Holding My Breath

Meet Serena

Meet Serena

I was never particularly good at sports. In school, if it came to two classmates picking teams I would generally be the last selected. I was basically lazy and so that, coupled with my poor hand to eye coordination, put me at the bottom of any team selection list. I had my own methods for deflecting any criticism of my sporting prowess. For example, when fielding during rounders I would stand so far away and amongst trees that I could be forgiven for not catching the ball due to the sheer surprise of it reaching me. But, swimming, well I wasn’t too bad at that. Stick with me here because this is going to be relevant to my tit(s).

So, imagine if you will, I’m at school in my pyjamas about to jump into the deep end. I’m on the cusp of earning a Lifesaving Certificate. Now, I can do a doggy paddle dragged down by brushed cotton, what I’m not so good at is diving down to the bottom to recover a small weight. I hate getting chlorine in my eyes and I’m not so good at holding my breath. That day in school, well I dreaded diving down to get that weight. And I failed. I failed quite spectacularly. And I failed with an audience of jeering school mates.  These memories are in my mind today at Chingford Pool about to embark on my first uni-boobed swim. Feeling slightly anxious about the mixed changing room I struggle into my post surgery swimsuit bought online from George at Asda. This was the only swimsuit I managed to buy in my size. Although I am on most email notifications for post surgery undergarments and sportswear it appears that the other single-boobed woman in the UK who is a size 10 beats me to the purchase within seconds of the item going on sale. Because jeez, these retailers clearly haven’t seen the statistics on how many of us need post surgery garments and seemingly only ever have one item per size in stock. But hang on, maybe I will no longer be restricted to specialist underwear because I now have a wonderful new stick on boob courtesy of the NHS. And this boob is waterproof. Say hello to Serena! Now, so far, Serena has clung limpet-like to my chest. There’s nothing to suggest she won’t stay secure. But I still have that little seed of doubt. What if, as I plunge in and embark on “breast stroke” in the fast lane she comes un-stuck, sinks to the bottom and secures herself to the bottom of the pool and I have to repeat that childhood humiliation of trying to dive down to recover her. Or, maybe more ostentatiously, she floats on the surface and causes distress to the other swimmers. I swallow my fears and wade in hoping that in fact she will act as an extra buoyancy aid without actually tipping me onto my back. And we swam, Serena and I swam. And it was good to finally be exercising again. Indeed I feel the urge to feature in vintage Tampon-like advertising campaigns for stick on boobs. I have Serena and I can swim the Amazon, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, base jump off the Shard or skateboard the Pan-American Highway. Bring. It. On.

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