I don’t like things touching the front of my neck.
I don’t own turtlenecks.
I don’t wear kerchiefs or fashion scarves around my neck.
When I go to the salon, I ask them to make the drape one snap looser.
Sometimes I can’t even wear crewneck t-shirts because â€“ you guessed it â€“ the edge of the shirt barely touches my neck.
When I picked out my wetsuit, I got one with the lowest neckline I could find. It still touches my neck. Actually, my wetsuit is snug around my neck. It’s snug around every part of my body. That’s how wetsuits work.
When I’m wearing my wetsuit and I go from being vertical and walking into the water to horizontally swimming in it, the discomfort becomes more intense as going face down puts extra pressure across the front of my neck. (If past lives are real, I’m pretty sure I either drowned or was strangled in one of them.) Add in being hit by other swimmers and unable to find my swimming cadence, and it’s enough to make me panic.
Heading into Ironman Mont Tremblant, I’m trying to work on this. I don’t want to start this race with a panic attack.
I can’t control how choppy the water is.
I can’t control other swimmers bumping into me.
What I can do is force myself to get used to swimming with something snug around my neck. (I know some athletes cut their wetsuits to lower the neckline, but I don’t want to do that.)
I bought myself a set of five stretchy choker necklaces, popular among tweens and young teens. I look like a person having a mid-life crisis when I wear them.
Before I leave the house for the pool, I pull one of these things on, and I don’t take it off until I’m back. I figure the more I wear it, the sooner I’ll get over the heebie jeebies of having something touching my neck.
For my first day wearing a choker to the pool, I opted to wear the red one so if the feeling of it touching my neck was too much and I ripped it off mid-lap, I could easily find it in the water and not litter in the pool.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I don’t notice it when I’m swimming. Once I’m fully used to wearing one necklace, I may try wearing two, then three, at a time, so I can get used to the material covering more of my neck.
Hopefully, this exercise will teach me that I can have something snug against my neck without feeling like I’m choking myself.