37 Thoughts Swimmers Have While Putting On A Racing Suit

Jul 29, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Jennie Johansson (SWE) adjusts her suit before the women's 100m breaststroke semifinals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

By Courtney Bartholomew, Swimming World College Intern

It’s championship meet season. Everywhere I look on my Facebook timeline, my Twitter feed, posts on Instagram, and the famous SnapChat stories, I see various friends competing in meets around the country. While the posts I typically see are about swimmers finishing their careers, individuals swimming really well, or stories about how teams did, there is a really important aspect of racing I haven’t heard about.

It’s time to tell the story of the swimmer and their technical suit. You know, the one you squeeze your body into? That suit that takes 30 plus minutes to put on for a 22-second race?

Photo Courtesy: TYR

Photo Courtesy: TYR

Here are 37 thoughts swimmers have while putting on a fast suit:

  1. “Yay, the new fast suits are here!”
  2. Begins dreaming of the best times and how you’ll look in the suit.
  3. Opens Box. Pulls out suit. “Wow, that looks tinier than I remember.”
  4. “I wonder if my big toe will fit through the leg hole?”
  5. “Maybe I should try the suit on before the meet starts?”
  6. “No, I really don’t want to squeeze my body into the suit before I have to.”
  7. “If I try the suit on now… maybe it’ll stretch out a little before I have to actually swim in it.”
  8. Stares at suit for 10 minutes contemplating the task at hand.
  9. Sticks the first foot into the leg hole.
  10. Sticks the second foot into the leg hole.
  11. “Wow, this isn’t as bad as I thought.”
  12. Begins to pull the suit past the calves.
  13. “Am I really putting this on right now?”
  14. “My leg looks like a sausage coming out of its casing.”
  15. “Is this sweat dripping or are they my tears?”
  16. “How long have I been trying this on for?!”
  17. “I need to sit down and take a moment.”
  18. “I don’t know how much longer I can do this for.”
  19. “Did I really need to eat that cookie two weeks ago?”
  20. “If I die while putting this suit on, will anyone ever find my body?”
  21. “If I put Vaseline all over my body will it go on easier?”
  22. “I really hope I don’t have to go to the bathroom once this is on…”
  23. “Why didn’t I choose a different sport?”
  24. “Did it just rip?!”
  25. “Oh no, it was just the sound of the suit smacking my skin.”
  26. “I am so happy it didn’t rip. I couldn’t put another one on right now.”
  27. “I was thinking I looked fit the other day, this suit is telling me otherwise.”
  28. “YAY! Its finally over my hips!”
  29. “I’m going to need help with putting my straps on.”
  30. “My swimmer shoulders are too big for this suit.”
  31. “The suit is FINALLY on!”
  32. “I am going to swim so fast with this on.”
  33. “It only took 30 minutes to put on!”
  34. “That might be a best time for me!”
  35. “I have to take it off now…”
  36. “I don’t want to do this again.”
  37. Takes off the suit
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Photo Courtesy: JD Lasica

Swimmers have a love-hate relationship with racing suits. We love how they make us feel in the water and how they signify fast racing, but the amount of energy expended to put the suit on makes it difficult to enjoy the process. So next time you’re putting on a racing suit, think of all the thoughts you have while squeezing your body into it, you may just laugh the whole time.


  1. Nathalie Carby

    So true…30 minutes to get into a suit you race for less than 30 seconds…

  2. Lotte Rolink

    Danique Schulte ?

  3. Amy Oo

    Laura Ruppel….I thought of u!! Lol

  4. Kristin Burlew

    Kayla Davis Catherine Gavell

    • Holland Morris

      HAHA YAS SO TRUE! Samantha Vogt

  5. Salma Shabana

    May Aon Malak El Alaily Anna Chadwell Engy Ayad Seung Jee Song

  6. avatar

    Layla Kishli take 2 minutes and read this. It might give u an idea

  7. Wendy de Bruin

    Nicky Deijl Thirza Belder

  8. avatar
    Sally Slygh

    Courtney you signed an autograph for my niece at Cheesecake Factory after Duel in the Pool. That made her day! Thank you! This article makes me think the tech suit I just bought her is way too big…

    • avatar
      Courtney Bartholomew

      Of course! Thanks so much!

  9. Garry Mason

    What no Ellen Cassidy

  10. Jen Thompson

    Kelly Murphy…share this Em

  11. Fleur Parker

    Lizzie Godfrey I read this and thought of you xx Michelle Matson and I have these thoughts regularly Xxxxx

    • Sarah Adams

      Haha…. You beat me to it! I was thinking about Lizzie too xx

    • Lizzie Godfrey

      Haha!! These are really my thoughts although I’ve not made it all the way through yet as I haven’t got it over my shoulders yet!!!! And there isn’t a mention about going for a wee!!??

