Last week I visited the lovely city of Cancun in Mexico. We were ready to enjoy all the many benefits of sunshine, sand, and surf. It is always so refreshing. Nathan and I go there once a year. Always 4 days, 3 nights – a long weekend and then it’s right back at it. Usually the weather is nothing but dreamy, but there is an occasional sun shower. If we come across a day like that, we make a plan to do the spa. In preparation for such inclement weather we decided to tour the spa just in case. It was an upscale spa with a separated men and women area. I saw this before in Vegas too – very classy. They do this so that each sex has the ultimate in privacy and so that you can experience all the water/steam/sauna amenities without having to wear a suit. At the thought…my heckles instantly went up. I would have to be by myself sans suit. Uffda. Why was I so intimidated by being naked? It really wasn’t that big of a deal, or was it?
As the day progressed and we looked at the upcoming day’s weather forecast, rain was looming. It was ok, I was ready, face freckled, lips chapped and sun drenched, I could use some time indoors. I woke up the next morning to the sound of rain and knew spa time had come. I started my internal pep talk…I can be naked…I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. I kept telling myself, “no one knows you, who cares”, but I kept feeling that churning in my stomach. Finally I came to that moment…the Towanda moment (watch Fried Green Tomatoes if you don’t get that reference). We walked to the spa and I had my mind made up…I would be naked and proud.
So, I walked in. There were 3 other women in the spa area, all with their swimsuits on. I smirked with my new found confidence, Americans, so afraid of being nude. I promptly unloaded my stuff at the locker, dropped my suit and walked my naked little bum cheeks into the hot tub. I laid there, eyes clothes, pretending to be so cool with my nakedness. Inside my heart was pounding and I felt a bit nauseous. I sat there practicing my deep breathing until the pressure of watching eyes was too much. I got up and headed for the sauna. Alas, at least there I would be alone. Another 10 minutes passed, I was starting to feel kinda clever. I walked out, ready to take the cold plunge, patting myself on the back with each step, when my plan got quickly interrupted. A staff member was high-speed walking my way. She looked at me with disgust and scolding eyes, arms waving across her chest and says, “Swimsuit por favor!” Oh. My. Goodness. I try desperately to think of a French phrase to let myself off the hook, but instead I stare like a deer in headlights. I am in shock. I am breaking the rules, being nude is not an option. I want to run and hide. Curse that one time I go for it and no one is around to help me! I nod, walk away, head held high, put my swimsuit back on and sulk in the steam room. I can. not. believe. what I just did. What was I thinking??
Morale of the story? Wish I had one. I guess I’m sorta proud that I took a chance and tried to be brave and confident with my body. Did anyone look at my nakedness and feel inspired to shed their own suit? Did they wonder at the freedom I felt? Did they whisper quietly to each other wondering who the crazy American was? In the end I had a really good laugh with my husband, a really good one. It was worth the risk, the nausea, the embarrassment, because now I have a story to share and a memory I won’t likely forget. So, when in doubt, go for it. Go big and own it. If you get it wrong, at the very least, you can say you tried and then later find some space to laugh at yourself..it’s refreshing.
Red Faced and Giggly,
Sara J (founder of trumi)