Hey, y’all! I’ve decided to create a lil’ thing I call Organic Encounters. It won’t be a series, per se, it’ll just be a title I put on a post about meeting other alopecians completely randomly! And without further ado, we go right into our first one.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know about Leah Hayes, an incredible alopecian I got the opportunity to meet at a NAAF conference a couple years back. We’re both high school swimmers (although her times are way better than mine), but because we live so far away, we haven’t been able to connect much. But now, I can officially say I swam against an alopecian, because at an away meet last Friday, I met Candy!
I’d seen her meandering around the pool deck for several minutes before the meet started, but it wasn’t until we found ourselves in lanes next to each other for warmup that we finally got the chance to talk to each other. Candy swims without a cap, so it was pretty easy to spot her, and we connected instantly. We swam against each other in only the third event of the meet, the 200 medley relay. (For non-swimmers, the 200 medley relay is where each of the four swimmers does one stroke: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle, in that order. Candy swam breaststroke, while I did freestyle.)
Swimsplaining aside, this definitely made the meet a lot more fun! Even though we were on opposite teams, we kept somehow finding ourselves together, whether we were in the same lane for the mid-meet warmup or next to each other cheering for our teammates. Both of us did pretty well in our events, and even in the couple that didn’t go so smoothly, we were all smiles! After the meet, Candy had to go right into warmups for her diving team, but I got to take a couple photos with her and get her number.
Especially since having alopecia can be pretty embarrassing, seeing someone just like you in a setting you’re comfortable in (like a swimming pool) is an awesome experience. Meeting Candy at a random meet was pretty serendipitous, and although she’s a senior and won’t be swimming against our school next year, I hope to see her again! And to all of you with alopecia reading this, I wish you more organic encounters like this one. (Maybe I should get that trademarked.)