Naked at the Blue Lagoon

4 05 2009

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Think back to the first time you met your coworkers. Do a quick rewind and pull the image up in your head. Got it? Good. Now, replay the same image – only this time, you’re naked…and so are they.

You see, I’ve never met my coworkers, with the exception of the company prez. I’m a telecommuter; I work from my house just outside of Detroit. ICLUBcentral’s offices are so close to Harvard that you can open a window, throw a rock and hit the side of an esteemed Ivy League building. Or so I’ve been told.

So, when ICLUBcentral invited me and my hubby to join them for four days in Iceland, I couldn’t say no. Certainly it would come with adventure and a chance to bond with my coworkers. Little did I know how right I was.

We landed at the Keflavik, Iceland airport at 6:30 a.m. local time – 2:30 a.m. Detroit time. My hair – carefully primped before boarding the first of three planes 11 hours earlier – was flattened and stuck to the side of my head. My ears were so plugged that despite my best attempts to clear them by chewing like an enthusiastic cow, all of the people around me sounded like they were talking underwater.

As we couldn’t check into our hotel until 2 p.m., our group of 18 hopped a tour bus and headed for The Blue Lagoon — the most famous of Iceland’s hot springs. It’s also one of the country’s most prized natural resources. To keep it that way, every person who enters the electric blue, mineral-rich waters is required to shower first – nude.

I thought I could circumvent this requirement. My husband claims that my Superpower is assuming that the rules don’t apply to me…a tactic that has worked without fail, until now. After I change into my bathing suit and begin heading toward the showers, I’m stopped by a tall, thin, light-haired Nordic woman.

“You must shower nude before entering the pool,” she says, glancing down at my bathing suit.

I return to the lockeroom, which, unlike many European countries, is at least split by gender. I take off my bathing suit, making my best effort to conceal my body with a towel. But, when I reach the showers, my cover disappears.

There I stand, naked, in front of my female coworkers — whom I’ve known for a grand total of 58 minutes. Everyone’s uncomfortable — this isn’t exactly what we expected — and we all avert our eyes. But I notice that more than once, a pair of eyes scans my breasts.

They look pretty good for fake breasts, I think. My plastic surgeon once told me that, in a lockeroom setting, no one would ever know. Which would be true, if it wasn’t for my body’s tendency to scar rather severely.

The next time I notice someone trying not to look, I decide to break the ice. “I had breast cancer,” I say. “These puppies are the new and improved model.”

It works. Someone starts talking about how her Mom was also a breast cancer survivor…and that she hadn’t yet decided whether or not to get reconstruction. What did I think…

And so there it is. And though it wasn’t my plan, not yet, not so soon, it’s out there. The conversation has started and I step outside of myself. Because a big part of the responsibilty of a survivor comes in the sharing of information.




12 responses

5 05 2009

I was scanning for information regarding genetic breast cancer, and never would have thought I would laugh at a survivor’s experience! My sister and a cousin both had breast cancer, and out of concern for my own risk, I like to learn about the different types and treatments out there. Thanks for sharing.

22 05 2009
Glenda Sparrow

Keep coming back Jodi. I’ve know Amy for years and she does have a way of keeping the humor in even the most trying times. And as you can tell, she’s great with the details.

Amy–I loved this post. We may not want to talk about tough things with people we aren’t close to, but sharing helps us as much as it helps others learn. Love you girl!

12 05 2009
Sarah E. Ludwig


This is such a great post. It’s humorous and poignant at once.

I hope you keep up the great work because this blog will be great for your fellow cancer survivors!

Happy blogging!

Your fellow blogathon-er,

23 05 2009

What a great blog…brought a smile to my face.

4 06 2009
Tammy C.

I hope you continue with the blog. I feel like I know you because you pour your heart into every story. You’re a great inspiration to many!

21 06 2012

OMG thank you so much for posting this story. I am going to Iceland this summer and have decided I am too out of shape – I’m skipping the Blue Lagoon. No No No – Noooo nude showers with strangers.

13 01 2013

“Naked at the Blue Lagoon It’s in the Genes” ended up being truly pleasurable and informative! In modern universe that’s really hard to do. Many thanks, Phillip

17 01 2013

It seems you truly understand a good deal about
this particular topic and it demonstrates via this excellent blog,
labeled “Naked at the Blue Lagoon It’s in the Genes”. Thx ,Elsie

26 01 2013

“Naked at the Blue Lagoon It’s in the Genes” was a pretty wonderful post, . Continue publishing and I will keep on viewing! Many thanks -Forrest

1 05 2014
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5 05 2014
In Loving Memory of Amy Rauch Neilson

I’m sorry but Amy Rauch Neilson passed away 5/6/12.
We hope her blog will continue to be an inspiration to her readers.
Best of luck to you.

29 08 2014
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