Since September, I've been making a religious attempt to swim once a week. I find it's been very important for me, being the competitive being I am, to keep myself feeling as though I'm not a complete tub of lard with this pregnancy. I get wicked satisfaction waddling across the pool deck, then diving in and splashing out several lengths of butterfly during a 2K swim to the amazement of several fitter swimmers.
It's all about my ego, here, people.
I've gotten to know the head life guard at the pool a little bit better thanks to my weekly visits and it turns out, he's a keen Anglophone and lives for the chance to speak English. Every week, we mumble through polite pool talk either just before or after I wow the crowds with my whale shaped yet dolphin like swimming.
A couple of weeks ago, I chatted with him after I was done my laps and mentioned how I'm trying to make the most of my time at the pool since in a couple of months I won't be as free to swim. He looked at me and asked why.
"Well," I said patting the basketball that is my tummy these days, "I'm pregnant and due in a couple of months."
"You are pregnant?" The look of disbelief on his face was enough to nearly make me cry.
"Um, yeah," I said in a hesitating laugh. Couldn't he see that I had been expanding all these weeks? How could he not notice this large round thing hanging off the front of me?
"But, you are too old to be having babies!"
Ok, right. At this point, I wondered if I should throw him in the pool. I think I still remembered how to rugby tackle and using Whoopsie as leverage, I'm sure I could've gotten him to hit the bottom, no problem.
Instead, using the good manners my parents taught me, I smiled and laughed.
"I'm 38 and yeah, sure, I'm too old to be having babies."
I think at this point he figured out exactly what he had said to me so he tried to back track and fix the situation by telling me how 22 years ago his wife had been 38 when they had had their daughter.
"Really," I asked, "And is she still alive, your wife?"
His turn to look stumped and embarrassed.
"Why, yes. She's fine. In excellent health."
"That's good to know," I said as laughingly sauntered off to the showers.
Since then, I haven't had the chance to really talk to him but he waves hello when he sees me and I wave back, smiling broadly, with one hand on my belly and the other on my hip as I ever so dramatically increase my waddling and straining just to reach the lap lane.
I'm old you know. Best take it easy and not cause myself a harm, now shouldn't I? Hence why I throw myself in quickly while the life guard is still watching and slam out a 100m IM that would make Michael Phelps proud.
I may be sporting a rudder, but I'm not that old to not feel like a goddess in the water.