by Alisa Joy McClain
The other day, I was in Value Village and I spotted a pair of neoprene pants in the “leggings” section. You wouldn’t think neoprene pants would bring on a bunch of anxiety, but they did.
Here is the conversation in my head:
Voice of reason: Oh, hey, have you thought about the fact that your wetsuit might not fit anymore because of pandemic coping?
Anxious Alisa: I DO NOT HEAR ANYTHING.
Voice of reason: You should buy these pants, just in case. They look like they’ll fit.
Anxious Alisa: My old wetsuit HAS to fit, so I don’t need these pants.
Voice of reason: Um, actually, laws of physics, the wetsuit does not have to fit. These pants are 15 dollars.
Anxious Alisa: But, that was the biggest wetsuit they had way back when, and if they don’t fit, I can basically never do scuba again and that would break my heart. I can’t buy those pants because it will be an acknowledgement that the wetsuit might not fit. Then, my life will be over.
Voice of reason: That is ridiculous. Buy these pants. Your wetsuit jacket will still fit; it’s always been loose. You might have a less than ideal suit, but you’ll make it work because you LOVE scuba diving.
Anxious Alisa: LA LA LA LA LA LA LA. I don’t hear anything.
Voice of reason: We’re buying the fucking pants.
I’ve always been so afraid of not fitting in my wet suit? Like why? You know what, Alisa, you can buy a new wet suit. Problem solved. Surely, there is a company out there that has figured out that women of larger sizes also like watersports and don’t want to freeze to death? I have clothes that fit best at different body sizes. It doesn’t bother me at all to change which clothes in my wardrobe I wear based on different body sizes. Why do I not deserve the same in wet suits?
Self love is buying a new wet suit that isn’t going to cut off my circulation.
So, my old wetsuit does not fit, at least not if I want to be able to continue circulating blood through my body. Yesterday, I was underwater for the first time in 2 years. I was awkwardly dressed in those gift from heaven neoprene pants, a shirt meant for the ski hill, and my neoprene jacket, but who is judging my fashion underwater? The fish? Also, yesterday, I called the company Truli (Truli Wetsuits – Women’s wetsuits for all water sports.), which carries sizes called “defiant” and “fierce” in 21 sizes. They show pictures of women with round tummies and powerful thunder thighs on their website. I am currently waiting for them to call me back to help me figure out what size I am. We’re talking a Canadian-based, woman-operated wetsuit making company that knows that my generous hips do not make me ineligible for staying warm while in the water. They can take ALL my money. I promise to report back about buying with the, once I’m in my ADORABLE polka dotted wetsuit from them. I cannot wait.
Alisa Joy McClain spent the first half of her life thinking she couldn’t do cool exercise-y things because she was fat and is now spending the second half of her life enjoying the body she has and all the cool things she can do with it like rock climbing, cycling, and scuba diving. When not trying to be a fat athlete, she can be found reading books, playing pinball, hanging out with her family and children, and ranting about various social injustices.