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Being a woman and being a swimmer: what a struggle! Even if you can hardly believe it, we swimmers are female individuals, even though some behaviours may suggest otherwise: lifting loads of weight which would make even the most veterans of the gyms pale, gulping down big portions of pasta in not an elegant way, soothing on the books because of the perpetual fatigue.

We are not all Zsuzsanna Jakabos or Pernille Blume (and you may think: “if it were!“) so we are forced to preserve and show a bit of femininity that belongs to us. But things do not always go in the right direction…

Here we have 5 issues that make you fully undestand what being women and swimmers means!

1. Nails

What’s wrong about wanting a manicure that’s nice? Well, nothing … unless you’re a swimmer, because this is impossible! Nail polish chips after the first training.

The evolution of science and cosmetology has allowed swimmers to mislead that some solutions could exist: one of these is semi – permanent nail polish. It lasts a little longer, but it still spoils after not even two weeks and it’s annoying to take off.

Another proposal is fake nails. It really seems like the perfect combination of functionality and cosmetic: stable shape, uniform color, no peeling. But the slap from your teammate, directly from the lane of the males, is always lurking, ready to break the reconstructed nail just the day before.

And so, the solution? Transparent nail polish from “Never a Joy” line.

2. Hair

One of the easiest and most effective ways to recognize a swimmer in public is, in addition to noticing the duffel bag full on her shoulders, look at her hair: if she has a slumped bun of damp hair, then yes, she is a swimmer.

The hairdresser is not happy when he hears “yes, beautiful haircut but, er, tomorrow I’m back to the pool”. Indeed, it is so destroyed that its expression is comparable to that of Fu Yuanuhi when she got the second step of the podium in Budapest in the 50 – meter backstroke, for just one hundredth of second.

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Hairstyles that last less than a day are not the only faw: the hair represents a hassle for swimmers. The skin is constantly battered by chlorine and daily shampoo. The only way to save the situation is to wash them with huge litres of soap, conditioner and oher specialized products, or we will have plastic wires, dry and frizzy hair like Barbies.

However, they are inevitably full of knots and drying them is an adventure. An old legend – not assured- tells that there is no swimmer who has been able to come back home with perfect hair, and there will never be….

The solution would be to cut your hair in a “bob style” or shave it like Laszlo Cseh … But we are not males, and we are not Laszlo Cseh. Unfortunately.

3. Sizes

It’s habitual, for women, to complain about the lack of clothes during the sales, but what should we swimmers say, that we never find our size?

Before we are swimmers, we are women, and shopping crazy is always a pleasure – sure, our real shopping is that of swimsuits and goggles, but every now and then, buying a piece of clothing is essential. We can get a hole in our tight routine, between training, study and gym, to run the shops, and suddenly we find that pretty dress that from the window seems to whisper: “I can never be beautiful and elegant as a swimsuit, but I must be yours, buy me!”.

As we approach the mentioned dress, we observe it, we wish it, we bring it to the fitting room and we already imagine the compliments we will receive when we will wear it at an event. First the head, than an arm, then the next one… but we immediately feel that there is something strange.

And in fact, something is wrong. Breathing is not the only thing to be prevented: when we try any movement, the result is that to look like a penguin.

The label is clear: it’s an M. Also the shop assistent speaks clearly: there are no L. The reality is the one that speaks most clearly of all: only S, beyond the M.

Unwillingly, we kick off that dress, as lovely as tight, being careful: a tear because of our muscular build is Always lurking.

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The process is repeated for almost any type of dress, jeans, t-shirts, sweaters: just that sweater that has a very particular fantasy and is warm, if only it did not make the shoulders wider than they are…

Because basically this is the problem: our huge shoulders. And arms. And legs.

Men’s department? Maybe, it could be good. Next time? Let’s go to the seamstress.

4. Makeup

Effectively, those who sponsor waterproof cosmetics line do not imagine all the uses they might have, or at least, only think of them as resistan to a few drops of rain or an elusive tear.

Maybe, this is the reason why they are not tested to stand up every day, two hours a day, in a swimming pool that more than a trianing pool looks like a battlefield.

Sketches and waves that affect our waterproof makeup that, inevitably and inexorably, glides away, converting in rivers of black mascara, making the swimmers with their eyes edged like a panda.

Male swimmers, in addition to teasing us about the bizarre appearance, they would propose the most appropriate solution: why don’t you wash your face and everything is removed?

A respected woman-swimmer always has make-up wipes in her bag – er, her duffel bag – but between catapulting yourself into the car at the exit of the school/university/work, speeding between cars to reach the pool in time for trainin, eating a bite on the fly … thinking about makeup is the least of our thoughts!

5. The tan

Beside the indistinguishable mark of all swimmers, that is, the sign of goggles that makes us more like a panda, there is another problem that, in summer, grips the appearance of women swimmers: the tan.

Swimmers back is drawn by white marks, more or less thick depending on the thickness of the straps of the swimsuit. There are those who solve with a two-piece suit, ideal for outdoor training, which manages to limit the damage.

There are also the fearless that do not barter the comfort of a one-piece with a noticeable minus sign, and the mark left by a one-piece is much more dominant: it also extends to the belly.

Lying on the beach in the scorching sun is a way to even out the skin, but imagine if, between engagements and meetings, you can get a free Sunday.
Clothes cover the sign at best, although with summer tops it is difficult; you should find one that, at the same time, hides the sign of the tan and is tailored for the extralarge shoulders. It’s asking too much: mission impossible.

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At the first opportunity, the clumsy, mascoline and problematic swimmers settle down to look the most beautiful of all. And even with the elegant dress, finally of the right size that fits perfectly and covers the sign of the tan, with soft and coifiled hair, with shiny and finished nails, with fine and well-stretched makeup. If you expect the full bearing of grace and the posture erected by dancer…

You’d better not expect anything, especially if we put dizzying heels on our feet that make us stagger more than when we get on the block for a 50 from outside, after a laced workout, with our legs shaking.
Don’t invite us to parties to avoid nasty surprises… also because we’d end up eating the whole buffet.