Wearing a swimsuit in public is something that most people only have to face once a year- that annual panic to get ‘beach body ready’. However, if you are a triathlete then every day can be a swimsuit day!
Triathlon and swimming are sports where you spend the majority of the time in tight, skimpy Lycra which leaves very little to the imagination. I often joke that I don’t recognise my triathlon club friends with their clothes on. We don’t all have ‘beach bodies’ but that doesn’t stop us from swimming.
For some people wearing a swimsuit in public is a huge barrier to participation in swimming or triathlon. It’s common to feel very exposed and insecure, which sadly can get in the way of enjoyment of the sport. In a recent survey by Zoggs, 38% of women have avoided going to the pool in the past 12 months for reasons to do with body confidence. And I’m sure that the problem is not limited to females only.
One thing that is abundantly clear is that no-one has a perfect body. Bodies come in all shapes, sizes and colours and none of this has any bearing on sporting ability. Chrissie Wellington said, “I’ve seen enough six packs walking an Ironman marathon to know that toned ab muscles don’t always lead to better performances”.
When I first started swimming, I would only wear black swimsuits. On race days, I wore a T-shirt over my trisuit. I was conscious of how I looked and tried to find something which was flattering and slimming. Nowadays, I’m drawn to bright patterns and bold prints. Early morning training sessions are easier when you’ve got fun kit to wear! I’m pretty comfortable walking around poolside in my swimsuit, with my imperfections on show.
It sounds obvious, but the more often you swim, the more body confident in swimwear you become. You learn to appreciate your body for what it can do, rather than what it looks like. I embrace my belly rolls and celebrate my cellulite, nothing holds me back when I’m in the water, least of all my body-confidence demons. “Put on a swimming costume, again and again and again, until it stops feeling like exposure and starts feeling like freedom” says Alexandra Hemingsley in her book Leap In.
In these pictures, I’m wearing the Speedo LaCoca Powerback Swimsuit from UK Swimwear. I love the vivid colours in the peacock feather-inspired print. The back of the suit is very cut-away and exposed to allow for movement in the water. Sure it might look better on someone with toned back muscles, but I feel pretty damn good in this suit too!
Speedo swimsuit was sent for review, but all opinions my own.
Do you feel body confident in swimwear?