Friday, February 17, 2012
I think of myself as a pretty gregarious and outgoing person. But when I am at the gym I feel awkward, uncomfortable and generally like a poser - as if I am just faking it and shouldn't be there at all.
So, when I go in, keep my head down, do my work out and leave. I don't look at anyone, I don't talk to anyone. AND I want the same from them. Just leave me alone and let me sweat in peace.
So, on this particular day I was especially self conscious when I realized that the gym was full of men. Big men. Small men. Fat me, fit men. Young men and old men. ARRGH. OK. Where in the heck were all the women!? So, I just sucked it up, went to the locker room, changed and off I went.
Right away, two young men paused in their work out to look at me. OH help. Engage mantra: "i'm am invisible, I am invisible I am invisible - you DO NOT see me".
As I continued through my work out, I couldn't help but notice that several men took a moment to look at me. Now, I still weigh over 200 lbs so I KNOW they were not checking me out. (except this one guy - but that's a different story!) repeat mantra. Why in the heck is the (really) fit guy smiling at me!???? (repeat mantra)
As I proceeded to the weight room I became more and more uncomfortable. When I walk in, I am not exaggerating, every single one of the 10 guys in there looked right at me. of course, I felt that all the looks were judgmental; telling me I did NOT belong. (repeat mantra) Lift chin. I paid my dues, I have every right to be here. How come nobody is staring at that guy with the cain? One guy had the audacity to look right at my stomach! (repeat mantra, repeat mantra)
At this point, I am rushing and probably not getting a great work out but I am feeling so uncomfortable and out of place I just wanted to get done and get out.
Almost on the verge of tears now, I scurry to the locker room and am faced with a full length mirror. And then it hits me. I am wearing a T-shirt for a Local youth football team. Big as life it says "FOOTBALL" across my belly.
They were not looking at me - they were looking at my shirt.
I am sure that the ladies wondered why I was laughing so hard I had to sit down.