Game changer.

Sometimes, just sometimes, when you spend enough time in the deep end learning something new, in lieu of a silver platter gifted with a bounty of all and any important tips to help ease the learning curve, eventually you learn the tricks of the trade.

Everyone has to pee. Some people need to pee during their workouts. Easy to do while in a gym - just head to the nearest restroom. In the open water? No problem. Pee as you go. The dolphins won’t mind a bit.

Now what if that workout is a long 2.5hour session in a public pool? Do you fight the urge? Do you “relieve” yourself mid-stroke Ryan Lochte-style? Or, do you make a quick exit out of the pool and use the restroom?

I choose the latter.  Besides, as a former ballerina, I’m always striving for the most graceful exit from the pool.

Mid-workout on Saturday with my Masters swim team, desperately needing to pee, I discretely make my way out of the pool and walk to the restroom. Inside the stall I struggle to remove my wet swimsuit from my equally wet and chlorinated body. Business is done relatively swiftly. Once again I struggle to put my swimsuit on. Straps are twisted, new tan lines inadvertently exposed, fabric clumping and sticking where it shouldn’t.  I like to say “its all about the outfit,” but now its an annoying mess. I check myself in the mirror and in walks a fellow swimmer. “What are you doing?” she asks. “You don’t take your swim suit off when you pee, do you?” Busted. “What do you do,” I ask? “Oh, I just pull it to one side.” The proverbial penny just dropped. Big time. Hello, game changer.

But wait, I can’t be the only one who does not know this. The door opens and another woman walks in. Time to test the theory. “Hey – do you take your swim suit off to pee?” “No, I just pull it to one side.” Back in my lane my head is spinning. A quick poll of women in my vicinity only continues to negate my hypothesis.  On the deck after workout I expand my sample size. Still coming up with nothing but pitied disbelief – “I can’t believe you didn’t know that, Kim.”

In the few years that I have been swimming in a pool, no one thought to tell me this. No memo, quick text, nudge or general heads up.  I can only wonder. What else am I doing that is completely wrong and yet obvious? This is the plight of those imposters new to the sport and the hazards of jumping in the deep end where you may not belong. You may stand out, but perhaps for reasons you don’t always realize…