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Shamu the Triathlete

Well, my worst fear is realized.  The wetsuit, which I now proudly own, is an ORCA brand suit.
It is so pretty. But the name. Oh, the shame.

Disclaimer: This post contains disturbing images inappropriate to those scared of big gals in neoprene.

As suspected, I am rocking the men’s suit. The sizing chart for the women’s suit said to add ten pounds.  Well, not like the ten pounds is what sent me into the men’s section.  Perhaps if the chart stated: add fifty pounds.

Rumor is: wetsuit fittings are ordeals among ordeals.  Truer words have never been uttered. Wetsuits are like the most evil brand of Spanx imaginable.  More like Spanx had relations with Rubbermaid and produced a baby called, Wetsuit.  After twenty-five minutes, I had the suit only up to mid-thighs (below), and I was sweating like it was race day.

Earlier, I walked into All3Sports in Sandy Springs, Georgia and the superfit saleswoman looked at me suspiciously when I asked her about trying on a wetsuit.

She looked at my jeans. “Did you bring anything to change into?” she asked me.

“Yep, yep yep, got it right here in my purse.” She did not look convinced.

“Height? Weight?” she asked.

I’m thinking, Now is not the time to pull the twenty pound lie.  I need this suit to actually fit. So I take a deep breath and mumble the numbers.  She then disappears for the span of a lifetime, and returns with a suit. It’s shiny and pretty. And has O-R-C-A spelled across the chest.

“Super. ORCA?” I mumble.

“ORCA is a great suit,” she says.  I believe her. But ugh….

“Yeah, for someone like you, Miss Teeny,” I’m thinking, laughing.  Secretly, I am just glad to be helped by a female, and a very sweet and patient one.  I can just imagine me and Mr. Male McTriathlete wrestling this body into a suit.

Miss Teeny talks me through the ins and outs of wetsuit etiquette, from turning it inside/out and working/pulling from the inside of the suit only (to avoid tearing the neoprene).  The whole thing was amazingly difficult.  Shockingly difficult and weird. My fingers actually started cramping before I had the thing over my hips.  She had to help me pull it up on the arms.  I am so glad that the Expert and I have St. Anthony’s together. I don’t think either of us will be able to manage the wetsuit process alone.

A grand total of 45 minutes later, I am zipped up and ORCA proud. Check me out. Oh yeah.  I have never looked sexier or more svelte. Eeek! Glad triathlon is not a beauty pageant.

After the initial shock of the wetsuit applying process, Miss Teeny tells me the secret.  TriGlide or BodyGlide.  She says, lather that stuff all over my body (ankles, wrist, arms, legs, everywhere), the suit will slide on 900 times easier.   Thank God.

If the wetsuit process was that bad…all the time… I would clearly have to give up my triathlon dreams.

Oh, here’s the scary view.

Actually, I am excited.  Something about the wetsuit made this all feel realAll3Sports was a dream come true – they were awesome, and patient, and the place is wonderful.  Of course, check out their site, if you haven’t already.  But I am pretty sure that All3Sports is a triathlon staple.

Alas, the inaugural SBM event of “Try on Wetsuits 2011” exceeded my expectations.  If I only had a pool in my neighborhood….I’d be showing off my sweet Shamu moves tonight.   Happy Hump Day, ya’ll!


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