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SHEY ON LAKE MICHIGAN, 2009

CHICAGO, IL 

SHEY 2011: Two summers prior to this photo (and spanning a few years back), my bathing attire consisted of long board-shorts, a sports bra and a black tank top. I only swam in secluded areas with my very close friends. Being a person who’s been swimming my whole life, it was devastating to not be at peace in the water as I had been in my childhood. I wasn’t having fun anymore. As much as my friends didn’t care what I looked like, I couldn’t get past the uneasy feeling that my body wasn’t really mine. In December of 2007, I had chest surgery. It changed my life in many ways, but the best and most significant change was being able to finally enjoy the water again. I remember the first day warm enough to take my shirt off. I sat in the grass, looked out over the water, felt the breeze on my chest and back and felt right with myself. I remember feeling the same way on the day this photo was taken.