Lake Michigan is friggin cold

So, fellow triathletes and more specifically, any of you who are larger than a supermodel, or just plain large like myself…, in mere hours, I will attempt to (drum-roll) TRY ON A WETSUIT.  Shoot, if you thought fat girls shouldn’t wear pumps, wait till people get a load of this.  

Here is the dilemma.  I am doing a long triathlon this summer.  In the friggin frigid waters of Lake Michigan.  I have avoided and avoided going to any store to shop for a wet suit because….wait, I don’t need to tell YOU why….you already know.  So, I have been on forums, on triathlon web sites, athena/clydesdale websites all looking for a wetsuit.  What I have found is this.  There are some companies out there who make wetsuits for plus size gals.  I am a short 5 ‘ 3″ size  anywhere from 18 – 22.  They make them.  They’ll send you one, have you take some measurements, you send it back, they alter it.  This may be the way I go.  There are, in fact, some on-line merchants that you send your measurements to them and they whip up a wetsuit for you. 

I decided, before I shop online, I need to find out if there is anything here in Chicago.   Here is how my conversation with Mission Bay went:

“Hi, Steve, Um….I’d like to know if you have any plus size wet suits.”

“Um, yes, we do”

“What sizes do those run in?

“Well, I actually need to ask you something that no one feels comfortable asking….how tall are you and what do you weigh”

“5’3″ and 230 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Edvard Munch screamer)

He checked downstairs and in the lockers and tells me….well, we have some men’s suits that might work for you, but really, you are going to need to come into the store to try some on.

So folks, I am on my way there in a few minutes.  I may have to drink heavily afterward, but can you believe it?  I am actually challenging myself to do something that I REALLY DON’T WANT TO DO, but I must.

I figure, even if they don’t have a wetsuit for me, I’ll be able to educate them on the importance of focusing on  the big girls too…….wish me luck…….send me good thoughts……please.




  1. You go!! I just tried on my first wetsuit today too and it went a lot better than expected. It’s my husband’s old suit, so it didn’t really have room for my girl parts and I looked kind of like a boy once everything got smashed down. But whatever, I got into it and (more importantly) got back out of it. Now for the next hard part: swimming in it! I’m so glad there are other real-sized women out there doing triathlons. We rock.

  2. So…how did the Mission Bay experience go? I work about 2 blocks from them and have the SAME issues as you (though I am tall and, um, plus-sized). Am doing the Chicago Tri this August and need all the swim help I can get, so seriously considering a suit. Waiting until late July to start shopping for one b/c to be honest I am hoping all this training melts me down to at least a 16 from my current 18. 🙂 Anyway, let us know how your MB experience was – and how you did at the tri!

    1. I’ve been spinning/biking, swimming and fast walking since January and only a 3 pound drop so I figure I’ll have to find a wetsuit now so I’m used to it by Sept.

      Yes, let us know what brand/model you buy. It’ll give us all a head start in the right direction 🙂

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