Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pool Party

This fall, Pittsburgh Rugby bids farewell to our Ni-Ni, who will move away to follow love and an exciting career in mathematical education. We celebrated her fabulousness yesterday with a pool party. I haven't submerged my body in a long time (minus the fully clothed swim test required to join the rowing team), so I was nervous to put on a bathing suit and go to this party.

I was shocked by how self conscious I felt about baring my butt to the women I tackle on a regular basis. Why did I have body image troubles now, after hours of conversation with them about the wonders of dairy products and high calorie treats like Belgian beer? I covered my tankini with mesh shorts and a tank top, prepared to excuse my modesty before a team of bikini-clad confident people.

When I got to Kelly's house, I was shocked. The men's team were drowning one another in the pool already and the whole women's team was wearing surf shorts, hiding under the umbrella by the cheese tray. Eventually, someone bravely suggested she had low body confidence that day. We all confessed our similar feelings. We were so angry with ourselves, our otherwise confident and fabulous selves. Sitting around that table were surgeons, teachers, contractors, engineers...adults in positions of authority, leaders in the workplace. We feed off one another's physical strength to make difficult choices requiring spiritual strength. If we couldn't wear swimsuits comfortably in front of rugby people, who support us through marriages, divorces, career changes, and sexuality/identity crises, where would we ever feel comfortable?

This discussion made us feel poweful enough to stop eating the cheese and build an obstacle course ending with a slip-n-slide race...where none of us took off our shorts.

Throughout the rest of the night, we played actual games for hours. Beanbag toss, volleyball, basketball, more slip-n-slide competitions, but I couldn't help feeling sad that I felt sad about my butt. We pumped up our testosterone levels through healthy competition and drank away our acknowledgement that we aren't as far ahead of the societal pressure as we previously thought.

At least my team won at volleyball.

4 comments:

Jane said...

You and East Side Girl both had pool experiences, a fascinating comparison of your Sunday posts.

Emily said...

aw Katy, I do understand.

However, I also have no modesty and figure everyone knows perfectly well how big my ass is with or without shorts, especially seeing as I refuse to go anyhwere post-game in damp spandex, so I forgo them : )

diane said...

what i would give for a pool party right now!!!

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