Thursday, September 9, 2010


Yesterday in a conversation with a friend at work, I was reminded of an old unfortunate nick-name I acquired in Middle School.

Virginia Ham.

The origin of the nickname is as shameful as the name itself. A swim coach (we'll call him Dick Smith because that's his name) was commenting on my weight. No, not a nice thing to do but a topic Coach frequently brought up with his female swimmers. I will not comment on the appropriateness of this - you would just have to know Dick to not be totally bothered by his commentary.. anyhow,  having just moved to Florida from Virginia, Coach commented that perhaps I should lay off the Virginia Ham.

The name stuck.

And last night, as I was trying on my wetsuit for Sunday's race, I actually felt like a Ham for the first time in my life.

Please note, I don't eat Ham. I am not a ham.  I just felt like one.

Have you ever been squeezed into a casing of sort? A fabric so tight you actually have to bend and pull it across your skin. I'm not sure I like the feeling, but it I will like the benefit of the slick black suit Sunday morning.

In fact, I'm thinking of resurrecting the name this weekend. Rather than draw fake IronMan Kona tattoos so the other racers think I know what I am doing, I might sharpie Virginia Ham on my back. I'm not a chubby brace face wearing 13 year old anymore - praise God... but the name does make me laugh, especially when stuffed into a wetsuit. It may also make the other race participants smile which is good mid race.

After all - this event on Sunday is supposed to be fun.

Coach Smith - Virginia Ham will be thinking of you during the swim. Too bad you won't be there to yell  VIRGINIA HAM when I come up to breathe.

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