I was getting ready to head out to the pool deck. I’ve got a routine that I follow so I don’t forget anything & be quick as possible. However I was having trouble putting my cap on, nothing unusual other than the fact that I’ve been able to put it on flawlessly since June (which I attribute to a flawless haircut by the woman who cuts my dad’s hair).
When I took it off to try putting it on again I noticed it had ripped. I hoped it was a small enough rip that I could still use it. I keep a second (sometimes 3rd of 4th) of everything that could break or rip easily, or be forgotten, in my swim bag at all times.
Everything except a spare cap and the rip was too big to swim with (you can see a picture on Inst@gram), even if I could manage to get it on my head.
“Well I might as well swim naked.”
(I have since been informed that the above statement could be classified as overkill)
I’ve swam with a cap since my first summer at Girl Scout camp; which is so long I can’t even remember how old I was when I went to Girl Scout Camp for the first time. Wearing a cap was a way to identify swimmers by ability and keep copious amounts of hair out of the pool filter.
I started keeping my caps from camp to use during the year. It wasn’t for fashion or style but practicality. It kept my hair out of my face.
I could swim better when I wasn’t trying to see through my hair to get to the wall, or moving my hair out of my eyes once I reached the wall. My goggles didn’t slide all over my head either. (#CurlyHairProblems)
One of the main reasons why I dislike open water swimming is because I hate swimming through and/or around seaweed so I really dislike swimming through my own hair.
I was never the fastest swimmer in the pool, not even close, that’s not a title I’ll ever hold in my lifetime, most likely anyway. But a cap enabled/enables me to have one less thing to worry about and have a chance at swimming faster, even if it was/is just a slight difference.
I thought, for a split second, to just pack up and go home until the sporting supply store opened so I could buy a cap and come back later. But I knew I was being dramatic, and the pool was practically empty, so I put on my metaphorical big girl pants and slid into the pool.
And swam naked.
Was it the big tragedy I imagined in my head? No.
In fact it reminded me how far (and how anal) I’ve come as a swimmer. I remember struggling through lessons for so many reasons, which included but were not limited to, feeling self-conscious both cosmetically and physically.
Do I wish I had a spare cap? Absolutely.
But not because I’m self-conscious, at least not in the same way I used to be, but that’s beside the point, maybe.
I started wearing a swim cap begrudgingly, because it “outed me.” It pointed out that I wasn’t nearly as good as almost everyone else in the pool. I kept and keep wearing a cap, even when I don’t have to, because I realized it has helped me become better at something I truly enjoy. So being without something as simple becomes a big deal.
Isn’t it strange the little things that can toy with us mentally?
After swimming umpteenth laps, and probably freaking out yet another lifeguard for some unknown, and probably unreasonable, reason, I headed to the store to buy at least one new cap (because fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me).
I only found one cap, in white, again not ideal, but this one will be harder to get over.
Anyone care to place a bet on how long it takes for my hair to turn the inside brown?