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Life Without Sleeves

Oprah and I have one notable thing in common. No, in case you were asking, it’s not the bling bling.

And I would prefer to have things in common with her such as shoes and billionaire status, for example.

However, the thing that Oprah and I share: giant arms.  Ugh ugh ugh.

I have always had big arms.  And yes, I was a weightlifter, but they were big even when I was at my leanest.  Now, that I am *not lean* – my poor arms have responded tragically.
For the longest time, I suffered through the Georgia hot summers in cardigans, long-sleeved t-shirts, and everything I could grab that was 3/4 sleeved. I would sweat and curse and yell at the Expert who didn’t start the car fast enough and get that air conditioning blowing.  I would never wear short sleeves. Ever. Ever. Ever.
Last year,  I had dabbled in some dresses without sleeves. But only at nights or events, and I always toted a cardigan/wrap/mumu with me.
So, I have been training since October of last year (some times more “on” than others).  And as you know, triathlon doesn’t really lend itself to long sleeves.  I can’t really care what I look like once I put on neoprene, spandex or a helmet.  And excellent point from author of Slow Fat Triathlete.  Seriously. Am I going to worry about my fat arms when I am wearing a tri-suit that has turned me ….the rest of me …into links of sausage? I swallowed what little pride I had, and admitted that I would have to go sleeveless sometimes in triathlon.
Slowly, this sleeveless status seeped into my runs.  Then my bikes. And even spin class (a real public place).  I was comfortable san sleeves in my triathlon world.  And that felt pretty nice. A hell of a lot cooler (temperature wise) for certain.
Then, I started wearing some sleeveless shirts on the weekends. And on vacation where no one knew me.
But yesterday, I went to the bathroom at work.  I looked in the mirror and suddenly realized I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt.  At work. And a skirt. At work.
Now, subconsciously, I remembered packing that outfit the night before to take with me to the gym. I remembered putting it on at the gym after my run.  And I remembered thinking: maybe all that swimming is paying off – my arms are less like giant, flapping hawk wings, and more like baby bat wings.  But to look in the mirror at work, and actually be wearing a short sleeved get-up.  That’s a first. Ever.  Yes. I know. Bizarre.
I didn’t start tri-ing to lose weight or look better. I was searching for a sport.  But it appears that a “nasty” side effect of training is gaining confidence to wear short-sleeves.  Flappy Oprah arms and all.  Which is actually a pretty big deal to a gal like me.
Now, here’s to swimming the rest of the flap away…
It’s almost the weekend people.  Can we make it? I think we can, I think we can…