This is the simple 16-step process of squeezing into a neoprene triathlon swimsuit:
Half an hour squeezing my lardy self into the first swimsuit and I did indeed feel like I’d done a triathlon.
The second one I tried on in the triathlon shop cut off circulation to all kinds of important parts.
And by the time I’d struggled into the figure-hugging third suit (which had already broken the £150 mark) I had to ask the shop staff to help me get out of it again. As I had lost all strength in my hands.
After trying on half a dozen swimsuits, I was beginning to turn blue, could no longer lift my arms, and my testicles had been squeezed back inside my groin.
The patient staff at Bike and Run in East Finchley had by now watched their lunch from the chippie go cold, and looked as if squeezing me in and out of these suits had kind of killed their appetites anyway.
Swimsuit number 7 was definitely the one, they all agreed. A perfect fit. And hi-tec enough to keep my whole body not only warm – but streamlined as I’d bob across the Solent waves like a rubber duck.
I was too exhausted to disagree. Let alone speak.
I won’t reveal how much I spent, to purchase something that makes me look rather like a gimp who’s lost their mask:
Somehow I was happy to pay all that for the staff to just let me out of the rubbery torture costume. I’d hoped it would accentuate my athletic physique somewhat. But for some reason I resembled the unironic rubber-clad people I’d glimpsed the only time I’ve ever wandered (BY MISTAKE) in – and straight back out again – of an S&M club. Funnily enough Bike and Run didn’t seem to sell many bicycles with me staggering about the shop stuck-fast in waterproof neoprene…
Now to don it for a trial swim at the lido in Hampstead Heath. My outdoor swimming pal Pat insists it’s the best place to put me through my paces.
That’s if I ever manage to squeeze myself into this ridiculous thing.
Not sure how it’s going to go down on the C11 bus to Hampstead Heath.
PS: While I’m mincing around Hampstead Heath like a fat Sportacus, help FAN help some kids with Neuroblastoma: http://www.bmycharity.com/swim2bestival4FAN