Today Celesty tagged along and watched swim practice as she had nothing else to do. It wasn't terribly dull for her, she had her laptop anyway, and Thursdays are a short practice: just a warm-up and then relays. Relays are always fun.
After practice she said something that actually made me stop to think for a minute. "I kind of expected that everyone would be athletic-looking, like you know a soccer team or something, but everyone has their own body type....and you're all fast!"
And she's right. While the majority of soccer players and cross-country runners (among others) have the "athletic" body: fit thighs and calves, toned tummies, arms that don't jiggle etc. swimmers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. (This is just a generalization, feel free to correct me--I'm aware that athletes across the board come in all different sizes but this is based on my personal experiences)
We all have the same 'building blocks' and if you really look you can see the similarities: big, wide shoulders that often cause problems when trying to find shirts that fit, tapered torsos and waists, muscular thighs and legs that certainly aren't without jiggle (muscles jiggle people). But after these, our bodies vary greatly.
Personally, I have strong abs that have a nice layer of cushion over top (and yes, the abs actually are there), my legs can kick a million miles a minute but they certainly are not slight, and my shoulders have a hard time fitting through narrow doorways. And my body is different from the other girls' on my team, all who range from the "typical athletic" type (of which I'm not bashing by the way--every body is beautiful) and beyond.
My response? This is honestly one of the reasons I love swimming. Every body type is represented (and I do mean every, I once saw a girl with no legs win her heat and walk off on her hands) and every body type is accepted. If you look at the Olympic swimmers, they are not slight women. They have curves, they're tall, and damn are they muscular.
I think the kind of accepting nature that is felt throughout swimmers on a pool deck should be felt throughout all people--your body is beautiful, jiggle or no jiggle, abs or no abs. It's wrong for people to tell someone they have the 'incorrect' body type or to shame someone for their body (just think of Misty Copeland, someone who was rejected from the ballet academy because she wasn't the right shape for a ballet dancer). Bodies are all different, just as people are all different so why do we apply one mold of the 'perfect' body to fit all people? Myself, I'm confident in what I have because I know I'm gorgeous. How do I know? Because I think so. That's really the only opinion that matters--your own.
You'll never see hate on a pool deck because a girl doesn't look the same as the rest of us, because none of us have one body type. The world should be more like a pool deck, especially if it means accepting everyone for their body type. Swimming is a sport you need muscle for, and muscle means mass.
And, apparently, big ass shoulders (that I'm damn proud of).
P.S. What are your thoughts? Do you do a sport where there is a nice representation of body types?