    • Naomi Collier

      Lizzie Godfrey – no 14 made me laugh. That would be me. ?

    • Michelle Matson

      Haha, yes, have been there with every one of those thoughts!! But it’s the getting it over my shoulders that’s the one that would take me well over 40 things!! ? xx
      Lol Fleur, little old ladies with their hands down my suit and you standing on a bench to get it over my shoulders ? xxxxx

  12. Gemma Davies

    15, 23&24 were me on sunday??

  13. Lisanne van Giessen

    Hahaha dit dus Renske Den Dekker Anouck Oppenhuizen Petri Velthuis Robina Hoegee

  14. Jodi Ziegert

    I believe there are a few extra steps….Did I hack off my fingernails low enough because they are so short I can’t file them? Are those blisters on my fingers? These heavy duty surgical gloves my mom gave me to put this suit on are the bomb! Is my butt all the way in? Someone help put my butt in so I don’t have drag from a plumbers crack?

    • Amy Sambell

      Haha! So true. You will have these thoughts too Samantha Crosby!

  15. Rachel Gregory

    Okay but what about finally taking off the suit and then it gets stuck on your hip bones again? And you think, “is it worth it to cut myself out of this multi-hundred dollar suit?”

  16. Patricia Cani

    Reni Rejsi hahahahaha

    • Reni Rejsi

      Hahahahahah hated my life

  17. Naomi Kirsh

    Taylor Shankaruk Ruth Ormiston Kalyn Wigston Haley McKay Mackenzie Glover

  18. Ryan Pinto

    Omar Bazian this is what i was talking about ??

  19. Denis Senkubuge II

    I only think of one thing….”that’s being number one”…

  20. Zoë Krause

    Jan Ole Böllert so muss das

    • Sue Harris

      Terrible timing but very apt- my new suit arrived in the post at the weekend and I haven’t managed to face trying it on yet!

  21. Maud Heldoorn

    Eline Kasper Desiree Rave??

  22. Kailah Buchanan

    Samantha WhiteVeronica Morin

  23. avatar

    38) I think I just destroyed my taper putting this thing on.

    • Robyn N Tony Isarasena

      That’s so good, I will show Jake he may have second thoughts haha but I doubt it x

  24. Moira Wigley

    Rebecca Mather-Brown, Megan Gallagher, Shannon Lee, Elyshia Sheldon

    • Elyshia Sheldon

      I just think of Bec’s butt hanging out of her suit in the arm holes!!

    • Moira Wigley

      My thoughts exactly ….that scarred me for life

  25. avatar

    Super funny. But they do make a difference!

  26. Vilde Godaker

    Julie Victoria Christensen

  27. Kate Lawman

    Alex Lawman ?

  28. Tim Länder

    Maybritt Pahmeyer

  29. Karen Sing

    “Will this rip before or after I start?”

  30. Shannon McSkimming

    Alice Milikins Lauren Mcskimming Siavon Barclay prepare for NT’s ??

  31. avatar

    If you are a masters swimmer there are a few other ones that come to mind after you get it past the calves……

    If I slip and fall before the darn thing is on and someone sees me like this I hope they don’t use FB, instagram or snapchat.
    Don’t they realize some of us have had children and my body is no longer as lithe as it was at 15.
    Really, we cannot have suits with zippers, at some age zippers like velcro on shoes, ought to be okay.

    • avatar
      Sally Guthrie

      ….and no one mentioned the bruises on your upper arms from pulling on the straps….AFTER you manage to get it over the booty bits…

  32. Carmen Benavidez

    Natalie Ramos Sara Ramos Matt Ramos

    • Sara Ramos

      LaurenBritt ?

    • Lauren Damian

      Sara Ramos #22 and #27 are so accurate ?

    • Natalie Ramos

      awh haha I love this. Thank you

  33. Anne Emaus

    Anne Bartholomew check out the author! You too Kalina Grace Emaus

    • Anne Bartholomew

      Had to smile at all of them!!! She’s been putting those suits on since she was 12! :))

  34. Agnieszka Olasinsk-Wozniak

    It should say on it, “instructions: how to loose 10 lb in 30 minutes”

  35. Selin Kasif

    Sophie Jesse Jasmine every females swimmers thoughts hahah i laughed the whole way through because this is us 😛

    • Skye Cullen

      this is great

  36. Michael S. Wylie

    I remember the first time I put one on before my first meet, and after taking it out of the package, using two fingers to hold it up wondering “Is this thing even going to fit?”

  37. Adam Naylor

    Claire Nicholls true?

    • Claire Nicholls

      Hahah pretty much. Probably the only thing I don’t miss about swimming! Those suits are terrible

  38. Lærke Juul Nielsen

    Cecilie Maria Camilla intet beskriver det bedre ?

  39. Francene Jauert Slife

    This is exactly as you have always said the girls describe putting on their suits!