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Getting into my wetsuit

Last night we had our first swim practice in our wetsuits. If you've never worn a wetsuit, let me tell me how difficult they are to get into (and how funny it was watching everyone!). As soon as I stepped into one leg of the full-body suit (should I have braved the Hudson River waters and just went with the knee-length and sleeveless version instead?) my skin suction-cupped to the fabric and I literally had to force my body into it. I honestly didn't know how I was going to get this thing on...it felt exactly like--okay, maybe even worse--than when you fight to fit into your too-tight Levi's. You know that feeling when you have to do jumping jacks and lunges in your bedroom to stretch out the denim and pull them up your thighs to close the buttons, well this was worse, except this wetsuit actually did fit! It's meant to be snug to work efficiently and act as a protective layer to keep my body warm during the swim. After a 15-minute struggle and lots of help from our teammates (we actually broke out a sweat from this) we were suited up and ready to jump in the water to do some laps in our new skin. It was awkward at first to swim fully covered but after a while I could feel why this will be helpful, and shield me from the slimy Hudson on race day. (Did you know you can float in a wetsuit? I didn't, but good to know!) But the best part of practice was when we were told, mid laps, to get out of the pool and change out of our suits and jump back in to continue our swim. It felt as if I had shed thirty pounds and my body sped through the water now. Although it may be more comfortable to swim in my bathing suit, I'm glad that this wetsuit will be protecting my body, and keeping me safe and warm when I have to actually swim a mile in unknown waters. Saturday morning is my first open water swim off of Coney Island and I can't wait to get closer to the real thing. Almost one month to go!

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