
but I have worked hard to get to this body! This was especially in my mindset after I finished a 5k on Saturday and then heading to the pool afterwards. Being that it was a neighborhood pool and the weekend, the majority of swimmers were children.
Spending time at the pool brings back childhood memories biking up daily to our neighborhood pool with my two friends, Erin & Erin. The pool opened at 11 AM, and we were there. Hanging out in the four different pools the swim club had until 5 PM when our parents were heading home from work. Having swim lessons early in my youth, I was very comfortable swimming in the deep end, flipping off the edge of the pool, and going off the diving board.
As my weight increased and my activity level decreased, my freedom around a pool decreased. When we traveled or I had access to a pool, I would not get into the water even as I craved to. The thoughts of others saying something about my size, my weight, or worse, calling me a "whale" was always in the back of my head. So here I found myself on Saturday at the neighborhood pool embracing another fat girl fear. There are certain things in which as a larger person, I used to avoid: sitting in a booth, getting in an elevator after people who can feel the increase weight, eating in public, and getting on the diving board.
The neighborhood kids were all gone, and it was just the lifeguard, my boyfriend, and I at the pool around 5 PM. The diving board was calling out to me. I have been watching the neighborhood kids jump off during the day with no fear. Knowing the last time I was on a diving board was before my teen years, I wanted to do it.
I walked over and stepped up to the board. Then...that fear set in. What if I slip? What if the board does not bounce? What if I make a huge splash showing my size? What if I weigh too much and break the board? This diving board is just a foot off the ground. But to me, it was me overcoming 20 years of pushing aside my desires because of my weight.
Not knowing what was going on in my head, the boyfriend became increasing frustrated as I kept getting on and off the diving board. He proceed to get on the board and jump in without a thought. I followed him by getting back on the board and walking out again to the edge of the board. I checked with the teenage lifeguard that he would be able to save me if anything happened.
Then I plugged my nose and stepped out over the edge...screaming the whole way until I hit the water.
I immediately pushed myself up to the top of the pool and started giggling above the water. There are moments in my journey in which I say goodbye to the former me and embraced the new me. This was one of those moments. I laughed because I remembered how I was able to overcome those barriers in which I put in front of me.
And just like I was as kid, I immediately got back out of the pool and proceeded to jump off the diving board for the next 30 minutes...screaming and laughing the whole time.