These challenges are taking me to some strange places. I don’t think I could have predicted this time last year that I’d have spent a Saturday afternoon in a crowded sauna, butt-naked, chatting to a paediatric pathologist about how to live life to the full.
This was another challenge that seemed daunting until a friend jumped in and rescued me; this is becoming a theme. Me and Kate (‘the bravest’) giggled like maniacs from when she picked me up in the car to the moment we ducked under the curtain-covered door of a Salford leisure centre and entered a whole new world (every turn a surprise).
And there we were, suddenly surrounded by 80 naked people of all shapes and sizes at the monthly meet-up of the North West’s Naturist chapter. We got undressed in a changing room, took a deep breath and headed out to join them. And it was weird, but only for about two minutes. It’s amazing how quickly something really daunting can seem normal. We swam, we sweated in the sauna, we played pool volleyball, all completely starkers. The only time it felt a little odd was when the (fully clothed) lifeguard strolled by. He should have joined in, it’s only fair.
In a way I wish that being naked with strangers gave me that lightbulb moment, that I suddenly felt like my true self, unfettered by the constraints of modern societal standards, etc. etc. but… it didn’t. It was just… fine. Which is a big thing in itself I think. It took a fair amount of chutzpah to just get over the threshold and it added a little magnet onto my mental fridge collage of ‘times I’ve been braver than I thought I would be’. More on that in another post.
So yeah. Naked challenge done! I don’t particularly feel the need to go back again but if anyone needs a naked wingman, hit me up.