I was a cool musician growing up so there was never any need for exercise, or so I thought. Then I learned that musicians are athletes who just use smaller muscles... Go figure.

As a kid, I knew early on that I was gay, and that I was fat. I was taught that if you didn't look ripped you had no place in gay society (and other bullshit like that).

Athletics TERRIFIED me because of how much sexual excitement I felt from it. So I hid in my music and stifled a lot of personal development. Fear and shame, and the times (late '60s, and early "70's).

I would look at all the hot men, but never felt I could participate. Eventually the frustration turns to anger which then begins to turn to action.

Initially, my working out was based on my shame rather than getting into shape. I was more worried if YOU would find me attractive, but judged myself by my impossible standards. Many times, YOU did find me attractive, but my standards intervened (Woody Allen's "I'd never belong to a country club that would accept me.").

The kicker in my life was taking a risk to have a MAJOR life change by giving up my career in DC, and moving to a the U. of Iowa to pursue a graduate degree in music. In a word, it all fell through, and I had to move back and start over again in my prior career in business.

In frustration and depression out there, I packed on the pounds. New Horizon Co-op was the demise of my figure and succor to my soul. LOL!!!!

When I moved back, my "fat clothes" were tight and I almost had to go shopping at the big and tall stores. That was the kicker. Now shame was becoming a motivator rather than a way to stifle myself.

I was not in a financial position to join a gym, and I stumbled on the Fairfax County Providence Recreation Center in Falls Church. I looked at the work out machines and nothing clicked. Then I looked through the glass and saw the pool.

[if I were totally into drama, this would be when the orchestra would swell, the hot swim coach in a speedo brief would hold his hand out to welcome me for lessons and unconditional love,......]

...and I saw the pool. I saw the shame I had felt over the years. I felt the frustration I felt of feeling bad or raunchy for finding guys in swimming briefs so attractive and hot. I felt the frustration of not being able to feel pride in my body and appearance, and I got really pissed.

I was also a little pissed the hot swim coach didn't appear but that's another story...or fantasy.

The next day, I packed my never used Speedos in my bag and went to the pool. I put them on, looked at myself in the mirror, and said "This is the beginning and it will only get better."

I hit the water, and found I was exhausted after 4 lengths, and gave myself permission to stop, shame-free. I learned to enjoy the feeling of my Speedos (yes, they are actually Speedo briefs, and not Arena, Tyr, or any other brand), and I loved the way they held my jewels, the way my thighs had the comfort to move, and the way I started a change of attitude by simply believing that I was hot...because I was.

Since then, I have been swimming almost five days a week and now have my own system I swim.

The results?
My attitude about myself has improved dramatically.
I have lost over 30 pounds in the process and am continuing to
I overcame my fear of drowning (from childhood) with the freestyle
I taught myself to breathe on both sides with the freestyle
I am equally able on both sides with the side stroke
I learned to do the butterfly at age 50 and incorporate it in my medleys
I use my goggles to protect my eyes and to crotch watchicon_wink.gif
I have developed a way to approach hot men in briefs and ask about
their workouts.
I have made friends with many men gay and straight by doing this.
And it has given me a pride about myself that I never had.

In the next posts, I want to invite reflections and suggestions about my workout; ask about developing stamina; and advise on how to protect my shoulders.

This website can be intimidating when you don't have the stunningly gorgeous bodies that many of you have. I know they come by hard work, or they come naturally by genetics, or a combo. I know I can achieve my own stunning body that reflects my improved attitude at the age of 50 and live the rest of my life with it. Putting my story out there is partly a way of overcoming my intimidation of the gorgeious men here, and more as a way to reach out to others like me and encourage them, not to work, but to enjoy applying yourself to an athletic activity that will keep you healthy and attractive, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.