I had been swimming steadily for twenty minutes. The pool wasn’t too crowded, so I had a lane to myself which was nice. As I sailed across the pool, I lifted my head occasionally to take a deep breaths as my arms and feet propelled me forward. After 40 minutes, I’d had my fill of cardio and made my way to the ladder on the side of the pool.
I pulled myself out of the water, grabbed my towel and began to dry off. “Excuse me,” I heard a mans voice say behind me. I stepped forward to move out of his way, but instead of passing me, he stopped in front of me. “You’re a really good swimmer,” he said with a smile.
“Th-thanks,” I stuttered, trying not to stare. The man standing in front of me was eye candy at its best. He had one of those effortlessly amazing bodies; not super muscular, but toned to perfection. New York City is a single girls playground, but as a Plus Size Princess I had always considered the gym to be no-man’s land. Guys flirted at the gym, just not with me.
“Have you been swimming for a long time?” He continued, tossing his towel from one hand to the other. Hmmm, maybe he wasn’t flirting. Maybe he just enjoyed talking about swimming
“Um, yeah… I kind of grew up in the water,” I replied pulling my towel around my body like a strapless dress so I wouldn’t feel so naked.
“That’s really cool. I really want to swim more, but I’m not that good…”
“Oh,” I laughed with a mix of nerves and confusion. And as the beautiful man in front of me continued to talk about learning how to swim, I just nodded, smiled and waited for the obligatory “nice to meet you” dismissal.
But it never happened.
He continued to shuffle back and forth in his water proof Adidas sandals. He kept asking me questions about swimming and in between questions, he made little jokes and drop tidbits of information about himself (His name was Joey, he was a culinary school student, he lived in Brooklyn).
Maybe he’s gay! I thought to myself, but a quick look at his knee length swim trunks spoke to the contrary. The gay swimmers at my gym all wore Speedos or tiny little boy shorts. This guy was dressed like a surfer. Then he began to ask me about things that had nothing to do with swimming; “How old are you?”, “What do you do?”, “Have you lived in New York for a long time?”
I answered his questions as I tried to wrap my head around the fact that I was being hit on, at the gym… in my bathing suit.
“Well,” he looked me in the eyes, “maybe we could meet up and you can help me with my swimming. I really want to get better.”
“That’d be awesome, what days are you usually here?”
“Um, it changes every week”
“Okay, well… maybe I could get your number?”
“Okay.” I was stunned.
“Wait right here, I’ll get my phone from my locker,” he rushed through the mens locker room doors and 45 seconds later, he was back with his cell phone. I gave him my number.
By the time I got home, he’d sent me a text message saying it was nice to meet me. Who knows if anything will come of things with Joey, but I would never in a million years have imagined that a girl like me would meet a guy at the gym.
Life is full of surprises.